Lots of energy is dedicated to birth plans and how we want our births to happen (understandably). However, planning for the time after your baby arrives is just as important.
After you’ve had the baby, the real work begins.
As much as I wanted my baby out at 40 weeks, I now appreciate the extra week and a half she gave me before turning my entire world sideways.
I am a first-time mom and after making it through the birth, here is what I learned.
6 THINGS I LEARNED AFTER GIVING BIRTH (POSTPARTUM LESSONS)
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1. Healing is painful.
I had a non-complicated natural birth. That’s right, I skipped the pain meds and felt every single contraction. To the mom who told me birth doesn’t hurt that bad…lies.
In my experience, birth was absolutely painful and exhausting. Also, healing after a natural birth is full of pain and discomfort, especially if stitches are involved.
2. After a natural birth, there is heaving bleeding.
No one talks about it, but after months of not having a cycle, I was not prepared for the flow that followed my birth.
If you have a cesarean (c-section) special attention needs to be given to the scar as you heal to prevent infection and while I can’t speak from personal experience, I know that healing from a c-section is challenging too.
3. Breastfeeding is natural but that doesn’t make it easy.
Yes, read this carefully.
If you plan to breastfeed, learn as much as possible before your baby arrives. This course is an amazing resource.
I struggled to get my daughter to latch, I struggled with milk production, and there is so much I wish I knew about breastfeeding as a working mom.
Preparing for this stage with information and reliable resources can help relieve some of the stress.
4. Postpartum sleep deprivation is real.
I didn’t really know what real exhaustion was until I became a mom. I used to think exhaustion was…I worked late and have to get up early.
Psst! That’s nothing compared to my body is healing, my breasts are making milk, my baby is up all night, and I still need to shower and take care of myself exhaustion.
If you have a baby that sleeps well consider yourself super duper lucky! I seriously considered heading to Australia (different time zone) to get a sleeping schedule that my baby was apparently on.
5. People will want to visit right away, just to hold the baby.
I’ve lived in my same home for years; however, since having a baby my visitor count has tripled. I guess these people (grandparents included) are happy to visit for the baby…but us parents, we are old news!
6. Life will be amazing and difficult.
Meeting your baby after months of kicks and punches to the gut is amazing. Growing a human is an experience that is difficult to describe.
That new little person will command all your energy and attention, and just when things get stressful, that little baby will grab your finger or grin at you in just the right way to make you feel joy from the inside out.
Yep. I learned lots of lessons from having my first child and here are some tips to help other moms transitioning into the postpartum stage.
- 14 Way Motherhood Changes Your Life in the First Year
- What is the Cost of Childbirth (Like Really)
- How to Prepare for Baby Financially.
17 POSTPARTUM TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE 4TH TRIMESTER
POSTPARTUM HOSPITAL TIPS
- Relax as much as possible while you have the assistance of a nursing staff.
- Be sure to ask questions when you don’t understand.
- Take home any and all freebies the nurses and/or staff provide (Those white short/undies, that squirt bottle, those thick pads, baby pampers, baby formula & syringes if you plan to bottle feed).
BRINGING BABY HOME POSTPARTUM TIPS
- Have the car seat in the car and ready to go.
- Meal plan or have freezer meals planned. Eating well helps with energy, recovery, and breastmilk.
- Have the plan for who will be staying with you and for how long.
- Have an idea of how you want to handle visitors, especially the first few weeks. When family and friends come over and ask how they can assist…, food is a good request. 😉
POSTPARTUM LIFE AS A NEW MOM TIPS
- Sleep whenever you can.
- Take it easy. Your body will be in recovery mode.
- Losing the weight can wait. The uterus needs time to shrink and hormones are wild, be kind to your postpartum body. Talk with your doctor about when to start exercising again.
- If you have concerns about breastfeeding, talk with a lactation consultant.
- Accept help when you need it. Trying to everything yourself, when you have assistance is a fast way to mental and physical exhaustion.
- Take the maternity leave you can afford to take, it’s a great time to bond with your baby.
- Don’t forget to get fresh air. It’s easy to get consumed and spend weeks inside. A step outside can do wonders for the mind.
- Self-care is a must. A car without gas can’t carry anyone. Moms are known for taking care of everyone. Tending to your own care is super important too.
- If you feeling overwhelmingly sad and depressed, seek help immediately. It’s not uncommon to have these emotions.
- Enjoy being a mom. The first few months is the most challenging, but it’s an adjustment period, it gets easier.
If you are pregnant or a new mom, I hope these tips help you plan your first few weeks postpartum effortlessly. After the hard work of having a child, a stress-free beginning to mom life isn’t too much to ask.
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