When the first baby is on the way we try to get prepared as much as we can. And it is normal. We can manage a lot of things, but the truth is that nothing can prepare you for everything. You can read books, blog posts can speak with your friends, but for sure you will have some unexpected situations. This is good and normal. Every woman, baby, family, and life are different, so it will happen. It is not possible to guess everything. For example, some things happen in a completely different way from what I expected, and not as I imagined them. In this article I have described which were they for me and I sincerely hope they will be useful for you as well. Most likely you will also have such things and I will be glad if you share them in the comments.
1. Breastfeeding might be really difficult (at least it was for me)
I didn’t expect it to be so difficult, but it was in the beginning. And during the first month, I was nursing my baby all the time. It’s normal, it takes time for your body to fix all changes and to cover the baby’s needs. During the first days after birth your baby doesn’t know what exactly to do, also you still don’t have enough milk, and your breast is not used to the kind of abuse. Yes, breastfeeding is hard and requires patience, because it takes time to get to know your baby. Your breasts may become very sore, nipple pain and cracking are also common. Try warm compresses and showers in the first days and use some nipple cream or ointment to get some relief. I tried all of these and all worked. I started to breastfeed my daughter, but unfortunately, I didn’t have enough breast milk. I tried many things to boost it naturally and what works for me was – breastfeeding on demand, pumping (a lot, really a lot!), more water, and lactation food like oatmeal and nuts (you can see my blog post about boosting breast milk naturally).
2. Postpartum bleeding
It doesn’t matter how you give birth you will have postpartum bleeding for sure. It’s called lochia and normally is between two to six weeks after birth. During this period you can not use tampons, so prepare for it (you will need to change your pads with wings very often). I have had postpartum bleeding for four weeks and it is unpleasant especially since there was nothing for 9 months.
Most of my friends and relatives greeted me after birth and it was over. Suddenly the phone stopped ringing. Almost no one wrote or called me (they didn’t want to bother me since I’m with a baby). I only spoke to two of my girlfriends, my sister, and my parents (understandable to them). The truth is that with a young baby in the first months, you have no problem talking on the phone, writing, and going out. The baby mostly sleeps and eats. I needed to talk and see people. I wish we had guests. As the baby grows, there is a growing need for attention and care. And then the time that the mother can devote to other activities (time for herself) is more limited. With a newborn, you can do almost anything without a problem, but it is more difficult when the baby is more active after the 6th month.
4. “Sleep when your baby sleeps” – my favorite advice
Well, people try to tell you how tired you are going to be when your baby arrives, but you can’t understand it until it happens. If you breastfeed or not, get prepared comes long nights. It doesn’t last forever and might continue for weeks or months. As it was with my daughter and it continues. She is a year and a half, but once or twice every night she still drinks some warm water (so, still no sleep). You will be exhausted because you are waking up multiple times every night, also you have some things to do daily (dirty house, kitchen, clothes, etc.), without much rest. But even when you are sleeping it is half awake and you won’t sleep when the baby sleeps. And to be honest, I don’t get what people are talking about when they say that.
5. Postpartum hair loss
This was maybe the biggest shock for me. I knew it would happen but I didn’t expect to be nearly hairless! After the 3rd month, the postpartum hair loss began and it was a nightmare for me. I thought I’d run out of hair. Hopefully stopped after the seventh month. This is normal and you can not stop this process. All you could do is to minimize the effects and help promote healthy hair growth with some natural remedies, which can see here in this article.
6. You will miss some things
Your life is changed now! And you can’t go whenever you want, you need to spend time with your baby and take care of him or her. You will be able to do things for yourself again as before (after years 😉 ) but for now just need to be next to your baby, because those moments will never come back!
Many women also experience postpartum depression or feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. You can consult your doctor if you think it is something like that (most common symptoms are restlessness, sleeplessness or sleeping too much, overeating, trouble focusing, guilt, no interest in the baby). Many changes happen to the body after birth and all this is normal. Take it easy whenever possible, get as much rest as possible, and take care of yourself too! If you need help ask for it! Find things that make you happy! Find the way to get some “me” time, because everyone needs that!!!
I hope this article has been helpful to you! I would love it if you leave a comment or share it! Thank you!