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05/06/2019 17:19 EDT | Updated 05/06/2019 17:19 EDT

Thank You, Meghan Markle, For Not Doing A Same-Day Royal Baby Photo Op

Sincerely, moms everywhere.

Samir Hussein via Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on March 11, 2019 in London, England. Meghan gave birth to a boy on May 6.

There was so much to love about Prince Harry's beaming and impromptu press conference following the birth of his first child.

The part where he said he's "so incredibly proud" of his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. The part where he called his new son "this little thing" and said he was over the moon with excitement. The part where he thanked the horses.

But what stood out the most for me was what was missing from the interview: Meghan herself.

WATCH: Prince Harry greets the press and is super cute about it. Story continues below.

Meghan gave birth to a healthy seven-pound three-ounce boy at 5:26 a.m. local time, the palace announced Monday. Later that afternoon, Harry talked to the press — alone.

Where was the duchess? I presume she was lying down somewhere, maybe cuddling her sweet bundle, maybe catching a few much-needed ZZZs, maybe icing some body parts that got a little more of a workout during labour than she'd imagined.

I don't know, and it doesn't matter. What does matter is that she wasn't standing at Prince Harry's side, smiling serenely, and rocking four-inch heels and a designer outfit while holding her literally-just-born-baby. In fact, Harry told the press we likely won't see the baby, and presumably Meghan, for another two days.

And for that, on behalf of all moms, I just want to say, thanks, Meghan, for doing us a solid.

Natalie Stechyson
HuffPost Canada parents editor Natalie Stechyson leaves the hospital after the birth of her son in 2016. She is wearing an XL tank top and cardigan from the designer "Joe Fresh," maternity leggings, an industrial-strength pad, and flip flops, also from the designer "Joe Fresh."

Three years ago, I also gave birth to a healthy seven-pound three-ounce boy. The next day, I left the hospital looking exactly like someone who just had a baby.

I'd barely slept a wink since my son emerged from my body at 2:53 a.m. the previous day. I'd managed to hose the blood off myself in the stall shower in my hospital room, but I had not managed makeup or a comb to the hair. I sweat right through the pits of my oversized grey tank top, so wore a cardigan that really brought out the mild jaundice in my son's cheeks.

I shoved my swollen hooves in a pair of flip flops, and my swollen hooha in a pair of maternity leggings. As I posed for a photo op in the hospital hallway, my son screamed at the indignity of being strapped into a car seat, and my boobs screamed at the indignity of being forced into a nursing bra.

If you look closely, I'm still swollen and puffy from my epidural. My husband is still wearing his hospital bracelet. Behind our smiles we have the terrified eyes of a couple who can't believe we are being trusted to take a baby home. Our kid is freaking out, and his head is too big for his trendy little hat, but I put it on him, anyway (I just birthed that melon of a head, kid. You can wear the damn hat).

I never posted the photo the nurse took of our new little family — one of the first pictures that exists of the three of us — because I hated how it looked.

But we looked precisely how we should.

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son Prince Louis of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England.

It has been a royal tradition to pose for photos with the new baby, usually just outside Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, not long after giving birth. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, most recently posed just seven hours after giving birth to Prince Louis last year.

She was wearing a designer dress, stilettos (in nude! so brave considering what just went down), had her hair and makeup done, and looked, frankly, like a goddess not even of this world. And she looked just as gorgeous and put together in the photo ops after the birth of her first two children, too.

(She did spend the night after giving birth to Prince George in 2013, but left the hospital less than 10 hours after Princess Charlotte's birth in 2015, Good Housekeeping notes).

I appreciate that Kate has a certain set of expectations placed on her as mother of heirs to the throne. The late Princess Diana posed for the same photos after she gave birth to William and Harry. But even as the world clamours for these first images of the royal babies, those perfect pics can be damaging to new moms who, you know, look and feel ever so slightly less coiffed mere hours or days after giving birth.

Anwar Hussein via Getty Images
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales leave the Lindo Wing St Mary's Hospital with baby Prince William on June 22, 1982 in London, England. Prince William was born June 21, 1982.

In March, the CEO of parenting product company Fridababy asked Meghan to skip the photo op in a full-page open letter in the New York Times, explaining that these pics mask the "raw aftermath" of birth that's still taboo to discuss.

"Sure your blowout will be perfect for your hospital step photo-op, but people will be opining on all the wrong things instead of having an honest conversation about what women go through during birth and immediately thereafter," Chelsea Hirschhorn wrote in the letter.

Dear Royal Mom-To-Be,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You will soon give birth to one of the most anticipated babies in the world and like your princess predecessors, you'll be expected to parade outside of the hospital in front of throngs of photographers to show off your new bundle of joy shortly after giving birth. You'll smile, you'll wave, you'll be radiant, but between your legs will be a whole different story.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sure your blowout will be perfect for your hospital step photo-op, but people will be opining on all the wrong things instead of having an honest conversation about what women go through during birth and immediately thereafter. In my line of work we tackle the side of childbirth that won't get as much airtime. Women are breaking down barriers left and right, so why is it still considered taboo to talk about the raw aftermath of what your body just went through?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Spoiler alert: bringing a new life into the world usually starts with your vagina, and the aftermath is a mess. The bleeding and swelling will linger, peeing will burn, and sitting like your old self will feel like a herculean feat. And if it's a C-section, there's a whole host of other issues to tend to. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So when the "big reveal" day arrives but you're feeling like all the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put your vagina back together again – use this stage to do your part for all women who are about to embark on their first "fourth trimester." Skip the pomp and circumstance of the baby parade. Let the headlines instead read: "Prince Brings Royal Baby Out Because Mom Is in Bed Sitting on a Pack of Ice." And if you really can't skip it, then at the very least flash us a glimpse of the mesh underwear underneath to keep it real. With your help we'll have made some real progress. We'll be rooting for you on your path to recovery and hope you take all the time you need – because raising a human requires feeling like a human. Trust us, your vagina (and baby) will thank you.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Chelsea Hirschhorn @cmrh, mom of 3 + CEO

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As someone who spent a fair bit of time sitting on ice after giving birth, I fist-pumped when I saw this open letter.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't expect to look like a royal as I left the hospital after the birth of my son. But these beautiful new-baby photo ops perpetuate the myth of bouncing back from childbirth, when what we should really be doing is preparing moms for the reality of what happens to their bodies.

WATCH: This is what really happens after you give birth. Story continues below.

Now, I don't think Meghan's move today is earth-shattering, and it's not a surprise. She and Harry have been notoriously private about the baby's arrival from the get-go, and they warned us in April that they plan to celebrate privately before they make the big reveal.

Harry hinted Monday that the world will get a glimpse of Meghan and the baby on Wednesday, two days after the birth. And I highly doubt the duchess will appear in maternity leggings and flip flops with unwashed hair (though, bless her if she did).

Let's be honest — she's going to look incredible, just like she always does. We'll all talk about what she's wearing, how and if her frock pays tribute to Diana, and zoom in on that royal baby's face to speculate if he looks more like Meghan or Harry.

But in eschewing the traditional hospital photo op and waiting — even just a few days — to go in front of the cameras, Meghan is telling moms everywhere that it's OK to take a breath after giving birth.

And for that — thank you.

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