October 23, 2018
Every now and then, a celebrity will fuel the all too important conversation about postpartum depression, baby blues, and other mental, emotional, and physical challenges faced by new moms. And as important as it is to raise awareness around these tough topics, much more can and should be done to support moms in the postpartum phase. Anneliese Lawton, a mom of two who runs the blog Grown Up Glamour, took to Facebook to call attention to the troubling lack of care for women who've just given birth. Lawton's post is so powerful and relatable that it's going viral, having wracked up over 25K shares, 2.5K comments, and 33K reactions since it was posted on October 15.
Lawton shared that after giving birth to her two boys, their care was very much the focus of health care providers. Her care on the other hand? Not much of a priority at all.
"After my boys were born, there were appointments," Lawton wrote. "To check their latch. To check their weight. To check their hearing. To check the color of their skin for signs of jaundice. There were appointments. There were regular pokes and prods. Their well-being was front and center. I’d say, when it comes to our health-care system, they were well taken care of. Then there was me. A first-time mom without a clue. Engorged, bleeding, and stitched up. Sent home with some painkillers and stool softeners. Thrown into motherhood with the expectation my instincts would kick in."
She continued, explaining that “no one checked my stitches, my healing, or my sanity until eight weeks postpartum." She feels like she just got "a pat on the back" before being "sent on my way."
The bottom-line for Lawton: "Our world forgets about mothers. We slip through the cracks. We become background noise. And in that we learn our role… our place in our family unit… to always come last,” she wrote. “…We’re not just a uterus. We’re not just a lifeline to a new and precious soul. We're mothers. And we need someone to make sure we’re ok, too.”
Commenters couldn't agree more with the passionate post. "It's so hard! So important for new moms to have lots of help! Whether it's someone calling them asking how they are doing, making a meal, helping with chores, or taking the baby for an hr so she can take a nap or do something for herself. Honestly believe the sooner the US has better maternity leave and support the number of depressed new moms will greatly decrease," one follower wrote. Another shared, "Thank you for saying what needed to be said. So many mothers needed to hear this and see that she's not the only one feeling like this."
Lawton tells Parents.com that the response to her post "has been overwhelming."
"On one hand, I'm glad it resonated with so many people, on the other, I hate so many have experienced these holes in our system," she shares. "I'm so touched by the comments, I've read them all even if I can't respond to them all."
By sharing her experience and shedding light on this widespread issue, Lawton hopes she fuel conversation and make a difference, explaining, "Whether it's mothers knowing it's okay to ask for help and knowing they're not alone, or changes on a higher level that can help fill some gaps many of us have fallen through, I truly hope this inspires change."