I have received numerous messages from first-time mothers saying no one told them about the post-birth experience (read the first week, or two, after delivery). I will share the top 5 things I never knew after giving birth:
1. You will bleed heavily (like a heavy period)
Say goodbye to the 9-month bliss of no periods. It doesn’t matter whether you gave birth vaginally or via c-section, postpartum bleeding is normal. Lochia is what they call it. Plus you have to wear these outrageously huge and thick pads. HOWEVER, I must say, those pads are heaven at that moment. Plus granny panties. Trust me. Absolute heaven! 😀
2. You still have a bump
Yes, you will still look pregnant even after baby is out. Remember, it took almost a a year for your tummy to stretch to accommodate a full grown baby so don’t stress about it, it’ll take time to get back to normal. Also, the uterus is yet to shrink back to its original state – which takes me to number 3….
3. The Second Labour
You will have contractions post-delivery which make you wonder if there’s still another baby stuck in there. I’ve not gone through labour so I wouldn’t be able to make a comparison, but the pain is intense, especially when breastfeeding. I always think it’s God’s way of making me feel what would have been had I experienced labour contractions.
4. Breastfeeding 101
Nursing won’t be easy, but you and baby will eventually get the hang of it. Take it as a new course – you need to learn the basics first before you move to pro level. Don’t sweat it – it gets easier as you move past the cracked/sore nipples and baby learns to latch.
5. Baby is King/Queen
And that kinda sucks. You’re just coming into terms with this new role as a mother – and all the focus is on the baby. When you were pregnant, everyone was rushing to help out – but now that baby is out, it’s like you have to suck it up and do everything by yourself. That’s how society works, baby is everything and new parents are often neglected. If you feel overwhelmed, speak up and ask for help!
6. Baby blues
You may go through postpartum mood swings or depression, which is normal. So don’t feel shy to ask for help when you need it. Or share your feelings with another mum friend who’s been through what you’re going through. Don’t walk this journey alone, trust me, I know – talking to other mums got me through tough times.
7. Celebrate the milestones
Despite the lows, celebrate the tiny milestones – like surviving your first night at home or seeing your baby smile – when you hold your newborn close to your chest, it’s pure heaven and you try to imagine what your life was like without them.