She also wanted to reach moms experiencing postpartum depression, as she did.

By Blake Bakkila
April 27, 2018

Tired of seeing flawless new mom moments on Instagram, one Florida mom decided to get real about childbirth—and life thereafter.

Natalee Jorge-Martin took to Instagram to share an intimate moment after giving birth to her daughter Delilah, who is now 11 months old. In the post shared in February, Jorge-Martin donned a robe, underwear, and slippers while holding her little one in the hospital room.

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“Why would I post this picture?” she 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.”

Why would I post this picture? 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. You will not bounce back once that baby comes out of you.  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.  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! I asked my husband to take this photo because it was the first time I stood up in days and the first time I held my baby all by myself, without wires connecting me to a bed. 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. I’m still not happy with my body and I still have days where I look in the mirror and whisper “ugh, this is what I look like now” under my breath.  I am not happy with how my body looks but I am immensely grateful for what it has done.  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. #celebrating_my_postpartum . . . #ig_motherhood #momcommunity #motherhoodunplugged #momhub #motherhoodthroughinstagram #featuremama #unitedinmotherhood #uniteinmotherhood #honestlymothering #dailyparenting #oureverydaymoments #joyfulmama #honestmotherhood #featuremama #memoirsofmotherhood #selflove #postpartumbody #takebackpostpartum #csectionrecovery #effyourbeautystandards #postpartumjourney #csection #youareenough #fourthtrimester #fourthtrimesterbodiesproject #igm_033

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Jorge-Martin had another reason to post the photo months after it was taken: she hoped it would help connect her to moms who developed postpartum depression, as she herself did.

“When I first gave birth I was battling some pretty serious PPD,” she tells Health. “I was hoping to find someone going through something similar on Instagram. I mostly found beautifully curated feeds and lots of happy babies and mothers. I love seeing feeds like this but I also felt like I was alone because I definitely did not have a happy baby.”

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After she shared the photo, Jorge-Martin says the response was overwhelming, supportive, and kind. It also helped her become more aware of how many women experienced the same problems. With so many emotional changes and adjustments to deal with after having a baby, she hopes new moms will give themselves a break when it comes to their post-baby body.

“Your body is still beautiful,” she says. “Perhaps even more beautiful because it grew another human and brought it into this world. … Also, remember that it took 9 months to grow this baby and it will take time for your body to readjust, so be kind to yourself in the meantime.” And if you have symptoms of PPD, don't be afraid to seek help.