Viral Photo Stresses Why It’s Important to Remember Mom After Baby Is Born

“In the hustle of the room, I peered over at my friend bent over in pain...I saw the pain in your eyes and in your face and in your body.”
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ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
May 2019

There’s an endless amount of information and support walking expectant moms through each trimester of pregnancy, but when it comes time for the fourth trimester, forget it—you’re on your own. Everyone around you— including yourself—shifts their concerns to baby, and forgets that adjusting to life as a mom requires help too. Photographer Alex Michele captured a raw photo of a friend moments after giving birth. While everyone’s focus was on the adorable newborn, Alex Michele was drawn to her friend for a very different reason.

“In the hustle of the room, I peered over at my friend bent over in pain,” she writes. “Baby had just been born and everyone was surrounding the miracle that happened before our eyes, and naturally everyone was in awe of him. But I was especially in awe of her.”

In the breathtaking photo, the new mom is bent over after enduring the amazing feat that is childbirth. “I saw you, Mama. I saw the pain in your eyes and in your face and in your body,” Alex Michele says.

The photo captures why the fourth trimester is the most underrated trimester of them all. Once baby is born, becoming a parent isn’t the only major life change a woman experiences. The postpartum period is filled with all kinds of unexpected surprises, and it’s easy to feel alone and like a stranger in your own skin. It’s up to family and friends to check on baby and mom, and offer them the support and resources they need.

“We tend to forget our mamas when babies are around. We ask how baby is, what does baby need, can we hold the baby, can we buy this for the baby, but what about mama,” the photographer asks. “Let us not forget the hard work she endured to carry this child, and the hard road ahead to mother and heal and feed and rest and parent her other children.”

If you really want to help a new mom, offer to stop by for the afternoon to watch baby so she can get some sleep. Or better yet, come bearing meals for the week. And while you’re there, maybe clean the dishes that are overflowing in the sink. These little gestures go a long way.

“Let’s not forget the mamas. It’s just so easy to because women are incredibly strong and seem to have it all together, but they need the support and the extra hands more than ever entering into that fourth trimester.”

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