Melissa Suffield, who gave birth to her daughter River last March, has shown off her post-baby belly in a body-confident snap and said she is proud of the changes to her figure after giving birth.
The 28-year-old, who played Lucy Beale on much loved BBC soap EastEnders, posted a photo of herself onto her Instagram account with a caption including: "This is my belly. It doesn’t look how It used to look.
"First it was quite a bit smaller and smoother, and then it grew my best mate."
The super-honest image shows Melissa's stretch marks and embraces the changes to her body following the birth of her now 18-month-old daughter – in a direct contrast to the airbrushed and digitally altered pictures that swamp social media.
The caption continued: "Isn’t that so f***ing cool? I bet your bellies are pretty f***ing cool too, whether they grew stuff or not.
"Aren’t bodies wicked? All so different and weird and wonderful – and very powerful.
"We’re all so ridiculously beautiful, aren’t we?"
The post, shared today, has amassed more than 2.2K likes and fans have shared their appreciation in the comments section.
One follower said: "Thank you for sharing. I'm finding it hard to adjust and accept my new mum tum, stretch marks and new shape. However I did just birth a baby and that's the most wonderful thing."
Another commented: "This is what my tummy looks like. You have just made me feel human again. I’m not alone."
Her Instagram account is made up of several body-positive posts, which is clearly an important topic for the mum-of-one.
Last week she shared a photo of herself in lingerie with a message to her followers which read: "Say it with me 'I am so much more than my body'.
"We are all flesh and bones, but the person inside, the memories and experiences- that’s what makes us unique, magic. Your body? It’s nothing special."
Melissa first rose to fame back in 2003 following her leading role in children's TV series Magic Grandad and she joined the cast of EastEnders in 2004 where she played Lucy Beale for six years.
She and husband, Robert Brendan, now have a daughter called River who was born in March 2020 at the start of the UK lockdown.
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