Unfortunately, we live in a world where the image of pregnancy, child birth and postnatal bodies are often airbrushed.
Which might explain why a photo of a woman merely 24 hours after giving birth to her child is going viral for its honest depiction of what post-labour looks and feels like.
“This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like. Baby in sling. Skin to skin. Adult diapers. And a rosy glow," writes Erica Andrews, a new mother from Ohio, USA, in a post shared by Sakura Bloom, a brand that makes baby slings, on Wednesday (20 January).
"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.”
Thousands of women have applauded Andrews through comments, likes and shares on Facebook for addressing issues such as feeling a sense of loss after the process of birth and the roller coaster of feelings that go with it.
“I feel like I’m on the undulating surface of the rippling ocean being tossed back and forth between happiness, gratitude, melancholy, and grief,” she writes.
"The emptiness in my womb brings a heavy feeling crashing into reality but then this new little life whimpers, searching for the breast with soft rooting, and I feel whole again."
Read Andrews' full post below.