Having a baby changes everything. From the physical recovery of childbirth, to the emotional toll of being responsible for this tiny person, to the adjustment of an entirely different daily routine, new motherhood is a shock to the system. That it can take time before a new mom starts feeling like herself again is something that's not talked about nearly enough. Which is why Bekah Martinez getting real about new motherhood is so refreshing.
Over the weekend, the former Bachelor star took to Instagram to share an update with her followers after giving birth to her first child on Feb. 2. "Felt a little more 'normal' today — enough to get dressed, put makeup on, and pose for a photo. I’m two weeks post-partum tomorrow," Martinez wrote alongside a snap of herself standing next to an infant carseat on her kitchen counter. "Just a reminder to be gentle with yourself if you’re also going through this. Everyone’s journey (emotionally and physically) looks different. Healing and finding balance takes time. I’m still a mess right now, even though I think I look pretty d*mn good in this pic 😉" The new mom continued, offering advice to fellow moms during the immediate postpartum period:
Follow your gut and intuition. Stay in bed. Don’t push yourself. Your body has come a long way, and it deserves to be honored and cared for. Your mind and heart are being thrown for a loop with a crazy influx of hormones, so cry it out and laugh about it later. We’re in this together!
Martinez's followers essentially shouted a collective, "Yasss, girl," in the comments. One person wrote, "Amen little Mama!🙌❤️."
Another Instagram user commented, "I’m so glad you have figured this out. I thought I had but didn’t live it until baby three. And yes, you look pretty damn good. You will love these pictures later too because you will remember all of your feelings 💜❤️💙💚"
Yet another person wrote, "I wish I had you for inspiration 30 years ago when I had babies.. I had to teach myself all of these hard lessons. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring young mamas.. all of us mamas really. :”) 🙏."
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Martinez shared more about new motherhood — and specifically about her postpartum body. She posted an Instagram photo of herself breastfeeding baby Ruth and wearing only a bra on her top half. Additionally, the new mom encouraged her followers to stop saying it's "lucky" when/if women are able to get their pre-baby bodies back. "'Lucky' is getting the opportunity to carry a child within you," Martinez wrote. "'Lucky' is having a healthy baby ... 'Lucky' is watching your body change after bringing new life into the world, not squeezing into your old high-waisted jeans a week after giving birth." She added:
My face is swollen, I’m wearing a diaper, and my belly hangs over my sweats. I am truly lucky.
As People reported, Martinez delivered her daughter via water birth earlier this month. "On the morning of February 2nd, our little girl joined us earth-side and we will never be the same," she captioned a photo of herself holding her newborn to her chest while still in the birthing tub. "We are all as healthy and happy as can be."
Martinez didn't end up sharing her baby girl's name until nearly a week later Feb. 8, according to Us Weekly. And it's definitely a mouthful. "Introducing... Ruth Ray De La Luz Leonard ✨ (aka Ruthie Ray)," the new mom captioned a photo of her snoozing daughter. Martinez also shared the meaning behind her baby's particularly long name. "Ruth= Grayston’s grandmother’s name, and one of my favorite biblical stories. Hebrew for friend or companion," she continued. "Ray= ...Because Ruthie Ray is too d*mn cute. De La Luz= My dad’s middle name. Spanish for 'of the light'. A tribute to my Mexican heritage. Leonard= Her Daddy’s last name. ❤️"
As someone who had a baby only a few weeks before Martinez did, I feel her recent Instagram posts so hard. It's crazy, but no matter how many kids I've had — and this was my fourth — it seems like the entire world changes in an instant after welcoming a new baby. Now that my baby is 6 weeks old, I'm only starting to feel like "me" again. And my body is slowly but surely getting there, too.
So let's all take a cue from Martinez and try to remember to be kinder to ourselves during this raw and often overwhelming postpartum period. OK, mamas? Because a baby truly does change everything.