6 Things No One Tells You About Becoming A Mum
When you’re pregnant, you’re like a magnet for advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everyone who’s ever had a baby will have a nugget of wisdom to share with you, and while some of it will be useful, there’s actually a lot that goes on in early motherhood that NO ONE tells you about.
And they really should.
Becoming a mum will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life, but it’s not without its challenges. Unfortunately, these things can really take you by surprise and even ruin the early weeks of motherhood – at a time when you should be enjoying everything about your new baby.
But, if you know a little more about what lies ahead, and the challenges that await you, you can not only get your head around them now, but you can even come up with a plan for dealing with them, so they don’t throw you off course.
Here are 6 things that no one tells you about becoming a mum:
Your birth experience can affect motherhood
Giving birth is like an initiation into motherhood, so while a positive experience means you enter motherhood feeling content and confident, a not-so-good experience means you might be left with some lingering negative feelings long after you bring baby home. Fear, disappointment and regret can really get in the way of transitioning to motherhood, but for some reason, not many people choose to process their traumatic birth experiences. If your birth experience doesn’t go so well for you, be sure to talk to someone you trust about it.
Breastfeeding can be EXHAUSTING
Many new mums are surprised by how time-consuming and stressful breastfeeding can be in the beginning. Establishing an abundant supply of breastmilk means spending lots of time feeding your baby, who will require frequent feedings around the clock. For many mums, this leaves them feeling chained to their baby and like a milk machine. Spend as much time as you can preparing for breastfeeding now, and look into hiring a breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant, who can guide you through the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
Your baby will put your relationship to the test
Even the healthiest and strongest of relationships are tested when a new baby comes on the scene. Fatigue, a whole heap of new emotions and a crying baby can all contribute to a rise in bickering between you and your partner. Add to that any breastfeeding stress and extreme sleep deprivation, and it’s no wonder that the relationship waters become stormy when a new baby arrives. Discuss with your partner how you want the first few weeks of parenthood to go, and what each of you needs in terms of support from each other.
You need the village
If you have family and friends ready and willing to help you once baby arrives, that’s great. Having the support from people who love and care about you is never more important than when you have a baby, because it can be such an emotionally fraught time. However, be prepared to think outside the box when it comes to support. Sometimes those closest to us can’t offer the support we really need. To really develop your support village, consider a wide range of people, places and things that can offer you support, information and guidance. That way, you’ll have more options if you need them.
You can’t just ‘wing it’
You need a post-birth plan. Deciding to ‘wing it’ when you get home with your baby will leave you vulnerable to stress and challenges that you weren’t prepared for, and figuring out this sort of stuff is so much harder when you’re sleep deprived and have a tiny person depending on you for every need. Things like breastfeeding struggles, coping without sleep and dealing with an unsettled baby are all things that can make early motherhood so much harder – and can even ruin the experience for you. Think about the possible challenges that lie ahead for you and make a plan for dealing with them before baby arrives
Not all health professionals are mum-friendly
When you’re pregnant, you meet a whole array of health professionals who all have a role to play in getting you through your pregnancy, and once your baby arrives, you’ll meet even more: child and family health nurses, lactation consultants, breastfeeding counsellors, mothercraft nurses and postpartum doulas are all health professionals that you’ll come across once you’re a mum, but here’s the thing: just because these people have qualifications, doesn’t mean that what they’re saying is necessarily right for you. If you don’t feel heard, or that the advice is right for you, feel free to seek a second opinion.
You deserve an amazing experience
There are lots of challenges that come with bringing a newborn home, but you don’t have to do it on your own and hope for the best. Why struggle with anxiety and confusion when you could be enjoying more magic with your newborn?
Find out how The Fourth Trimester Program can help you get the amazing motherhood experience you truly deserve (after all, you’ve gone through a LOT to get to this point…)
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