05/27/2019 12:47 EDT

Most Moms Feel Pressured To Put On Makeup After Giving Birth: Survey

It's largely because they want to look good for photos.

becon via Getty Images
This new mom, who just had major abdominal surgery, is wearing makeup.

New moms kind of have a lot going on while they’re giving birth and in the immediate aftermath.

There’s the whole birthing the baby thing, which either means pushing a human being out of your vagina or having major abdominal surgery. I mean, do we really need to add anything else? WHY NOT! There are also the repairs to mom’s body following the birth, caring for a newborn, that fateful, precious, unforgettable moment when the mother holds her baby for the first time, and the hours of bonding/feeding/recovery afterward.

But somewhere in that sequence of events, many new moms are pausing to ... apply makeup because they feel pressured to look good.

And we have thoughts about this. Many thoughts. 

WATCH: Most moms apply makeup after giving birth. Story continues below.


A recent survey by makeup company Cosmetify found that 77 per cent of U.K. moms age 18-32 apply makeup not long after giving birth. Some moms in the survey said they applied makeup as soon as 20 minutes after labour, according to a news release, but the average wait before reaching for the mascara was 2.5 hours.

And 64 per cent get services like spray tans, manicures, and pedicures in preparation for their hospital stay.

Why are so many moms trying to look like someone who didn’t just have a baby? Because they feel pressured to look good, either for baby’s first photo (31 per cent), or for visitors (26 per cent), and more than half said it was thanks in large part to pressures from family, friends, and social media.

More than three-quarters of the 2,000 moms surveyed announced their baby’s birth on social media the same day it happened, and the average time was three hours after giving birth.

“It’s sad to hear that so many new mothers feel the need to wear makeup and look presentable for photos and visitors,” Cosmetify’s Isa Lavahun said a news release.

“This seems like unnecessary pressure after what they’ve been through.”

Ariel Skelley via Getty Images
"The bad news is you have a third-degree tear. The good news is your mascara looks incredible."

New moms already face a world of pressure without adding to “look good” after giving birth — arguably one of the most physically challenging experiences a person can go through.

It’s exactly why moms everywhere cheered when Meghan Markle opted out of the traditional same-day photo shoot after she gave birth to baby Archie. Sure, she looked like a radiant goddess in high heels and a white dress at the photo op two days later, but at least she had a few days to sit on ice first.

In March, the CEO of parenting product company Fridababy asked Meghan to skip the photo op in a full-page open letter in the New York Times, explaining that these pics mask the “raw aftermath” of birth that’s still taboo to discuss.

“Sure your blowout will be perfect for your hospital step photo-op, but people will be opining on all the wrong things instead of having an honest conversation about what women go through during birth and immediately thereafter,” Chelsea Hirschhorn wrote in the letter. 

WPA Pool via Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry show off baby Archie on May 8, 2019. Meghan is probably counting the minutes until she can rip off that outfit and get back into her maternity leggings.

Meanwhile in the land of pressure, another recent survey showed that one-third of new moms are having postpartum sex before they feel ready physically or emotionally. Yet another found that new moms are neglecting their own health after the birth of their babies.

And six out of 10 parents felt like they were failing in their baby’s first year, thanks in large part to “unrealistic, picture-perfect” images of families and parents portrayed in TV, movies, ads, and social media, according to a recent poll.

So please, before you reach for that powder compact as your doctor stitches you back up, try to remember that you’re a bad-ass birther who just brought life into this world. And be kind to yourself.

Also on HuffPost: