On Monday morning, the Duchess of Cambridge headed to the hospital to give birth to a healthy baby boy. On Monday night, she was back home at Kensington Palace with her husband and their two older children.
The quick turnaround prompted a collective “what gives?” from around the world by fellow mothers very well aware of all the squishy things their bodies go through after giving birth.
Kate delivered her baby at 11:01 a.m. local time. Just seven hours later, she appeared coifed and dressed — in heels, no less — outside the hospital doors to introduce her new baby before she and her husband headed home.
The quick departure set social media on fire.
Why the rush?
It's safe to assume that the duchess has everything she could possibly need to address her personal and medical needs at her disposal. But more likely, Kate and her husband, Prince William, were aware of the distraction their presence created for others giving birth at London's St. Mary’s Hospital and wanted to help return things to normal there.
In addition, things are just different across the pond.
The United Kingdom has one of the shortest postpartum hospital stays in the developed world: Women stay just a day and a half before heading home, according to one study. New moms in the United States average about two days.
Kate’s seven-hour turnaround Monday was faster than the last time she gave birth. She stayed at the hospital just under 10 hours after welcoming Princess Charlotte in 2015.
In comparison, she took a leisurely overnight stay after becoming a first-time mom when she delivered Prince George in 2013.