We all know Instagram isn’t reality. But the pressure on new moms to look their best for a photo after delivery is as real as it gets. A quick scroll on the app can make a new mom that is still grappling with a whole range of emotions- from complete exhaustion to elation, to question why they look nothing like the seemingly perfect photos of other new moms, with their makeup on point, eye brows on fleek, nose and cheeks contoured for the gods.

Well, it is totally ok, to want to look your best at all times, especially during those post delivery photos— that one that someone always manages to snap at the exact moment when you’re the most sweaty, the most tired, and the least ready to have a remotely flattering picture taken. I’m talking about that moment when after 12 hours of intense labour, the cameras start clicking like crazy.

It is also ok, not to want your pictures taken at that exact moment. It is not mandatory to post a stunning photo on Social Media immediately after the process; your body has done an amazing job of bringing your baby into the world. So go easy on yourself, your main focus should be on your baby anyway.

I know it is easy to dismiss a woman who wears make-up to her birth as vain, or having her priorities a little misguided, well I used to feel the same way. Until I read about a mother’s story and how wearing makeup during delivery made her feel safe, confident and in control. Needless to say that gave me a new perspective on things.

Also remember the New York-based makeup artist, Alaha Karimi, whose birth story went viral in 2016 after she posted pictures of herself putting on makeup between contractions and then holding her newborn with a red carpet-worthy face beat.
She said makeup was a distraction from the labour pains.

At this juncture, there’s really no hard and fast rule as to how to be or how to conduct oneself during childbirth, it all depends on individual preference and the rituals that calm you. Some recite bible verses or quotes repetitively as it helps them cope with the pains. While some have been seen dancing to their favorite playlist during contractions. The lists of things women do to distract themselves during childbirth are endless, ranging from the normal to the bizarre.

Childbirth is one of the miracles of Nature. You’ll experience every emotion all at ones, from pain to laughing to crying – all at the same time.
So do what makes the process bearable for you.

If it takes a lipstick and a face full of makeup to get you there, by all means rock on mama.

-Onyi Ukorah

Photo credit : Tia Mowry

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