A "Real Housewives" star is getting real about her life and her body after giving birth to her third child.
Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave gave birth to her daughter, Dove, on Feb. 25 in Los Angeles.
- 1October 17, 2019
Just three days later, the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star shared a photo of herself on Instagram, along with an honest description of what she called her "postpartum reality."
"It is very little sleep because, let’s be real, is “sleep when the baby is sleeping” actually a thing? It is knowing that feeling delirious will be the new norm for a while," she wrote in part. "It is humbling, to say the least - switching from the mesh “mom diaper” with ice from the hospital to high waisted compression panties at home. It is drinking way too much prune juice with crushed ice because you are anxiously awaiting the first post-baby [bowel movement.]"
"It is embracing and loving this body of mine," she wrote.
"I know Instagram can be perceived in a vacuum of filters and pretty posts and so I wanted to be as honest with the after as I was before I gave birth," Mellencamp Arroyave told "Good Morning America" by email Monday. "I remember after my very first pregnancy, I was shocked at the reality of it and felt alone. I didn’t see anybody talking about it."
"So after baby three, I am proud to be able to show postpartum can be messy and unflattering but also beautiful," she said.
The postpartum recovery period has been called the "fourth trimester" by experts and moms like tennis star Williams, who spoke about her struggles after the 2017 birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
In addition to the physical recovery, women in the fourth trimester deal with changing hormones. It is also a time when a mom is learning to care for and feed her newborn, experts say.
"Nobody is ever prepared for postpartum," one person commented on Mellencamp Arroyave's post. "Glad the conversation is starting to begin."
Mellencamp Arroyave's message about her body also resonated with her followers. She is the founder of ALL IN by Teddi, a weight loss program, and has been open on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" about her own weight loss and wellness journey.
"Love the fact you’re showing the reality of pregnancy, in all its glory and pain," one follower said.
"Thank you so much for being vulnerable and honest about your postpartum body, and inspiring women towards body positivity," wrote another.
Mellencamp Arroyave -- who also shared honest details of her pregnancy on her "Teddi Tea Pod" podcast -- said she was "overwhelmed with gratitude" by the reaction to her post.
"I think women feel scared or ashamed of expressing that things aren’t 100% rainbows and butterflies, especially after giving birth," she said. "The expectations on us from society and social media can be heavy and I wanted to let people know that it’s healthy to reveal how you’re feeling."