When you’re pregnant and expecting a baby, even it you aren’t a first time mother, you don’t think a whole lot about postpartum recovery and the “4th Trimester.” Your mind is filled with the joys of how it will be to hold your baby, watch them grow, and play with all the cute baby clothes and toys that you receive at the baby shower. Aside from the fact that you’re dealing with a baby who demands your attention all day and throughout the night, you’re also trying to bounce back from labor and delivery.
The adjustment period after your baby comes is not one that is talked about enough!
Moms matter too, and I am an advocate for supporting moms through the trying time of a baby’s first year.
Here is a list of 5 things that I wish I was told about postpartum recovery and having children:
#1 – The stomach pooch stays awhile.
Yeah, I totally thought that after the baby was born I would finally be able to return back to my regular clothes. No, not really! Not only does the stomach pooch hang around, but it even takes time for your uterus to shrink back to its normal size!
#2 – Breastfeeding is hard!
I really did not think it would take time to feed my baby that way. Prior to baby, I imagined it would be instinctive. It’s not. My milk didn’t come in for a few days. I was getting frustrated because I knew my baby was hungry. And by the way, it hurts at first!
Breastfeeding is something to really get used to. If you plan to breastfeed, I suggest taking advantage of the hospital’s lactation nurse for all of the tips and tricks to have breastfeeding success. That being said, I am glad I asked for help and stuck it out while it was a bit challenging.
#3 – Nothing will get done around the house.
And that is quite alright. Whatever we are seeing on TV about a new baby and a perfectly clean house is wrong…unless you’ve got a nanny and a housekeeper. If that is the case, congratulations to you. If that is not the case, don’t beat yourself up for the bed not being made or wearing your hair in a messy mom bun.
#4 – My husband felt left out.
It’s true. I have a very loving relationship with him, but after baby (especially after two babies in less than two years) he didn’t feel as important to me prior to these children. You need to have open communication, and you need to have time between you and your husband. Even if it’s just watching a movie on the couch after the kids go to bed.
Also, dad should have some bonding time with baby, even by himself for awhile. Let your husband know he is important to you, as a father and a partner.
#5 – Your hormones will probably go a bit wacky.
You just might not feel like yourself for awhile during postpartum recovery, and that is okay. If you find that you are experiencing anxiety or the “baby blues,” please know that there is help out there. Find a good support system between family and friends and know that you can reach out to your OB/GYN or regular family doctor who will be glad to guide you back to feeling better. There are also postpartum support groups out there, on the web, and on Facebook.
Mamas supporting mamas is the way to go!