Truths About The First Month After Birth
From the minute you conceive or plan to conceive, everyone tells you everything you need to know about pregnancy, labor, and giving birth. At your first visit to the doctor, you receive a giant packet of information about every little change happening to your body and the little one inside you as you progress through your pregnancy. Then when you reach the third trimester you’re told everything there is to know about going into labor and giving birth. However, when your little one enters this world, he doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
Many first-time mums go into the hospital knowing everything there is to know about childbirth, but very few are well informed about what happens next. Important topics like post-partum recovery, breast-feeding, and the unending hunger, sleep deprivation, and fatigue you will feel afterwards are rarely discussed beforehand.
Here are a couple of truths about the first month after baby arrives, mums should be prepared for:
The instant love you will feel for your child. No one in the world can prepare you for the amount of undying love you will feel for your child when you first hold him or her in your arms. Most first-time mums agree that they had never experienced anything quite as remarkable or strong as what they felt for their little ones the first time the met them. Believe it or not, but that love and the bond you have with your child grows stronger through the years!
The last few weeks of pregnancy are hard for a lot of women. Carry around a full-term baby who places incredible pressure on both your bladder and ribs can be incredibly uncomfortable and make it impossible to sleep. You might find yourself wishing the baby to pop out so you can finally rest. What most people forget to share is the sleep deprivation that comes with the first month of baby’s life. Best advice I ever got was to sleep while I was at the hospital!
Breast-feeding is NOT easy
Breast-feeding is good for you and your baby and every mum should make an effort to breast-feed if they can. However, no matter how committed you are to breast-feeding, it is not easy. Right after giving birth, many mums choose to feed their newborn in order to build a bond and encourage their milk to let down. However, what no one prepares you for is that your baby might not latch on and your milk can take a couple days to come in. Breast-feeding takes a lot of effort from both mum and baby. It can take a lot of practice to achieve correct latching and positioning and until your breasts get used to it, it can hurt. Sore nipples, breast engorgement, and cramping are some common issues associated with initial breast-feeding. It’s important to be patient and to remember that it’s for both you and your baby’s good and it doesn’t hurt to invest in some lanolin cream!
Post-Partum Recovery can take up to a couple of months
While pop culture icons like Beyonce may have convinced you otherwise, pregnancy and childbirth will change your body. While it is possible to eventually get back into shape and look great post-partum, it can take a couple of months and taking care of yourself the first few months is very important. Many mums believe that they can hit the gym right after giving birth, but your body is not ready for that. During the pregnancy, your body has adjusted to carrying around the extra weight so right after giving birth, it is not uncommon for mums to feel off balance. Also, your abdominal muscles will be loose from all the pressure and many women suffer from diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal wall) especially if they had a large baby or were carrying twins. If you suffered a large tear or had a C-section, recovery can take longer. Make sure you discuss your recovery with your doctor and remember that every mum is different. Giving birth is a huge accomplishment that comes with a lot of strain on your body, so give yourself ample time to recover.
If you thought you were particularly emotional during the pregnancy, then no one has told you what comes after giving birth. The rush of all sorts of hormones combined with the excitement of seeing your little one, and the anxiety and stress of taking care of him can result in emotional overload. Many new mums find themselves happy and loving one moment and frustrated, anxious, and sobbing another. It’s important to realize that this is a normal phase of motherhood. Taking some time to yourself no matter how impossible that may seem is important to your health and post-partum recovery. While wondering whether you are doing a good job, having second thoughts about having a baby and feeling overwhelmed are common and normal, it is important to share these feelings with your partner or friends. Some women suffer from post-partum depression and the earlier you recognize it the better for both you and your baby.
Relax- Enjoy that your baby is here and everyone says it, but they grow so fast. Enjoy the little cry, the small yawn and the tiny clothes they wear! The first couple months might be hard but you will come out of it on the other end.
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Janell Fowler is a WAHM to her 3 year old daughter Addison whilst running her own company www.babybutton.com.au. BabyButton evolved from realising the needs of essential products for mums to feel relaxed and confident in all stages of their baby’s lives. See how we can enhance your life as a busy mum, whilst continuing to be stylish and unique with the help of BabyButton.