Postpartum depression is real and not written about often enough. Many new moms feel guilty for being overwhelmed and not themselves after giving birth, for feeling sore and exhausted. This new mom’s photo, which has gone viral since its initial posting on Facebook in 2015, sheds light on the fact that new motherhood can sometimes be really challenging and emotional.
The mother, Danielle Haines, is pictured crying as she cradles her newborn to her chest. She wrote in the caption, “This is a picture of me 3 days postpartum. I was so raw and so open, I was a fucking mess.” On the day that the powerful photo was taken, Haines said that family and friends came over to her house and they began commiserating about how difficult it can be after giving birth. While Haines said that she felt like a “mess,” someone asked to snap a photo of her because of how she looked “so raw and so beautiful.”
The American Psychological Association says that 1 in 7 moms experience postpartum depression, with symptoms such as doubt about your ability to care for the baby, anxiety, anger and withdrawal from friends and family. Some dads can exhibit symptoms of postpartum depression too.
Postpartum is challenging in any circumstance, but especially during the pandemic as there is so much uncertainty. Haines concludes the post by writing, “I had a magical postpartum. It wasn’t easy but I was so supported and fed and reminded that the mothers before me had been through this part of motherhood, and that I’d get through it just fine too.”