Mum’s viral Facebook post shows the reality of having hospital visitors after you give birth

Katie is a mum of three (Picture: Living My Family Life)

If pregnancy and birth was what you saw on social media, it would all be sunshine and roses.

You see new parents cradling their child in a bath full of rose petals, or sat in a coffee shop with the buggy bright and early two days after they’re born.

But those who have had children know that the reality can be hard work, and if you add to that the sleep deprivation and physical pain you’re feeling, draining altogether.

It’s likely that the people who paint this perfect picture on Facebook and Instagram aren’t doing it to make everybody else feel bad, but it can have that effect.

Katie Bowman, a 29-year-old stay at home mum and casual hairdresser had this in mind when she posted a photo recently that went viral.

In the photo, Katie looks forlorn, sitting on a hospital bed and zoning out. But it’s not because she wasn’t happy she’d had babies, it was because she was burned out from the whole thing.

She details the couple of days in the hospital after having a baby (she has a four-year-old and 21-month twins) which brings visitors, a lack of privacy, and what feels like a million things you need to learn.

While you’re in pain from the fact you’ve – as Katie says – ‘had a tiny human emerge from [your] body, you’re expected to be ready to get pictures and chat to family and friends, all while you sometimes haven’t even had a chance to have a shower or go to the loo.

The Australian mum didn’t want to shame people who visit babies after they’re born, but ensure that new parents are given a bit of leeway by their family and friends so they can get back to ‘normal’.

‘The next time someone you know has a baby,’ Katie says.

‘Remember how tired this new mother looks. I know you are excited, but remember it is not your right to visit a new baby, it is a privilege. If that offends you, go home and put it in your burn book.’

Speaking to, Katie says that she decided to make the post after seeing the old photo of her: ‘It was just such a perfect representation and I knew others felt the same, so I bit the bullet and shared it, not realising it would get such an incredible response.

Katie and her family (Picture: Living My Family Life)

She’s been inundated with other parents sharing their own stories, and says ‘the consistent theme was that visitors were so excited about seeing the baby, they persist to visit with “it’ll be quick”, when we say we really need some rest.’

It’s an honest approach, and one which has racked up over 78,000 shares and 34,000 likes. It appears that people are keen to hear more than the sanitised highlight reels we often see online.

‘I absolutely think parents sugar coat their experiences,’ says Katie.

‘Because when we admit we are struggling, people assume we aren’t doing a good job.

‘That’s why I like to share the real side of motherhood. I love my children, but it’s also hard work.’

Her advice to new mums ‘is to remember motherhood isn’t about being perfect.’

Katie adds: ‘What works for one family, might not work for another, and everyone is just trying to do their best.’

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