The mom’s post received over 43,000 likes and 67,000 shares.
DiVincenzo has a 3-year-old daughter named Gia and an almost-4-month-old son, Dominic. Though she struggled with postpartum anxiety after giving birth to her daughter, she didn’t address the issue until she developed crippling postpartum depression and OCD with her second child. She told HuffPost she’s in the thick of it and only just started seeking help.
“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,” DiVincenzo explained. “I just realized that I was going through such a dark time, but my Facebook was full of smiling pictures of my kids. I was talking to Danielle one day about what a disservice that is to other postpartum mothers and how I wish someone could just post what postpartum really looks like for so many women.”
DiVincenzo and Fantis hoped that just one mom might be moved by their photos, so they’ve been blown away by the overwhelming amount of positive comments and responses to the post. They hope that women facing these challenges feel inspired to seek help and that others choose to educate themselves on the risk factors, signs and symptoms of postpartum disorders.
“It’s important to know that this can affect you if this is your first child, or your 20th,” DiVincenzo told HuffPost. “This isn’t something that only happens within the first few months either. These disorders can also affect men.”
She added, “While I certainly am not trying to represent postpartum mental illness as a whole, I hope to raise awareness that these are real conditions that could be affecting you, your sister, your friend, etc. It’s crucial to be checking in with parents, especially throughout that first year, to really know how they’re doing.”