A mother-of-five has turned into an internet sensation after sharing a candid selfie of her body just 24 hours after giving birth to her youngest child to show what postpartum really looks like.
Erica Andrews, a midwife from Zanesville, Ohio, took to Facebook on Tuesday to share the image with baby sling company Sakura Bloom along with a powerful message about the beauty of motherhood.
‘This is what 24 hours postpartum looks like,’ she wrote. ‘Baby in sling. Skin to skin. Adult diapers. And a rosy glow. My body feels like it ran a marathon and my heart is wide open from yesterday’s travels.’
Real mom: Erica Andrews snapped this selfie of herself 24 hours after giving birth to her son Silas Ambrose Osler on January 8. She later shared the image on Facebook along with a powerful message about motherhood
Happy day: The mother-of-five posed for this playful photo in December, just a month before she gave birth
‘Birth opens us like an earthquake opens the earth and I am still in the intimate, fragile throes of that opening,’ she continued. ‘I feel raw. Emotional. Different. I feel like I’m on the undulating surface of the rippling ocean being tossed back and forth between happiness, gratitude, melancholy, and grief.’
In the black and white photo, Erica is wearing only underwear and a baby sling with her newborn in it as she poses with her hand on her hip, highlighting her round stomach.
’23 hours ago I held life within and 24 hours ago I surged and transformed allowing life to flow through me, into my waiting hands,’ she explained.
‘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.’
Erica went on to say that she is ‘still processing the beautiful transition’ her whole family has traveled through.
Proud momma: Erica shared her black and white selfie with baby sling company Sakura Bloom on Facebook along with this powerful message about the beauty of motherhood
‘I am in complete awe of our strength as humans, women, and mothers,’ she added. ‘This time is simply unlike any other.’
Sakura Bloom responded to the candid photo by writing back: Beautiful! @laughing.moon we couldn’t love this any more Congratulations, Mama!’
Erica gave birth to her son Silas Ambrose Osler on January 8 at 6:56pm during a water birth in her home. The next day she shared the photo of herself on Instagram. After receiving numerous comments of praise, she shared the photo with Sakura Bloom on Facebook.
The photo has been liked more than 80,000 times while many mothers thanks her for posting such an honest image.
‘I was never this brave,’ Vanessa Reed wrote. ‘To open myself up and show my post-partum body? Never. I felt hideous but I look at you and see how beautiful you look… Wish I hadn’t been so shallow.’
Fan base: More than 80,000 Facebook users liked the photo while many praised her for showing what a real postpartum body looks like
Role model: Katie Perry told Erica that she would much rather she images like her than ones of new moms with ‘six pack abs’
Beautiful words: Kelly Prewitt thanked Erica for accurately summing up what the days after childbirth is really like for a mother
All together: Erica shared this family photo on Facebook in December while she was still pregnant with Silas
Katie Perry added: ‘I am so happy to see this. It is so powerful and gives me so much more power to see this and read this than to read “look at new moms 6 pack abs just days after birth!” I hate those posts. I love these. They are real. They are raw. Thank you for sharing [sic].’
Meanwhile, Kelly Prewitt admitted that she never knew how to explain what childbirth really feels like.
‘Your words could sum up how I felt,’ she wrote to Erica. ‘Thank you so much for sharing this very special moment in your life with such openness and truth.’
Erica returned to the post an hour later to thank all of the women for sharing their love and support with her.
‘I can’t respond to all of you loving mamas but your comments have moved me to tears, thank you for your love and welcoming my raw and honest words,’ she wrote.