Emmerdale star Lucy Pargeter has spoken out about the difficulty surrounding women's post-baby bodies and the "unrealistic" pressure to look perfect.
The 47-year-old actress said her body has changed since having twin girls through IVF in 2017, but so have her priorities.
On the pressure for women to snap back to their pre-baby body after giving birth, Lucy - who is married to Rudi Coleano - said: "I'd rather be the reality of someone who has just had a child than the unrealistic version some people portray.
"I don't look how I used to – there are a few things I'm not happy with – but right now my children are my priority and I come second."
While most women feel guilty for not hitting the gym, Lucy - who plays Chas Dingle in Emmerdale - would rather spend time with her children.
“I don’t do the gym. I don’t have time, and if I finish work I’d rather play with the kids for half an hour, lift the two of them up and do my arms that way.”
She also praised Meghan Markle for proudly displaying her post-baby bump to the world days after giving birth to Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor.
"Thank goodness, Meghan didn’t disguise her bump, she was the reality of what happens – you still have a tummy!”
Chas' most recent storyline has also had a huge impact on Lucy's home life and has made her "value" the time she has with her own children.
Pregnant Chas and Paddy found out that their baby had a genetic disorder that meant it wouldn't survive out of the womb, but made the decision to continue to full-term and donate the baby's organs. And Lucy said it was "challenging" to film.
“It makes you really appreciate what you’ve got," she said. "I have three beautiful, healthy children waiting for me.
“Even though they’re sitting covered in paint and glue, they’re here. I’m grateful for the mess they’re creating!”
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