A mum who posted about the 'hard parts' of post birth has gone viral on social media.
Autumn Benjamin, from Portland, US, took to Facebook to share a picture taken of her days after she welcomed her baby girl Layla.
It took her seven months to share the snap, but she eventually decided to do it in order to show the reality of labour and birth and what happens after, to make other new parents feel less alone.
I’ve debated on this post for a while but I’ve decided that I’d show the hard parts of the aftermath of giving birth, and the ultimate sacrifice that mothers make from day one. Kevin snapped this…
Alongside the snap, where she’s seen holding her baby girl, she wrote: ‘I’ve debated on this post for a while but I’ve decided that I’d show the hard parts of the aftermath of giving birth, and the ultimate sacrifice that mothers make from day one.
‘Kevin snapped this of me. This was 2 days after I gave birth to Layla. Eating my “nice meal” provided by the hospital. An over cooked steak and sides. I was in new territory. Learning to breastfeed this little human being that I just brought into the world. Wearing these big mesh panties, still sporting a pregnant belly.. no one told me your belly doesn’t go down immediately. No one told me I’d be bleeding out.
‘No one told me that I would spend hours crying and full of emotion. I remember just laying there in the hospital bed crying. I was crying because my baby girl was finally here.. FINALLY!
She added that her partner Kevin couldn’t understand her emotions, when she was crying uncontrollably because her baby wasn’t safe inside her any more.
‘At what point, I think Kevin was at a loss. I realized that when I was being held by him in the hospitals shower and I was just crying uncontrollably. It’s all a blur but I do remember saying “she’s not safe inside of me anymore” and that was a really hard thing to work through’, she added.
To add to the mix of emotions, Autumn was also in a lot of pain, which is a combination of factors many women face after giving birth.
‘No one tells you that typically with a “quick delivery” comes a bad rip. I ripped all the way up and down, and also side to side’, she wrote. ‘The weeks following I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t use the bathroom. I wore these big depends diapers. I never thought I would be normal again. Kevin had to help me do EVERYTHING from pee, to walk up stairs.’
Ending her open letter, Autumn wrote: ‘Being a mom is the ultimate sacrifice. You give up your body for 9 months to grow this little baby.
‘You go through labor and delivery. You go through the emotions that come with childbirth. You let go of all shame as you walk around your house in diapers and ask your SO to spray warm water on your rip while you pee to avoid that burn. You spend tireless hours latching your baby and feeding your baby to establish and keep up your milk supply because you want to breast feed so. damn. bad.’
Autumn Benjamin added a new photo.
‘But most importantly, moms give up who they were before they were a mother. Most moms give up a lot of their hobbies, dreams, and plans. Moms put their lives on hold so their babies can live out theirs. We deal with so many emotions that we internalize- just so we can be mothers to our babies. Don’t ever discredit a mother. You don’t know the half.’
Speaking to CafeMom, Autumn explained that it was when she joined a support group for mum with postpartum depression that she realised she should share her post: ‘It was then that I learned a lot of moms were silently struggling. I heard stories of moms being shut down by family members, friends, and spouses for feeling EXACTLY how I felt. They spoke of feeling invalidated, and feeling alone. I didn’t like that, and I wanted to do more than show my support in the comments.’
Her post garnered a lot of attention from fellow mums, who commented to praise her for sharing her story. One said: ‘It will get much better maybe harder for mama but it is all worth it in the end! Just keep on being a good mama! You will see and feel the rewards later on! Good luck to you and baby Layla!’
Another wrote: ‘A very eye opening look at what a new mother experiences. God bless. I am in awe of your strength and commitment to your family 💜’