Today we are sharing all the things we wish people had told us before we had a baby.
The goal here is to save any new mama out there from the unfortunate scenario of mumbling, “What is happening right now and why the fuck did nobody warn me?” under her breath while pacing her house at 3am, with a newborn attached to her tit. Naturally, we enlisted our RM community to ensure we got the job done right.
Thank you to those who unloaded their truths and shared all of the glamorous things in the spirit of support and sisterhood. We are stronger together!
1. You may experience shock and uncontrollable trembling post-labour. This is normal, so don’t panic – your body just endured legitimate trauma.
2. You will look pseudo pregnant for a while after baby; your body needs some time to get back to normal. Luckily you will likely also be living in sweatshirts, and loose clothing. Don’t hyper-focus on this. For the record, no-one actually “bounces back”.
3. Get ready for your boobies to increase and decrease in size so often that the girls at Victoria’s Secret will be fighting for your commission.
4. Invest in adult diapers as they are not only for seniors, but also for new moms who pee their pants upon standing up. Or laughing. Or sneezing. You are not broken – this is normal.
5. Get a referral to a Pelvic Floor Specialist if the above “issue” persists. There are ways to help repair your muscles, and you need to know your options before you resign to buying maxi pads everyday for the rest of your life.
6. GIVE YOURSELF TIME and be gentle with your body. You literally have a wound inside of you the size of your placenta.
7. Go ahead and get yourself a squirt bottle, because that’s about the only way you’ll be cleaning your lady parts for 4-6 weeks. (And if the hospital issued you one, shove that bad boy in your bag on the way out. #rebelrebel)
8. Your new mom hack is a Padsicle and this is how you make one: Take a pad with wings, pour water generously on it and freeze. Put in your underwear with a liner on over top for when your vajayjay is raging and needs immediate relief.
9. C-sections are a major surgery. Do not try to be a hero with a Dyson and a feeding baby – pulling stitches and risking infections ain’t worth it.
10. You will hate your male counterpart as the majority of the workload of the first few weeks will solely fall on you. Their nipples are useless, and so are they (most of the time). It’s normal. Try not to give into murderous rage and communicate what you need help with because they have NO idea.
11. There will be a million doctors appointments and feedings in the first few weeks, and you will feel stressed and under pressure (throw in sleep deprived for good measure). Rely heavily on your support team and take any and ALL help available.
12. Get ready for Postpartum Hair Loss. It’s very real, and there are several stages of it.
*Read more about this uber glamorous time HERE.
13. Night sweats. Also a thing.
14. Breastfeeding is not as easy as the rom coms would have you believe. Cracked and bleeding nipples, Mastitis, cluster feedings, engorgement and trouble latching are just a few things you can expect in your new role as Mom. Look into local lactation support resources and know that a bottle of formula will kill no-one and may just be the break your boobies need.
* Surprise! There’s a RM post for that HERE.
15. Your first bowel movement will not be a pleasant experience. Use the laxative the hospital gives you and don’t be shy about it. Your organs are working overtime, so do whatever helps things “move along.”
16. You may feel isolated, depressed and cry a lot a lot more than you imagined after the novelty of a new baby wears off. It’s ok. We have all been there and you are not alone. Talk to your partner, you mom friends, and your doctor. Take help, go outside every day even if it’s only for 15 minutes to get a coffee and feel fresh air.
* Read an honest and raw story on Postpartum Depression HERE.
17. When your baby cries in public, no-one is actually as stressed and bothered by it as you. And it’s not nearly as loud as you imagine (you’re just in extremely close proximity to it and it’s fucking your brain up). We promise that later when you hear a newborn cry, you will smirk at how pitiful(ly cute) it actually is.
18. Get comfortable with pre-made and frozen food. Now is not the time to be a culinary hero. Store bought sandwiches will save your life. Also, make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks around the house, as the windows for feeding yourself will be minuscule. Drink ridiculous amounts of water.
19. That you will live in fear of everything that can potentially happen to your child, even when the chances are highly unlikely. Welcome to Motherhood! That’ll never go away.
20. You may realize that you only want one child as opposed to the six you originally planned. Find solace in knowing that it’s perfectly fine to adjust your family plans after you have some experience with parenthood. You are obligated to nothing.
* We’ve got a ONE AND DONE post for ya right HERE!
21. It’s normal to think there is no way you can do this, but know that you totally can (and will!). You may have days that you hate the father of your child, or dare we say it, the child itself. Everything will annoy you so try to get out of the house with baby as often as possible so you don’t feel crazy.
22. You will be hard on yourself and try to do it all (and do it all perfectly). But NEWSFLASH: There is no such thing. The first couple of months will be a massive learning curve for you both, do not beat yourself up – all you can do is your best, and that’s enough. Don’t let the mom guilt get you down.
* Read more about Negative Nancy’s and how to avoid their guilt trip HERE.
23. Do not over-Google and overwhelm yourself with the plethora of information presented to you by the black hole that is The Internet. Ask a few trusted mom-friends and family for words of advice, and go with your gut.
24. Know that it’s ok to refuse visitors at this time. Yes it’s special, exciting and magical as fuck, but there will be days where you cannot deal with another human being in your space and that’s perfectly ok. You now have a baby, and therefore the carte blanche of excuses to cancel company.
25. When you’re having a particularly bullshit day, remember the old adage: The days are long, but the years are short. Your baby will grow faster than you imagine, so consciously make an effort to enjoy them.
26. You will acquire new-found compassion and respect for your own mother, and finally understand what she meant when she said, “you’ll see when you have your own child one day”.
27. Know that you can and will survive all of the above, like the women before you, because you in fact are a GODDESS and miracle worker. Like seriously… YOU MADE AND DELIVERED A HUMAN BEING. You’re a fuckin’ boss, babe. Own that shit.