6 Things Nobody Ever Told You About Becoming a New Mom
Becoming a new mother is exciting and nerve inducing all at once. We all have those family members and friends - and even strangers - that will tell us what's to be expected during pregnancy and even into motherhood. But, there are some things nobody really prepares us for - and it can be a bit disconcerting when we find ourselves faced with new normals and new realities we hadn't been warned about and hadn't expected.
Today, this little midwife is going to explore six of those possibilities - and how you can cope and deal with them.
Aunt Flo Will Wear Out Her Welcome
This is one of those things that many women don't seem to realize: you will bleed for a while after baby arrives. We're talking 6-8 weeks, usually - sometimes more, sometimes less. You won’t be able to wear tampons during this time due to the potential for infection, so make besties with those somewhat thick pads like the hospital or your midwife gives you - you're going to be needing them.
For extra relief, feel free to have an afternoon of making some Postpartum Padsicles to ease the pain from tearing, episiotomies, and birth itself - all while cooling everything down for a while. Trust me - the relief is amazing! You can also invest in some cloth menstrual pads to save some money in the long run, which are pretty amazing things for both body and the environment!
The Mummy Tummy Will Become Your New Normal
You just finished 10 months worth of growing a human. Your stomach has been tugged and stretched to no avail, mother nature unrelenting as she can be. You expected your tummy to all but have disappeared after delivery - and were met with the harsh reality that, even though you are no longer expecting, you've developed a sort of mom pouch that just won't go away. Suggestion: Give yourself a break - and love yourself, please!
Becoming a new mom also means learning to get used to a new body. Things are going to look different from before you experienced pregnancy. The truth of the matter is, your tummy will simmer down a bit over time - but the likelihood of it disappearing completely quickly is probably not going to happen. It may take a while to get used to, but who knows? You might even love it simply because you know your little baby grew there.
You Will Become Afraid of Everything
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart! You may have been easygoing and nothing bothered you at all before you earned the Mama title. Well, now that you've got this incredible little human to take care of, you are going to learn very quickly that you're now afraid of everything. The pediatrician will undoubtedly be on speed dial.
Sounds, smells, and sights are going to freak you out. Germs are going to make you cringe, and you will walk around with a bottle of Purell attached to the diaper bag. You are going to check your baby 900 times throughout the night to make sure they are still breathing. You will wonder if baby is getting enough milk to drink. You will even have periods where you become fearful as to whether or not you are doing a good job. The answer to that is yes, mama, you are - and things will get easier over time.
Pooping Will Be Difficult - And Uncomfortable
Let's face it: It's gonna be very weird to have a bowel movement after having a baby. This fact is especially true if you've had stitches and or have torn, or if you've had a C-Section. It will be one of the most uncomfortable things to have to go through. To get your digestive system going, you may be given some medication to help move things along - and for added help naturally, drink as much water as you can possibly muster as it will clean your system out nicely. Another good suggestion is try and eat well, eat fiber rich foods and have some prunes with your breakfast.
Your Free Time Will Be Spent Missing (and Doting Over) Baby
You might be so overwhelmed with chores and day to day work as a new mum that you tell yourself, "As soon as the baby falls asleep, I'm going to get all the chores done and then take a nap, too", only to find yourself staring longingly at your little one throughout their entire nap, wishing for the moment they would finally wake, dishes left undone and laundry left to be folded. This is completely normal, and you will continue to miss them every moment they fall asleep no matter how big they get - no matter how desperately you need to get things done. It's never ending - and as a mom, the older they get, the more you miss them. Who knew?
You Will Function at Superhuman Status
You are quickly going to learn to live on 2-3 hours of sleep a night, while running on energy from the 3 bites of toast you managed to fit in from this morning's breakfast. You will have bags under your eyes, and your hair will be a mess. Makeup will become a thing of the past, because chances are likely you either won't have time to do your makeup, or you'll be too exhausted to fuss with it anyway. You will learn to live like a Superhero, accomplishing all of the incredible things that need to be done in your day to day life, all while ensuring your little one is happy, fed, and safe - and somehow, at the end of the day, you will have survived- and every little bit of struggle you go through each day will have been all worth it for them.
Becoming a new mom is so exciting and rewarding - but it never comes with a handbook. We must learn to do the best we can with the life we are given - and our babies make our lives worth living. After you become a new mum, it's hard to imagine how we ever managed to survive without our little ones. How did we even exist without them? Motherhood is an incredible and beautiful experience, one filled with chapters to be written and lessons to be learned. One of the most special things of all is how our babies and children teach us so much more about life and love than we could ever in a million years teach them.
Beautiful photo by the incredible @monetnicolebirths