The new born period. I don’t think anyone would argue that having your first baby is easy. Entire motherhood journey is excited and nervous as the same time. There’s many so challenges to deal with during that time – all the newness of caring for a tiny human, breastfeeding, identity and body struggles, baby blues or postpartum depression, hormonal crashes, managing your relationship with your partner, grappling with going back to work, creating boundaries with friends and family – all while extremely sleep-deprived. Mothers are truly the real MVPs.
So here’s a list of things I wish I had known before having a baby –
- There is no magic trick with babies–
It’s true!! That there is only one rules applied is no rule that works on babies. You may feel that you have found the perfect feeding position or a way to make your baby fall asleep. But it won’t be long until it stops working. A trick might work one day and stop working the next day. Everyday is a new challenge and you have to come up with new ideas every time.
- Breastfeeding hurts at first–
It’s the most natural thing in the world, how hard can it really be? Breastfeeding hurts so badly initially that it might even make you cry and scream at the same time. Sore nipples, engorgement, latching issues and the excruciating pain make distressing for both mother and the newborn. Breastfeeding is takes a lot of practice it’s a natural concept and tears to get through it. However, it gets better with time. The pain and all the other problems resolve in a few days, usually within a week.
- The extra weight isn’t going to melt overnight –
Don’t be surprised if you see yourself in the mirror and still look pregnant. It’s going to take time and patience to lose the weight that you gained over the course of nine months. Trust me; you will still need your maternity pants post delivery. It’s normal to hold onto some extra weight after pregnancy. It will melt off eventually.
- Don’t hesitate in asking for help –
It is not possible to everything alone. Consider yourself lucky if you are surrounded by people who readily offer help. Accept any sort of support, whether it is from your friends or family or any other person. There is no shame in asking for help as a new mom. In addition to the sleepless nights and hormonal fluctuations, your body is still recovering from the birthing process. When someone offers to look after the baby, don’t hesitate to accept it. Take a break and get some rest or a warm shower or anything that relaxes you. You really need it.
- Having a newborn will impact your relationship with your partner –
Having a baby is a life changing event. It doesn’t matter if you and your partner have a rock-solid relationship or you fight over petty issues. This new member is definitely going to put some weight on your relationship. Once the baby arrives, it is not possible to have that pre-baby relationship with your partner both physically and emotionally (at least for a while). It is something new for both of you. Remember that communication is the key. Express your feelings to your partner and also listen to theirs. Give each other time and space to get adapt to this new change.
- This is just a phase–
Yes!! Consider this as a phase of life. Every phase passes this shall too pass. It may seem super irritating and exhausting but it just a temporary phase that will be over before you know it. The struggle is real but at the end of the day, everything is worth that cute little smile on your baby’s face.
- Power napping is the greatest skill you can learn-
This is the greatest skill anybody could learn. Sure, babies sleep, but only for short stretches. Good luck functioning with only 2–3 hours of sleep per day! This gave mother the energy to keep going and endure the incessant screaming.
Learn to power nap, for your own sanity and those around you!