By now, we all know that giving birth is totally different from what we see in the movies. The same holds true for life after giving birth. We've all seen photos of peaceful breastfeeding, which is not usually the case for most first-time nursing moms. Then, there is also postpartum blues some moms go through.
Safe to say, what we see on the screens are not a clear picture of what's raw and real. However, with social media, real moms are now able to capture what it's really like to be pregnant and to give birth--sans any production design. Yes, being a mom is not easy--and social media captures that--but motherhood is also just as rewarding and fulfilling, maybe even more.
They say a photo speaks a thousand words. Well, this one did and totally nailed the complex emotions of a new mom.
Erica Andrews, from Ohio, bared everything she felt--and more--after 24 hours after giving birth in one powerful photo. The photo is selfie of her breastfeeding her newborn in a sling, having skin-to-skin contact, wearing adult diapers, and flaunting her belly pouch.
"My body feels like it ran a marathon and my heart is wide open from yesterday's travels. Birth opens us like an earthquake opens the earth and I am still in the intimate, fragile throes of that opening. I feel raw. Emotional. Different. I feel like I'm on the undulating surface of the rippling ocean being tossed back and forth between happiness, gratitude, melancholy, and grief," Andrews captioned her post.
She continued to describe that the emptiness in her now baby-less womb puling her down. But that whenever her little one needs her to feed and be held, she feels whole again. "I am in complete awe of our strength as humans, women, and mothers. This time is simply unlike any other," she added.
Now a mom-of-five, she told Huffington Post that the photo was the result of her wanting to capture what a woman’s body really looked like after giving birth--“being so round and full of life to having a soft belly and life in our arms”--something she didn’t really have time to notice when she gave birth to her four older kids. “I shared the image to my Instagram feed to journal about my feelings. It was only my intention to show the beauty I felt at that very moment,” she told Today.com.
Many moms instantly related to her post and re-affirmed her sentiments. Others commended her for being brave in opening herself up. She didn’t expect it to become viral “but to know that my words were heard and understood by so many incredible women has made it all that more special," she said.
"New mamas need exactly what their new babies need...love, warmth, food, and security. It is unrealistic to expect us to just fall back into normalcy," Andrews said. She hopes that other moms would find themselves beautiful postpartum—and that they are not alone.
One surefire way to feel good about oneself postpartum is to set aside a few pockets of time for yourself. It’s okay to let other take over baby duties for a dew house. Nyssa Feredo, of Neo Day Spa in Fort Bonifacio, believes that postnatal massages are a great way to alleviate both physical and mental stresses plaguing new mommies.
Sources: January 22, 2016. “'This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like': See why mom's selfie went viral” (today.com) January 21, 2016. “The Emotional Post-Birth Selfie That's Resonating With Moms Everywhere” (huffingtonpost.com)