Post-Natal Realities for the New Mummy
Post-Natal Realities for the New Mummy
So, hands up who thought after a couple of months your baby bump would be all but gone and you would be back at the gym on the treadmill and re-joining that kettle-bell class?
As much as this may be the case for a small group of lucky ones, the reality of carrying a child for 9 months and then the trauma that the body must endure to deliver that child takes its toll in a massive way.
That first night at home when your gorgeous new baby wakes up for a feed, you get set to sit yourself up like you would any other time when you need to get out of bed, but hang on, you cant get up. It is like your entire abdomen has turned to jelly and it simply can’t support you. It takes time to re-build that strength back and it is really important not to force it and try to speed up the process before you have allowed yourself time to heal. Hello wibbly-wobbly, I suppose I will be seeing you for a while then!
So, onto those leaking boobs! We see this in sitcoms where someone makes a new mother cry or shows her another baby and her boobs start leaking milk, its a funny little scene. The reality can be exactly that though. Our bodies are primed as mothers to be there to provide nourishment for our babies and this is really closely linked to our emotions, which for a long while after giving birth can send us on a whole different roller coaster ride! But it’s not just that though, how about when we wake up in the morning and our bedding is soaking wet, our PJ’s need changing AGAIN, our bra’s and our clothes, wet…it can get expensive washing so frequently!
Perhaps you have a baby who wakes like clockwork every 3 hours during the night for a feed, but one night, she decides to sleep a bit longer and doesn’t wake for 5 hours, but nobody told your boobs, so you wake up with rock solid lumps in place of breasts just ready to explode, or that’s what it feels like at least! Thanks for that little one, although the extra 2 hours sleep is much appreciated.
Breastfeeding is a massive topic that could have a whole blog post dedicated to it, but it’s super important to mention that with the greatest intentions in the world you may plan to exclusively breastfeed. You have heard it can be painful or uncomfortable for a while and you are prepared for that. You won’t give in, this is about your baby, not about you. These intentions are great and well done for being determined. My advice would be though, to have some bottles and formula in reserve because there are other factors that may come into play that actually take that decision away from you. Many women suffer infections when they breastfeed, and although this is quite normal, and treatable, what do you do if the antibiotics you are given mean that you cant give your baby that breast milk? Or what if your milk just dries up and you stop producing for no reason that you are aware of? It’s 1am, shops are shut and you can’t feed your baby…ALWAYS have a back-up plan. The most important thing is to feed your baby, the method is surely secondary to that?
During pregnancy, many women have food cravings and aversions and throughout the entire pregnancy their preferences are dictated by that little one growing inside. You perhaps expect that once baby is born, everything will settle back to normal and you will start to enjoy broccoli again or you will not want to eat quite so much red meat!
But this isn’t always the case. Your tastes may go back to normal, it may take a few months or even years. But sometimes you might find that what you once enjoyed, you now just no longer do. Fairground rides may be a thing of the past, you might now just really enjoy a good jam and bacon sandwich and that’s the simple truth of it!
It may seem all doom and gloom, it isn’t, but it is important to be prepared because then the shock will be less for you, and much more manageable. There is so much going on in the first year that you need to have time to enjoy your little one without freaking out every 2 minutes because something else is happening to you and you don’t understand it!
There are so many amazing things that you will experience and I can’t wait for each of you to find those wonderful things out on your own. With a little personal preparation, you will be more than equipped to manage your own changes alongside these awesome new mummy moments!