Ever since social media invaded our personal lives—and the delivery room—postpartum photos have created a new pressure on expectant mothers. In an instant, hundreds if not thousands of people can look in on the joy of the moment. That's not always a bad thing; however, when private moments become public, it's tough to ignore the watching eyes. When we have an audience, we are far more likely to perform.

From top to bottom: Her.meneutics writers Amy Julia Becker, Megan Hill, Amy Simpson, and Caryn Rivadeneira share their first photos as new moms.

The Jersey Shore's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi recently told expectant mom Kim Kardashian that to look her best post-delivery, she should to stay away from nude lipstick and "remember to bring an extra pair of eyelashes in your purse in case you are not at home when your water breaks." Both Polizzi and Kardashian make a living presenting a certain image, but the pressure to perform isn't reserved for reality TV stars. As much as I would like to say that I'm above such vanity, I'll confess—like many moms—I am sympathetic.

On a Sunday afternoon in late August, I was nine days past my due date. I sat curled around a wingback chair, my eyes clamped shut and my face buried in the cushion while my dad looked on with a furrowed brow. I tried to relax my body and breeeeathe while another contraction washed over my body. I'd been having contractions all day long, and while they had increased in strength they had not increased in frequency, which meant I couldn't yet check into the hospital. My parents were in town to await the delivery, and my dad was especially anxious. As I sat there groaning on the chair, ...

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