The heartfelt image – posted to Instagram by Nat the Natural Mom – captured the new mum in the days following her baby’s birth.
‘Why would I post this picture?’ Nat – who welcomed baby Delilah nine months ago - wrote. ‘You can see all the cellulite on my fat legs.
‘My stomach looks huge, like I am still pregnant. My ankles are so swollen they look like logs.
‘You can see the pad in my unflattering hospital panties. I have no makeup on and my hair hasn’t been brushed in days.
‘Why would I post this picture? Because this is postpartum. This is REAL. THIS IS CHILDBIRTH,’ the mum went on.
She continued to say that mums don’t ‘bounce back once that baby comes out’.
‘You will not “lose the baby weight” super quickly. Your ankles will still be swollen and your belly will still be round. And there’s NOTHING wrong with that.,’ she wrote.
‘You just brought a baby into the world. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a c-section, a child emerged from your body and that’s a HUGE deal!’
Nat said she’s asked her husband to take this photo of her – because it was the first time she’d stood up ‘in days’.
‘And the first time I held my baby all by myself, without wires connecting me to a bed,’ the continued.
‘This moment was so beautiful, I got to sway side to side while holding the life I sustained for 9 months.
‘I didn’t care that my robe was open and you could see my chunky legs or the ugly hospital panties.
‘All I cared about was that I was a mother now; and that I was head over heels in love with this little human.’
Candid Nat went on to say she still has days where she feels unhappy about her body – and the changes motherhood has brought to it.
‘I am not happy with how my body looks but I am immensely grateful for what it has done,’ she wrote.
‘It grew a life out of a few cells. It labored for 26 hours and it was opened on a table to bring that life into this world.
‘I share this photo because it’s REAL, beautiful, and in this moment I felt LOVE and happiness.’
Nat’s photo resonated with mothers across the globe – with many sharing their support.
‘Thank you for posting...I love this! I think so many of us moms can relate...our bodies are strong and beautiful...no matter how much we gain, bloat or loose for that matter...we have these little miracles to hold onto for the rest of our lives and they are everything! This unimaginable love we now have is worth all the struggles,’ one woman, Cheryl, responded.
‘I looked exactly like this post birth and I was so damn proud of what I’d just accomplished! You’re awesome,’ wrote another mum, Sarah.
This article originally appeared on New Idea.