You’ve talked to your doctor, you’ve been to classes, maybe you’ve chatted to your friends, and had a heart-to-heart with your own mom, but childbirth
You’ve talked to your doctor, you’ve been to classes, maybe you’ve chatted to your friends, and had a heart-to-heart with your own mom, but childbirth and its aftermath may still have a few surprises in store. Save yourself a few “If I’d only known” moments with this compilation of less-talked-about labor and post-birth tips shared online by other moms who wish they’d known.
1. It May Not go According to Plan
A lot of people will have told you to prepare a birth plan, and of course, you absolutely should plan – but countless moms point out that babies don’t always take your plans into consideration when making their appearance. You should certainly know what to expect, but along with that, you should expect the unexpected. From beginning to end, life doesn’t always go according to plan, and childbirth is no exception to that.
So, prepare that plan, but know that you may still need to be flexible. For example, when the time comes, you may need an emergency C-Section. Be ready to take it into your stride. Or, despite resolving to handle birth pains without help, you may find yourself begging for the epidural you always said you wouldn’t have. There’s no shame in it. Do what you have to do when the time comes.
2. Baby Blues: You’re not Crazy
You probably found pregnancy more exhausting than you expected, but things can get really weird after your baby arrives. You cry easily; you have sudden mood swings; and you can barely recognize your own personality. A lot of women get taken by surprise when they experience baby blues. They start wondering if they’re bad mothers or even if they’re crazy, but baby blues are pretty normal and most women feel better in a few days or after a week or two. However, if you develop postpartum depression, a longer-lasting and more severe form of baby blues, there’s no need to be ashamed. Get professional help.
3. It’s OK to Need Help From the Women in Your Life
As human beings, we’re social creatures, and we’re wired to need each other’s support, especially during life-changing (and stressful) events. No matter how independent you’ve been up till now, you will need your support system – friends and family members who are just a phone call away and who are geared to help you through the first steps of motherhood. We often hear about “happy events” and the joys of motherhood, and they’re real too, but there’s also a lot of stress involved in bringing a child into the world, and it’s OK to need support.
4. You Need Time to Heal
To the uninitiated, it’s supposed to be “all over” once a new mom returns from hospital. You might even think that yourself. Don’t. Your body will need time to recover from childbirth, and much as you’re longing to recover your pre-pregnancy figure, now’s not the time to start dieting and exercising. You will need rest, and you will need nourishing food to support your recovery. Be kind to yourself and have a little patience.
5. Don’t Worry About Being the Perfect Mother
Sure, we all want to be the perfect mother. Too bad she doesn’t exist. You’ll get conflicting advice, unexpected criticisms, and sometimes, you’ll doubt yourself. Do your best. It’s good enough – no matter what anyone else says. Listen to advice, but use your own commonsense. You’ll be doing that throughout your journey as a parent.