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The Myth of the Perfect Instagram Mom & Why You Should Stop Expecting to be Her

March 28, 2024
Ahma & Co Team
Image Credit: Steve Back
Image Credit: Steve Back

We’ve all seen the infamous photo of Kate Middleton, posing with her third child and glowing in her flawless makeup and heels, just a few hours after giving birth. And similarly, we’ve scrolled past beautifully shot photographs of our friends and acquaintances who’ve just given birth, appearing perfectly unscathed and content with their newborn. As these photos indicate, life with a newborn can be beautiful and exciting; however, what these photos don’t show is the fact that mothers are expected to shift their attention and energy into caring for their newborns, while simultaneously managing their own recovery. Sometimes in doing so, new mothers overlook caring for themselves during a time of dramatic shifts in their physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing.

According to a study conducted within the European Journal of Midwifery, women reported feeling different dimensions of their wellbeing were compromised after having a baby. The study notes that while women were excited about the arrival of their newborn, the stressors attached with early motherhood and newborn care posed considerable challenges to their own physical recovery, leading to low self-esteem, exhaustion, lack of parental confidence, and social isolation. It isn’t uncommon for new mothers to also experience guilt if they care for themselves more than their newborns, which stems from a misguided belief that in order to be a good mother, she must sacrifice her wellbeing in return for prioritizing the care of her newborn. This mentality is both untrue and harmful because a mother's physical, mental and emotional health serves as a foundation for her ability to confidently care for her newborn.

Unfortunately, many mothers also feel as though they cannot express the negative feelings they experience within the postnatal period, promoting an unhealthy cycle of guilt and isolation. Women often feel inadequate and ashamed when their postpartum experiences do not mirror society’s expectation that this period of time should be filled with happiness and feelings of fulfillment. But the reality is that behind the scenes of the elusive picture-perfect version of motherhood presented on Instagram, becoming a new mom is filled with challenges, frustration, and vulnerability.

Negative feelings and experiences within the postnatal period need to be normalized. Mothers should know that striving to be the perfect mom while managing their own recovery is an unfair expectation. New mothers are experiencing major changes physically, mentally, emotionally, and in their identity. Self-care for mothers should not be perceived as a wishful luxury but a necessary fixture to aid in their experiences of the highs and lows that come with early parenthood.

Ahma & Co wants to help make self-care easier for new moms. Through our holistic approach to the postnatal period, we aim to create a space that is empathetic to these challenges. In our postnatal retreat, we offer 24/7 expert recovery support and newborn care assistance to new mothers and parents, and help develop a plan for long-term wellbeing. We also provide a safe space for new mothers who are likely experiencing similar challenges to come together and share their experiences safely and comfortably.

There is no doubt that the postpartum period can be challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Learn more about our services here.

Ahma & Co Team

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