Having a new baby is a dream for so many women. You couldn’t be happier after giving birth to your bundle of joy. You’ve spent nine months preparing for that precious baby, and you deserve nothing but quality time with your child.
While new babies are a joyous time in a new mom’s life, there are some changes that come along with the package. Many moms would prefer to not talk about any negativity surrounding post-delivery, but motherhood comes with its own set of challenges.
Not Recognizing Your Body
Another topic that women would rather not discuss is how different your body may look after giving birth. There’s so much pressure in this world to look perfect all the time, and it’s tough to feel like you measure up even without becoming a mom. Add pregnancy and birth into the equation, and frankly all those articles about celebrities getting their beach bods back within a month of giving birth or Olympic athletes competing shortly after getting a Caesarean are really unrealistic.
Sure, you have stretch marks, lopsided boobs, extra weight, and ill-fitting clothes. But you know what? All those changes were necessary for the incredible biological feat of growing a baby. It not only made a baby — it did a beautiful job of doing it, and that makes everything about those changes beautiful. It’s more important to focus on your health instead of obsessing over getting back to your “pre-baby” body. You should never feel bad about how you look. Your baby loves your body. Your husband loves your body. So be proud of your body!
The Pressure to Be Super-Mom
Due to the proliferation of mom blogs and forums, every new mom is worried that she’s not raising her baby right, and every experienced mom seems determined to offer her opinion on the subject. The conflict? Every other mom has a different opinion, and they can clash quite violently. This is terrifying to new moms, making them afraid to ask for help in case they get attacked by other moms.
If this is you, take a deep breath and get off Facebook. Mom forums can be crazy, and the fact is that those faceless women aren’t parenting experts. Regardless of what they tell you, as long as you’re doing your best and listening to your baby’s doctors, you’re doing fine. If you want advice (which is definitely a good idea when you’re on your first time around the motherhood block), get it from women you actually know and trust, not strangers on the internet.
It’s also important to pay attention to your own self-care during this time, too. You don’t have to sacrifice your own wellbeing to be a great mom, and frankly, you shouldn’t even consider it, because sacrificing your own wellbeing can have the opposite effect. For example, sleep-deprived new moms are three times more likely to be in a car accident than other drivers on the road. Sacrificing self-care can also put you on the fast track to postpartum depression or worsen current symptoms.
Postpartum depression is another struggle for many new moms. Mental illness has an incredible stigma surrounding it, and while many people are working to lift that stigma, they’re no getting around the fact that it’s still there. The fact of the matter though is that due to the crazy hormones surrounding pregnancy and birth, postpartum depression is a fact of life for many, many women. You are not alone, but that shouldn’t make you feel like you need to just “tough it out”.
If you feel the symptoms of postpartum depression, reach out to your doctor for help. Talk to your friends, family, and spouse about your struggles. Do not feel ashamed! You’re a new mother, and you must take care of yourself so you can care for the baby. You don’t ever have to feel like living in silence as so many new moms do. There are treatments available to make you feel like yourself again.
In conclusion, having a new baby is such an amazing time for any new mother. You’re sure to have many moments of snuggling and immense happiness along with some struggles; it’s just part of life. If you’re experiencing any depression symptoms after giving birth, reach out to your doctor to get some help. You deserve to be happy, and your baby deserves to have a happy and healthy mommy!
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