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After having the privilege of supporting lots of new families this past week, I have been inspired to write this post of which, I am sure will resonate with a lot of you.
After you give birth to your first baby, being a new mum is HARD and totally NOT a bed of roses! (and it doesn't get any easier when you have your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th child etc, you just have to "get on with it" as you have no choice whatsoever because your other children will most definitely be running the show whether you like it or not!
Here is a satirical of 11 cold hard facts about being a new mum:
1. Bleeding the day baby is born.....my gosh, there's enough to donate to the blood bank! How many surfboards have I been through??
2. Peeing - well its either going to sting or just feel "weird and different"!
3. You are going to be absolutely frightened of doing your first poo, thinking its going to be just like giving birth again and that your insides are going to fall out. Once you pass that hurdle, you will feel like you have won a gold medal at the olympics!
4. Sleep during the night time looks like it's going to be non-existent for a rather long time and you thought that the hard yards stopped after baby has arrived....ummm, why hasn't the baby read the book??
5. Your body just does not feel the same....you thought that your belly was going to spring back to where it was pre-baby...then you realise that you have been hit by the jelly belly and feel like your insides just aren't in place any more....OMG! Totally freaky! Am I going to get my body back again??
7. What was once a life where you could have a shower by 9am, now making it to the shower by 12 midday is the equivalent of reaching the end of a marathon... your body is free of your new bundle that doesn't want to be alone, your body is soaked in that heavenly warm water cleaning off all that baby vomit, sticky breastmilk and that crazy sweatiness that you have going on! Who ever thought that something as simple as a shower would be so luxurious?
8. You thought that when you were pregnant you were public property right?....After baby arrives, this cold hard fact takes on a whole new meaning. Everyone will be telling you that you are doing everything wrong and that "if you don't do this" or "don't do that", you are going to think that you are going to 'starve your baby' or heaven forbid, 'harm you baby', because everyone else is right - right?
9. Holding your new awkward, floppy and delicate baby. You will be scared that you are going to break her or him! Give yourself a few weeks, you will be tossing your baby around like you are flipping a pizza base in no time!
10. Crying/Sleeping/Feeding.....repeat, repeat, repeat...Its amazing how loud and demanding such a little being can be! Not to mention all that blood curdling screaming that goes on when all you want to do is bath your baby or change his or her nappy!
11. You are going to cry, A LOT!
You are going to cry either because you are:
What about those celebs that make the front cover smiling in a bikini after they have their babies? Truth be told, when you have a nanny, housecleaner, personal trainer, chef and all you have to do is blow your nose every now and then rather than run the mummy marathon.
With a household of staff on hand, you will have the time and energy to exercise for 3 hours a day and then 6 months later stand in front of the camera so that your images can be photoshopped to perfection!
Attached below is a link to an article where a fabulously experienced mama has shared what it is really like to be a mum:
In my humble opinion, more mama's need to share what it is really all about, because honestly, you are better off knowing upfront, rather than when its too late and more of a shock than you realised.
On the upbeat, think of the rewards:
1. Your hard work will be worthwhile when your baby gives you his or her first big smile! Even better when you get the giggles and belly laughs!
2. Knowing that you have worked hard at raising this little being who has turned out to be pure perfection when they are sleeping in your arms, will be amazing!
3. You will be so connected to your baby, that the first time you leave him or her with someone so you can have your hair done, you will be balling your eyes out at the hairdressers because you will miss your baby so much!
4. Your baby only needs you....no one else....no one else can do what you do for your baby....
My humble advice:
1. Be judicious about who you elicit your advice from and especially, don't rely on Dr. Google because it will stress you out even more!
2. Know that not everyone is telling you the truth when it seems easy for others!
3. Expect it to be really hard but just as rewarding at the same time!
4. Know that you are doing the hardest work you will ever do, but will reap so many fantastic rewards that only you can achieve!
5. Know that you are not walking this parenting path alone - engage all of your supports in any which way you can. It takes a village to raise a child, so don't expect yourself to do it alone.
6. SLEEP WHENEVER YOU CAN - pyjama days are awesome!
7. Ensure that your baby is being cuddled and ensure that you are getting lots of cuddles too! Touch and cuddles are so important no matter your age - it ensures that you feel loved, supported, cared for and nurtured....and by the way, you are not spoiling your baby....newborn babies are supposed to be held to feel safe when they are so new and vulnerable! There is no such thing as teaching a new baby bad habits!
8. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
Repeat "I can do this and It's ok to feel unsure". Repeat this mantra to yourself as often as possible...because you will come out the other side shining!
9. READ YOUR BABY, NOT THE BOOK!
Books are written by authors
Your baby knows what he or she needs, not the author - so read your baby, not the book!
It would be great if you could comment on this post, in sisterly support of other mums who are really new at this parenting gig who need to know that they are not alone!
So if you could just say "hey", lets see how many mamas are in the same boat!
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Kellie Eason RN, RM, IBCLC
Nurse, Midwife, IBCLC, Infant Feeding Therapist, Birth & Parenting Educator, Baby Sleep & Settling Consultant