Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell’s Instagram account is full of glamorous images, but an image she recently shared in her stories is the one that has people talking because of its vulnerability and sadness.

Mitchell, 31, shared a year in review story that was full of beautiful outfits, friends and smiles, but it ended with a revealing, vulnerable photo of an ultrasound captioned with a broken heart.

“Lastly, although it was an amazing year, it didn’t come without some hardships,” Mitchell wrote in the slide before the photo.

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“We all have to deal with various struggles and challenges in life,” Mitchell wrote in the next slide. “And sometimes it’s easier to only showcase the good times on social media, which is what leads so many people to criticize it for its lack of authenticity.”

She thanked her fans and followers for the positivity they showed her in 2018, which she says helped when she was dealing with her pregnancy loss in private.

“The support and affection so many of you show me lifts me up during even my darkest days, one of which happened last year after I lost the child of my hopes and dreams,” Mitchell wrote.

“In the spirit of the new year, I think that we need to remember that we are all on this journey together — in good times and bad — and to remind ourselves that we seldom really know or understand the struggles and hardships that other people are going through,” she continued.

Jessica McCormack, a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice at The Self Care Path in Burr Ridge, Illinois, previously spoke to Motherly about pregnancy loss and why some women choose to talk about it on social media.

According to McCormack, marking one’s miscarriage with social media post can be a good way to invite people to support you in your time of need. “It also reduces the stigma by bringing to light that it is completely normal for women to experience something like this,” she explained.

With 21.8 million followers, Shay Mitchell has a massive platform to reduce the stigma surrounding pregnancy loss. By sharing her own story with so many people, she may help someone share their own story. And hopefully that will help anyone dealing with such a loss feel less alone.

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