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Amanda Bacon posted a photo of her wearing mesh panties and a postpartum pad, one of the unglamorous realities of giving birth

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July 08, 2016 01:45 PM

Sure, childbirth gets all the attention – after all, it involves painfully pushing out a baby. But postpartum recovery isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

That’s what new mom Amanda Bacon wanted to show with her “Motherhood Uncensored” Facebook update, which featured a photo her husband took (but Bacon posted) of her wearing mesh panties and a large pad used to catch the extra blood and fluid that comes out after giving birth.

“I shared it because I thought the photo was funny, and I thought that women needed to see that side of it and know that it’s okay and it’s normal,” Bacon, 28, from Wilmington, NC, tells PEOPLE, emphasizing that she thought it was “hilarious” that her husband took the photo. “Let those people who haven’t gone through it, or who may be going through it soon, know what to expect. People shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies.”

Bacon wanted to moms-to-be to get a glimpse of some of the postpartum realities that most people don’t talk about.

Her second child, the newborn in the photo, is her son Pierson, now 7 weeks old. Bacon says that before she gave birth to her first child, Kaeryn, 3, no one mentioned she would have to wear the giant pad.

“Nobody told me, not at all,” she says. “No one told me about half of the stuff that happens after you give birth, and the things that they do to your body and everything.”

“They come in and rub your belly for uterine massages. When you have a baby, the uterus stretches, so they massage you every hour after you give birth to help it shrink and to get all the blood out. That’s part of the reason you have to wear the giant pads. It’s not just blood. It’s all the leftovers in your uterus. All that gross stuff.”

Her Facebook post received 481,000 likes in two days, and Bacon was amazed by how many people could relate.

“I had no clue that people would respond so warmly to it,” she says. “It was nice to see all of the women reminisce on their childbirth experience. A lot of women were tagging their friends and saying, ‘This is what you have to look forward to.’ It was really a neat, like a bonding experience.”

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And at the end of the day, Bacon says it’s all worth it for her kids.

“Everything makes it worth it – knowing you’re nurturing and helping this person grow into a great human thing,” she says. “I love the bonding of nursing with them. That alone – the second your baby latches and you start feeding them makes it’s all worth it. Everything.”

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