This photo of a new mom holding her 3 day old baby has gone viral this week and Yahoo Parenting interviewed me to ask me why I thought women had been moved by this post in which Danielle Haines portrays the difficulties and raw emotions she experienced in the first few days of motherhood.
I had a great conversation about Haines’ original post and image with Rachel Bertsche, a writer for Yahoo Parenting. Here is an excerpt from our conversation:
“Dr. Sarah Allen, a psychologist who specializes in pregnancy and postpartum mental health, says Haines has done a service to all new mothers by sharing her photo. “We tend to picture a new mom cradling her baby, and she’s looking down and smiling and the baby is looking up at her lovingly, and the husband has his arm around the mom. Those are the images mothers are usually putting out there,” Allen tells Yahoo Parenting. “This is a mother saying, ‘This is the reality.’ I think it was so brave of her to share, and I applaud her. These things need to be shared. You don’t just have a baby and it suckles right away and it’s all happiness. It’s hard! If women realize that going in, they won’t be so hard on themselves when they have tough times.”
Allen says that while 20 percent of mothers suffer from postpartum depression, 80 to 85 percent get postpartum blues, which occurs during the first two weeks of a baby’s life and is likely what Haines was dealing with when the photo was taken. “The transition in the first couple of weeks postpartum, it’s difficult. Women have a lot of thoughts and myths and fantasies about what those days should be like, and it can be very isolating when what you do feel is overwhelmed and loneliness,” she says. “Plus, there are the physical effects — having a baby, it’s a lot for your body to go through, and your hormones are all over the place.” And even though those baby blues are incredibly common, most women don’t talk about it, which Allen says makes the experience even harder”.
Please read the complete Yahoo article here Mom’s Striking Photo 3 Days After Giving Birth Sparks Honest Confessions
Just in case you didn’t read the original post, along with this photo Danielle Haines posted the comment below. It touched a nerve with the community as the post received over 20,000 Facebook shares and Likes.
This is a picture of me 3 days postpartum. I was so raw and so open, I was a fucking mess. I loved my baby, I missed his daddy (he went back to work that day), I was mad at my mom, my heart hurt for my brother because my mom left us and now I had a little boy that looked like him, my nipples were cracked and bleeding, my milk was almost in, my baby was getting really hungry, I was feeling sad that people kill babies, like on purpose, I had not slept since I went into labor, I didn’t know how to put my boobs away, my vagina was sore from sitting on it while nursing constantly, I was kinda loosing my mind. Katie came over and feed me the morning this picture was taken. She might have even stopped over to feed me lunch. Then one of my 7 sisters came that evening to bring the family dinner, Sarah. Sarah took this picture of me. She walked in with food and said, “Hi! How are you!?” I said, “I’m a mess.” We talked, she listened, she said, “I’ve been right where you are.” It helped to know she went crazy once too!!! Then she said, “I know this might sound crazy but do you have a camera? You look so raw and so beautiful.” I’m so glad she took this picture. She was just planning to drop off food. She ended up staying for much longer. I needed her. She knew it. I called Rachel, I needed her. I needed her to nurse my baby, I needed more help with his latch. I called Shell. I needed her to tell me my baby was ok. This is real PP mamas. Those of you who have done it before….will you share what your immediate PP felt like?
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