The early days of motherhood are all about making huge adjustments—getting used to constant diaper changes, nursing or bottle feeding, caring for a very cuddly yet needy infant, all while dealing with body changes and recovery from giving birth.

No surprise, then, that this is an incredibly stressful time both mentally and physically for most moms, who often feel guilty because they may not be getting the hang of things the way they expected to or feeling that instant connection to their child they'd hoped for. 

Mom and influencer Diane Sung knows this. To support other mothers, she shared to Instagram a very personal post about “not the beautiful parts, but the ugly” side of motherhood.

She opened up about her own struggle. Two weeks after giving birth to her second son, Jace, Sung was having difficulties. She thought that as a “veteran mom” she would have an easier time with her second child, but it was actually harder in several ways, she admitted.

“Labor was longer with excruciating pain, my body took longer to heal, breastfeeding [the] second time around was more painful than I could ever imagine and the connection to my baby... was faint,” wrote Sung.

She went on to explain that her breakdown in the photo came after another painful breastfeeding session, when her husband, Doug, asked how he could help.

Sung was overwhelmed with responsibilities, none of which her husband (or anyone) could help with. “I needed breastfeeding to get easier, I needed my nipples to stop bleeding and heal, I needed SLEEP and I needed to feel connected to my precious baby in my arms. I needed to stop feeling guilty for not being the perfect ideal mom,” she wrote.

Sung is not alone in these feelings. Almost every new mom has feelings of exhaustion and being overwhelmed, and an estimated one in seven moms experience postpartum depression, a condition that can dangerously escalate.

Sung’s more than 300K followers could clearly relate to her struggle. “Good to know I’m not the only one feeling this way,” commented one user. “This is the ugly truth nobody tells you about, thanks for sharing,” wrote another.

Sung snapped this selfie because she “wanted to be reminded later what I had overcome.” And she did overcome this challenge, writing that breastfeeding did become a lot less painful and Jace began sleeping through the night. “With more sleep and less stress, I could finally feel connected to my baby. I am totally, COMPLETELY obsessed and in love with him!"

She left her followers with a message of optimism and solidarity: “I’m okay now and you will be too. Stay strong mommas.”

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