After the baby is born, all new moms realize that pregnancy was just the first challenge of becoming a mother. Not only is taking care of an infant a learning experience, but the body changes that come after delivery can be tough to deal with.

Even rougher are the emotional changes, particularly postpartum depression, which mothers. A bout with this condition has one influencer getting real about taking care of her mental health. 

Kiera Elton, a mother of two and photographer from Lethbridge, Canada, shared an intimate look at her experience with postpartum depression on Instagram. Elton posted a photo of herself holding her son while crying, reflecting on her personal struggle with postpartum depression. 

RELATED: 7 Things That Increase Your Risk of Postpartum Depression

“Mamas, you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have,” she wrote in her caption. “In the midst of these stressful times, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to let your babe lay in their crib and cry too. We all need it. I know right now, you feel at your worst.”

Elton, 22, explained that she hopes her followers will be able to see this post and relate what she is feeling in this photo.

“I took this photo to remind myself of this day. To remind myself that I’m not 'weak' because I cry,” she wrote. “I am not weak because I feel things deeply. I am not weak because I feel helpless. I am strong. I am a mother. I am worthy.”

She went on to say that while she understands bad days will come and go, there is so much to worry about as a working mother of young children that it can be easy to overthink things that are out of her control. 

“Postpartum depression + anxiety are a bitch,” she wrote. “I ask you all to please be kind to mothers on here. We are all surviving on little to no sleep. Trying to get through these tough days. Trying to survive the newborn stage. The sleep regressions. The teething stages. The picky eaters. The tantrums.”

RELATED: 

Elton finished her message by applauding all mothers who are fighting their postpartum anxiety and depression while raising children and working. 

“Even if your biggest goal was getting out of bed, or brushing your hair or getting yourself dressed for the day,” she said. “We are all warriors. We are allowed to have bad days. We are allowed to cry.”

View this post on Instagram

Mamas, you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. In the midst of these stressful times, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to let your babe lay in their crib and cry too. We all need it. I know right now, you feel at your worst. You feel hopeless. You feel worthless. You feel defeated. You can’t hold it together anymore. You haven’t showered in days. You are in day 3 of the same pjs. You haven’t brushed your hair or teeth. Just let it all out. Cry. Scream. I know many of you will look at this photo and will either be like, “why are you taking a picture of yourself crying”? Or “you’re just doing this for attention”. OR maybe you will be able to relate. And I hope many will. I took this photo to remind myself of this day. To remind myself that I’m not “weak” because I cry. I am not weak because I feel things deeply. I am not weak because I feel helpless. I am strong. I am a mother. I am worthy. My kids are happy, healthy, loved and fed. To remind myself that bad days will come and go. But then you might ask, why are you crying? Well, I grieve my hysterectomy every minute of every day. I grieve the nights I don’t get to put my kids to bed because I had to go back to work part time in the evenings + weekends. I dwell on the moments when I get mad at my kids for testing my patience. I dwell on all things that are out of my control. I overthink. I worry. Postpartum depression + anxiety are a bitch. I ask you all to please be kind to mothers on here. We are all surviving on little to no sleep. Trying to get through these tough days. Trying to survive the newborn stage. The sleep regressions. The teething stages. The picky eaters. The tantrums. Some are trying to overcome their postpartum depression and anxiety like myself. Some are receiving therapy and help. And I applaud all of you for showing up. For being here. Even if your biggest goal was getting out of bed, or brushing your hair or getting yourself dressed for the day. We are all warriors. We are allowed to have bad days. We are allowed to cry. Please remember that. You aren’t alone. 💗

A post shared by 𝐤 𝐢 𝐞 𝐫 𝐚 ♡ 𝐞 𝐥 𝐭 𝐨 𝐧 🇨🇦 (@happilyeverelton) on Oct 3, 2019 at 8:01am PDT

Her message hit home with her followers: She received dozens of comments from other mothers who said they were experiencing similar feelings. 

“I cried as I continued to read because this hit me so hard in my heart, relating in every word,” one user wrote. “I can relate!!!! You are stronger than you know,” another added. “To you and to me and the hard working mommas.”

RELATED: Suicidal After Her Daughter’s Birth, This Mom Spent 10 Days in a Psych Ward: ‘I Had to Stop Trying to Be Superwoman’

Why some women develop postpartum depression is part of the mystery of the condition. “Postpartum depression is a term that covers a wide range of things,” Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, psychologist and board-certified lactation consultant who specializes in postpartum depression, . “It covers major depressive disorder during the postpartum period, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Symptoms include excessive crying, severe mood swings, and difficulty bonding with the new baby. According to Kendall-Tackett, some women may have changes in their appetite, energy levels, or sleep habits. Luckily there are resources moms can turn to if they suspect they have the condition. Your pediatrician and ob-gyn are two professionals to turn to for recommendations and help.

To get more stories like this delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Real Wellness WomenIRL newsletter