When you’re a new parent, there are plenty of things you can’t prepare for and may not expect. You’ll hear stories from friends, parents, in-laws, it’s hard to sort out what you should believe, what advice you should follow and even with all of those tales and tips, there will still be things no one ever told you about babies.
I’ve surveyed past doula clients and other new moms and tapped into my experience with families adding a new baby to the family to bring you this list of 50 things no one ever told you about babies in five areas of postpartum adjustment.
Things No One Ever Told You About Physical Recovery
- It’s not all bad.
- You get your bladder and lungs back.
- Sleep is more physically comfortable (when you do sleep.)
- Sleep deprivation cannot be described!
- Everyone says “sleep when the baby sleeps” – do it, it’s really true.
- Accept support – from mom, mother-in-law, friends, a postpartum doula.
- Allow yourself one event (visitor, doctor, walk outdoors) and take two naps per day.
- Stay in PJs until get your 7-8 hours of sleep.
- For the hospital and after, pack clothing for nursing, something with access.
- You’ll still need maternity clothes to wear after baby arrives, you won’t be back in normal sizes right away.
- You may have constipation and you may feel like want to hold back. Prevent constipation with high fiber foods, dried fruits, water and movement.
- Do what the baby does: Sleep – Eat – Poop but adapt for mom: Sleep – Eat – Feed
- Your breasts leak in the shower – and other places, like during sex.
- Even if your breasts got larger during pregnancy, they may get larger still after baby.
Things No One Ever Told You About Emotional Adjustment
- One Mom: “Every day feels new and interesting!”
- You may not feel like yourself, emotions may be hard to understand.
- You may experience disappointments with birth and grieving the loss of your ideal.
- It’s pretty normal to be crying one moment, laughing the next.
- If you find it hard to find any enjoyment, take the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.
- Postpartum mood disorders are common and treatable. Get help if you don’t feel right.
- Dad’s often have feelings of helplessness about the birth and afterwards. Dad’s can also experience postpartum depression.
- The postpartum time can feels like an array of moments in time rather linear.
- Mom can feel “stuck at home” and isolated with a new baby.
- After a Cesarean section, moms can’t drive and may feel even more isolated.
Things No One Ever Told You About Caretaking
- You’ll get pooped on.
- And if you have a boy, cover up that little penis when you’re changing diapers.
- Babies are really slippery when wet.
- How do you put these onesies over the head?
- There are hundreds, thousands of ways to change diapers, give baths, and care for babies. You’ll find your own ways to do things.
- Taking care of a baby is ongoing, seemingly endless, and repetitive.
- It’s okay to feel like caretaking tasks are a little boring.
- Babies are resilient and if you try, they know you are responding to their needs.
- Remember to break the latch on your breast before you take the baby off!
- You’ll get advice from everyone (you don’t need to follow it.)
- You will know your baby’s temperament best, trust yourself.
- Trial and error is often what it’s all about. You’ll develop your parenting style and learn about your baby.
- Much of parenting is learned. Read books, blogs, seek help from trusted sources.
Things No One Ever Told You About Attachment
- Attachment is the work done to form relationships – the prospect of this relationship is the main reason for having a baby.
- Bonding is already occurring during pregnancy.
- Attachment takes time and work and sometimes it doesn’t happen right away.
- Attachment doesn’t end, it’s ongoing, and requires change.
- It used to be believed that babies didn’t interact but they do engage their parents. The relationship is reciprocal.
- Healthy closeness in infancy leads to healthy emotional closeness in adulthood.
- Most attachment has both positive and negative elements (meaning it’s not only one single emotion.)
- Some situations may make attachment work more challenging (baby’s health, birth experience, mom’s health, etc.)
Things No One Ever Told You About Relationship Changes
- Mom quote: “It’s hard to be a ‘non-producer’ and being home every day after years of working outside the home.”
- Mom quote: “It felt like an assault on our marriage.”
- Some moms can feel disappointed in their partner during the birth and/or with the new baby.
- Your relationships will shift with your own parents and in-laws, your siblings, your friends as well as your spouse/partner.
- Allow time to adjust and communicate about your feelings.
I appreciate your vote! By clicking the image below, you’ll be directed to Top Mommy Blogs which is one vote for Mother’s Circle. Thank you for your support and for helping Mother’s Circle get back on page one!
© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2015