Becoming a mother for the first time (or maybe if you’ve had a long gap between children) is exciting, scary and a celebration all at the same time. All of the emotions wrapped into one.
My personal experience with my first pregnancy, was definitely a world of the unknown (I will share some of the things that helped me further into this blog). I was the first of my friends to have a baby, I didn’t have my mum around and I was living in New Zealand so didn’t have the rest of my family around (though my hubby’s sister was fabulous she lived away).
Even now with baby girl number 2 as it has been 5.5 years since baby girl number 1 there are things I completely forgot about that make life that little bit easier. There are lots of things often not discussed much publicly, you aren’t told about in antenatal classes or you don’t even consider. Carry on reading to find out what myself and other mums wish we had been told before baby arrived…
1. Relax and enjoy the newborn goodness
Although you might feel like you should still be doing it all, the housework and chores will wait for another day. Let’s be honest it really doesn’t matter if your house is spotless, the newborn snuggles and newborn phase will not last forever. So be sure to soak it all up and cherish those little curled up newborn cuddles
Getting used to little sleep is never going to be easy. Broken sleep is exhausting but you do tend to find your body adjusts, although you will no doubt always feel a little tired. One thing I will say is don’t focus on what everyone tells you you should be doing, find a routine or what works for you. It may be completely different to what you imagined while pregnant.
3. Post birth bleeding
Not nice to think about or talk about BUT it’s going to happen no matter what. On average women bleed for four to six weeks post birth. Stock up on maternity pads (not normal sanitary pads as they can catch if you have stitches), and be ready for basically a non-stop period. Little warning as well, there is often a week or so of brown blood discharge that I won’t lie stinks! Others may not smell it but you will probably be able to, rest assured though it will pass. Your body needs to clear itself out so its all for the good.
4. Going to the toilet
Again not always nice to talk about but a few little tips that can make that area of your life more comfortable (especially in the first week) are worth knowing. For your first couple of wee’s post birth, lean forward to direct your urine away from your no doubt sore area. Also grab yourself a little plastic/throw away cup and pour water on the area at the same time as you go. This not only helps prevent the sting in those first couple of days but if you have stitches it will help you keep the area clean, very important if you have stitches.
Now to talk about number two’s… the first time can be scary. What’s going to happen? Will my stitches pop? Will it hurt? These are all normal questions, it’s kind of like the unknown. Things that have helped myself and other momma’s, hold a maternity pad against your stitches while you go. It helps any feelings of pulling and is also a reassurance for you.
Personally I found the first time less of a worry than the following few, maybe due to your muscles still being very relaxed and pain relief (if you’ve had any) still working. Keep your fluid intake up, lots of fibre in your diet and if you need to you can always take a mild lactulose (available in your pharmacy) to make sure everything is moving along softly.
5. Follow Your Instincts
One of the main things other mums said to me when I asked ‘what is something you wish you had been told before you became a mum?’, was to follow your instincts (follow your gut feeling). A mothers instinct is incredibly powerful, whether it’s that your baby is unwell and the doctors are brushing it off or you want to do something a particular way, even though Google says ‘it must be done a certain way’. You know what’s best for you and your family and no-one knows their baby better than mum.
I hope these tips have helped you or maybe you know a friend they would (feel free to share). I know some of these subjects are squeamish to talk about but they are also important to talk about and that is one of the reasons I started The Mumpreneur Diaries.