Penelope Cruz felt she wasn't "respecting" herself by giving into society's pressures after she gave birth.

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

The 'Everybody Knows' star welcomed son Leo into the world eight years ago and she admits she felt the pressure to look perfect only hours after she'd given birth and "forgot" to take care of herself.

She said: "I realised what a lot of fairytales and movies and messages from society have put in my head because the way I left the hospital the first time and the way I left the second were two different women. The first [time], I pushed myself to be superwoman like, 'I'll do it natural birth and then twelve hours later I'm out of the hospital in high heels.' Now I look back and say, 'who asked you to do this? And who asked you to not delegate, to feel like you have to do everything yourself 24 hours a day and forget to take care about yourself?' That has nothing to do with feminism. I was not respecting myself by doing that."

However, when it came to the birth of her second child - daughter Luna, now five - she realised she didn't have to succumb to that pressure.

Speaking to Gwyneth Paltrow at her first UK Goop summit over the weekend, she added: "[For the second birth], I said I'm going to stay in this hospital for three days. I laid down in this bed with my baby and my other baby was coming over and my husband was great and really really helpful, but you need to realise you need to eat, sleep, basically take a shower."