"To say this didn't take a toll on me mentally would be a lie," she says

Kim Kardashian is opening up about how body shaming during her first pregnancy deeply affected her.

The mom of four, 40, wrote a lengthy message on her Instagram Story reflecting on internet and tabloid scrutiny of her body while she was pregnant with her daughter North, who is now 7½. Kardashian says the jokes and critiques of her figure were "very traumatizing and it can really break even the strongest person."

"No matter how public someone's life may seem, no one deserves to be treated with such cruelty or judgement for entertainment," she writes.

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star says because of the preeclampsia she experienced during her first pregnancy, her body would "swell uncontrollably."

"I gained 60 lbs and delivered almost 6 weeks early and I cried every single day over what was happening to my body mainly from the pressures of being constantly compared to what society considered a healthy pregnant person should look like...," she writes.

Kardashian says she felt "so insecure" at the time, adding that she "had this fear of wondering if I would ever get my pre baby body back." She said the attention grew to the point that she says she "couldn't leave the house for months after."

"It really broke me," she adds.

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kim kardashian
Credit: Kim Kardashian/Instagram
kim kardashian
Credit: Kim Kardashian/Instagram

"Luckily I was able to take these frustrating, embarrassing feelings and channel it into motivation to get me where I am today, but to say this didn't take a toll on me mentally would be a lie," Kardashian says.

"I'm sharing this just to say I really hope everyone involved in the business of shaming and bullying someone to the point of breaking them down might reconsider and instead try to show some understanding and compassion," the reality star adds. "You just never fully know what someone is going through behind the scenes and I've learned through my own experiences that it's always better to lead with kindness."

Kardashian has previously been open about her fertility and pregnancy struggles. In December 2019, for SKIMS' 2019 holiday campaign, she opened up about her road to welcoming four children.

Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/VF20/WireImage

"When I was pregnant with my daughter North, I had a condition called preeclampsia or toxemia, which is basically when the mom's organs start to shut down," she said at the time. "The only way to get rid of that is to deliver the baby. At 34-and-a-half weeks, I had to go into emergency labor — they induced me. North was 4 lbs. She was almost six weeks early."

She later said in the clip that after her delivery, her placenta never came out, but instead grew inside her uterus. "That is what women die from in childbirth," she said.

Kanye West children
Kanye West and kids
| Credit: Kim Kardashian/Instagram

Determined to expand her family further after the risky first pregnancy, Kardashian became pregnant via IVF with son Saint, now 5. After his arrival — "the same awful delivery" this time around — she underwent multiple operations to "fix the damage that all of that did on the inside."

Doctors then told her she could no longer pursue IVF for more kids. The KKW Beauty founder then turned to surrogacy, using two different surrogates for her last two embryos, soon welcoming daughter Chicago, now 3, and son Psalm, 22 months. (She shares all four kids with Kanye West, from whom she recently filed for divorce.)

"I'm so thankful for my beautiful kids, no matter how they came to me — they came to me," she said in the 2019 video. "I'm so thankful for surrogates. I'm really thankful for my family. I grew up with so many siblings. I just loved being in a big environment. I would have gone through the same pain and back for the result of having my babies. It was all worth it."