A mom from Ohio is drawing attention to something that many women struggle with after giving birth but tend not to discuss openly. Kathy DiVincenzo posted photos to Facebook that show the realities of postpartum depression, and the post has since gone viral.
May is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month, which inspired DiVincenzo to share two photos of her and her kids. The photos depict two different versions of the same scene — one in which everything appears to be perfect, and the other showing the actual realities of motherhood coupled with postpartum depression.
Along with her photographer friend Danielle Fantis, DiVincenzo wanted to depict an honest portrayal of what it’s like living with this condition.
“I feel like it’s time to show you what that can really look like, not just the side of me that’s ‘Facebook worthy’,” DiVincenzo wrote in her caption. “The truth is, both of these pictures represent my life depending on the day. I would only ever comfortably share one of these realities though and that’s the problem. The only thing more exhausting than having these conditions is pretending daily that I don’t.”
DiVincenzo told Huffington Post that she dealt with postpartum depression after her first child was born. But she had an even harder time with it when her second child arrived. She recently reached out for help, and she wanted to share her story to potentially help other women.
“It was important for me to post this during my struggle because I wanted other new parents to know that while reaching out was the hardest step for me, it was the most important as well,” she told Huffington Post.
While postpartum depression isn’t discussed nearly enough, it’s a mental illness that affects lots of women. It’s important for everyone to understand what it entails and how to help someone suffering from it.
“We need to stop assuming that the postpartum period is always euphoric, because for 1 in 7 it’s not,” DiVincenzo wrote. “We need to learn the signs, symptoms, risk factors, and support plans for postpartum conditions.”
DiVincenzo also asked everyone reading the post to share their own stories.
HER post has been shared almost 70,000 times with over 12,000 comments, making it clear that women everywhere relate to DiVincenzo’s story on a deep level.
“In case no one has told you, you’re doing an amazing job,” DiVincenzo added. “You are loved and you are worthy. You’re not alone. I know how unbelievably hard it is to reach out, but I promise you it is worth it. YOU’RE worth it.”
We couldn’t agree more.