March 02, 2023 5 min read
Raising children is both rewarding and nerve-racking… Many new mums don’t think that their lives will change once their baby makes its grand entrance but take it from me and everyone that has already told you, your life will never be the same again. You’re now responsible for this tiny little human being that has such a direct impact on your way of life, mental health, finances etc.
The postpartum impact of having a baby is often not spoken about. When you have a baby, all this planning goes into the labor, the nursery, etc but what about you? You may think it sounds selfish to say and even think but you’re a part of this too! Your body has gone through this phenomenal change, and you may not be feeling 100% ready and that’s ok! Let’s talk postpartum to shed some light on what you may expect after having your baby…
How to battle post-partum sleep deprivation…
As a new mum, it is a sad fact but you’re probably going to get very familiar with feeling sleep deprived. As a result, it is really important to try and catch up on sleep whenever you can. When your partner is around or you have parents, friends or family coming to visit, try to catch 40 winks if they’re ok to watch the baby for a few hours. Making it through long nights can be difficult if you don’t try to catch up on sleep when you can.
What does your body go through?
Forget everything you see in the media – the post-partum stage of motherhood isn’t pretty and that’s ok! Post-partum bleeding is like a heavy period after you have given birth and can last up to 6 weeks. It is at its heaviest the first three to ten days before it starts to disappear. If you notice large clots or you are bleeding more than one pad every hour, call your doctor immediately.
Another not so pleasant part of the post-partum stage is the bathroom issues that you may experience. No one really tells you but pooping after giving birth isn’t easy, especially if you had a c-section. Many women recommend a stool softener to help things move a little easier – you can ask your doctor or midwife for this. A lot of new mums also experience is incontinence after childbirth. The good news is, that there is incontinence/period underwear that is specifically designed for mums going through their post-partum stage. For lighter protection, pads and liners are also available. SHOP VEEDA
Will I get my old body back?
We see it day in and day out, false body expectations in post-partum phases which can be extremely damaging to new mums who are desperate to get their old body back or are weight conscious. The truth is that your body is always going to be different to what it was pre-pregnancy, regardless of if you get back to the same weight. As a result of childbirth, your hips may be a little wider and your breasts may be a different shape and that is totally ok! It is extremely normal to feel upset, overwhelmed or surprised by all of these changes to your body but remind yourself of why. These changes are something you should be proud of, you brought life into the world, motherhood is beautiful and something to be cherished.
Overtime, you will hopefully learn to love your body and the new you, your body is AMAZING for going through everything that it did – it’s not easy to carry a baby for nine months and then go through a whole birthing process. You are so strong and resilient for going through this long journey and you should be proud of the mum that you are! So instead of hating those few extra kilos or stretch marks, celebrate your body for the perfect way it is, regardless of what the mirror or scales say!
What do you have ahead of you?
With motherhood, you really get thrown in the deep end, the experience is different for everyone. Many parents have different parenting styles and values so what may work for someone else, may not work for you and that’s ok! They say that parenting is like learning a language – it takes time to learn and understand before you feel comfortable.
Although when your baby first arrives, there will be a strong focus on him/her, you can’t forget to take care of yourself too. Babies need a happy and healthy mother to be able to support and provide for them in the best way possible. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need rest or you’re in pain, motherhood can be a lot sometimes so it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
For many new mums, it’s easy to forget who you are. Motherhood can sweep you up and you can become totally immersed in motherhood that you forget to do the things you love. Motherhood should be another dimension of your identity, not your while identity. Try to make time for yourself and do the things that make you who you are.
For many new mums, the post-partum experience catches them by total surprise, and it turns out to be nothing like they expected. No matter how much googling you do or how many books and blogs you read, nothing will totally prepare you for motherhood. You may end up having trouble breast feeding, or you might not feel entirely yourself. Whatever your experience may be, don’t beat yourself up about it, every mum is different and that it totally ok!
Postpartum depression is real…
Being a first-time mum can be lonely especially if you have a significant other who has returned to work. You’re often stuck in the house alone with a helpless newborn but there is very little time for anything else such as talking on the phone, going for coffee with friends or even being active on social media.
Postpartum depression leaves women feeling guilty and hopeless, as though they are failing at motherhood. However, postpartum depression is not something women have control over and shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. Postpartum depression is a real mental illness that can affect any mother regardless of age, race, income, culture or education. It is highly encouraged that if you are struggling or believe you might be suffering with postpartum depression, to talk to your doctor right away. Additionally, it is healthy to talk to your partner or people close to you about how you feel so that they can help you through this difficult time wherever they can.
Motherhood is a beautiful and scary thing. Whatever you’re going through you are not alone and there are tons of people and resources out there to help you! Never be afraid to ask for help, as mentioned before parenting is like learning a language, it takes a while to fully understand and perfect! The postpartum stage of childbirth is difficult for everyone but the little rewards we get from our babies make it all worth it. Don’t be ashamed if you’re feeling unprepared of overwhelmed - the saying is true – Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Medical Disclaimer: Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. Ask a medical professional if you have any health-related questions or concerns.
Gordon, S. (2021). 35 honest postpartum experiences share by real moms. https://www.verywellfamily.com/honest-postpartum-experiences-shared-by-real-moms-4686132
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