Moms are just handed their brand new bundle of joy after nine long months of waiting. Moms are almost equally as excited to get our body back finally, but they are in for a bit of a surprise because that is not exactly the case. It would sure be great if things went back to how they were once baby is out, but our body continues to change until almost a year after delivery. Most of these occur, completely out of our control, in the first six weeks after delivery.
We also have this brand new human that although we have carried for nine months, he/she is kind of a stranger to us. We have to learn the likes/dislikes, and somehow figure out how to read this little baby's mind. It's no easy feat even with mother's intuition and great instincts.
Honestly, it is insane that we wouldn't be purely ecstatic about our baby's arrival. It isn't that we aren't ecstatic, but there is a lot that goes on those first six weeks. It is not all about rainbows and unicorns though. The first weeks following delivery are great but certainly challenging. We are responsible for this tiny person who is really unable to communicate their needs and wants. Somehow we are still supposed to take care of ourselves as well after our body went through a particularly traumatic experience. In some ways, we have to get to know ourselves and our bodies again. Motherhood is a learning experience, and we are basically thrown to the wolves once we return home.
While bringing home a new baby is kind of a sink or swim experience, it is also an exciting, joyful time that no amount of struggles can really wreck it. We just accept them as part of the package because it is a pretty amazing package after all.
15 Long Hair No More
Our hormones surge during pregnancy, especially estrogen. We have this great glossy, thick hair while we're pregnant. After delivery, we are in for a real shock though as many women experience hair loss. BabyCenter explains this hair loss as a result of our estrogen levels dropping.
For some reason, our hair falling out is not a symptom that women like to talk about a lot. That can make it actually a little freaky when it happens for moms who had no idea it was coming. We don't know why it's happen, if it's temporary, or if we did something to cause it. There is little reason to fear. We didn't accidentally use Nair instead of shampoo in our sleep exhausted state while showering. It's just as natural and normal as stretch marks and pimples honestly, and just as out of our control too. There is little need to panic; although, that probably won't stop us.
The majority of the time this is totally temporary, and our hair will go back to normal anywhere up to a ear after delivery. Pregnancy and delivery surely are a real shock to our system when it comes to our hormones. We can already feel pretty yucky those first is weeks so having to cope with hair loss can be pretty annoying for obvious reasons.
14 Oh, The Gas!
All newborns experience gas. For some, it is totally minor. For others, it can be a pretty big ordeal. Whether breastfed or formula fed, a good deal of newborns experiences gas pains. As we can imagine this discomfort can cause for a pretty fussy baby. It is our job to figure out what is bugging baby since our little one obviously cannot just come out and tell us their tummy hurts. We may have to switch something up with the way we feed or burp baby. We may have to alter our own diet or baby's formula. Some new moms do not realize that what we eat does influence baby's breastmilk which can cause an upset stomach. According to Parents.com, mom may want to reexamine what she is eating if baby is experiencing gas issues.
This is one tricky area because it is basically trial and error. Our errors though are marked by a crying, upset baby which can leave many moms feeling as if they are failing their new role. Some moms simply report having to keep baby comfortable through these gassy, fussy periods
13 You'll Feel Like A Milk Factory
We just spent the last nine months providing our baby with all of the necessary nutrients to grow. That does not stop though after birth as we adjust to the task of breastfeeding. This natural process can actually be pretty complicated and tricky. Though it is a beautiful experience, it may not always feel that way. Breastfed babies nurse pretty often as breastmilk is digested in about 1.5 to 2 hours according to Kellymom.com
Newborns tend to clustered which basically makes we have a baby physically latched onto our breast at all times. That can surely make any sane human feel touched out and kind of used honestly. If we decide to pump as well we might find ourselves starting to feel as if we belong on a dairy farm. During those early weeks, we often become obsessed with our supply and production. We take them into consideration with our diet, activity level, and likely even our Pinterest searches. The noise, the feeling of the pump, and the lanolin oil are enough to drive any woman bonkers. It can feel a whole lot like providing milk for our tiny baby has become our sole purpose and full time job. We do it anyways though because it is good for our babies.
12 The Aunt Flo Problem
We just had a baby. We went nine months without getting a visit from Aunt Flo, and now it feels like she just hit us like a ton of bricks. We have the cramps and the crying. We also experience bleeding and discharge for up to six weeks following delivery according to FamilyDoctor.org. This bleeding is usually the worst in the first ten days, but it sticks around for quite a bit. That's definitely longer than most visits from Aunt Flo last so in a way she is just making up for lost time.
That isn't all though. Remember all of that great bloating we deal with when it is our time of the month? We still deal with water retention after delivery, usually for about a week only though. We also deal with cramping as our uterus shrinks back to its usual size after growing for nine months.
We experience crazy mood swings during pregnancy and postpartum as well. We find ourselves crying for no reason at all. Many women feel sad during the first few weeks postpartum.
11 Acne For Mom And Baby
Hormones are seriously insane after delivery living often times both mom and baby suffering with acne. According to Verywell.com, postpartum breakouts can happen in the weeks and months following pregnancy. This is a result of our hormones trying to adjust and get back to normal. Thanks progesterone and estrogen!
Who knew that a baby would have to deal with acne? Surely we thought we had a good 12 years or so before we would be dealing with acne for our kiddo. Many newborns and infants get acne though because of our hormones still circulating in their bloodstream from pregnancy. Sorry baby!
No one enjoys dealing with acne. We certainly don't want to have to worry about it after having a baby so it usually gets put on the back burner. Hormonal acne may need to be treated, or it may simply go away on its own once our hormones balance themselves out.
10 Soreness Everywhere
Our bodies are recovering from a massive change. No matter how we gave birth (c-section or vaginally), our body underwent some serious stress, trauma, and change. We were just carrying a baby, and now that little human is outside of us. Things take time to shift back to normal. According to WebMD, it takes WEEKS for our bodies to recover from a vaginal delivery. During this time, women experience after pains, vaginal soreness, and the girls don't feel too great either. C-section moms also have pains in their abdomens for weeks and even a couple of months as they heal.
Our uterus was just massively stretched out so it is pretty tender for a couple of weeks. Our backs, legs, and feet are getting back to normal after supporting some extra weight for the last few months. Our bodies honestly feel a little bit like we've taken a beating.
9 The Sweats
Honestly does anyone expect to experience night sweats until menopause? Why did no one warn us about the sweating, especially at night? Most of us would never imagine that we'll get a glimpse of this wonderful issue shortly after giving birth and likely for weeks! According to WhattoExpect.com, these night sweats are caused by our body trying to get rid of all of the extra fluids we just needed to help baby grow.
We find ourselves waking up in a puddle, and this time it isn't because we couldn't control our bladder or had an overproduction of milk. No this time our entire body, especially usually our head and face, are soaked with sweat. It's new to a lot of women who have never dealt with this before on a regular basis or ever. Rest assured, it is normal. We aren't experiencing premature menopause likely, and it will go away after a few weeks once our body is rid of the extra fluids. Our partner may not appreciate waking up to a soaked bed, but it's not like we do either. Cut a girl some slack, we did just give birth after all!
8 Issues With #2
We just pushed a baby out of a very small hole in our body. We really don't want to deal with issues pushing out number two as well. WhatToExpect.com lists several different reasons why women deal with constipation after giving birth. Sometimes we honestly just psych ourselves out because well it is a little scary after delivery. Things are pretty sore and tender down there. Some women have stitches down there, and we obviously don't want to tear them. We can also be backed up from the anesthesia or pain medication that we took during and after labor.
Hemorrhoids are another thing we may deal with after delivery. Some women develop them during pregnancy and have to deal with them a little while longer afterwards. Other women may get them as a result of pushing during delivery as reported by FamilyDoctor.org. They should shrink and even go away altogether after delivery, but we may have to deal with this annoyance for a bit still.
7 Always Thirsty
Those first few weeks with baby are a total blur. We often neglect our own needs and live a bit in survival mode. Eating and drinking are two needs that we should be sure to take care of for ourselves especially if we are breastfeeding, but that doesn't mean it happens. One woman who writes for Babble wrote about the constant thirst that so many of us feel while breastfeeding.
As a breastfeeding mom, baby is pretty much solely reliant on us. No one else can produce milk like we can, sorry Dad. Our body needs to be properly fueled and hydrated though in order to feed our little bundle of joy. Milk production takes a great deal from us leaving so many moms feeling parched all of the time! We just cannot seem to get enough water.
Remembering to drink and feed ourselves is honestly more of a struggle than it should be considering we are grown adults. But between pumping, nursing sessions, and diaper changing it can certainly be a challenge. We also never want to wake a sleeping baby, but this can leave us feeling as if we are trapped in a drought when baby falls asleep on us and there is no drink in reach.
6 The Emotional Rollercoaster
We wouldn't expect to feel anything short of pure joy after having a baby. According to Parents.com, there are SEVEN common postpartum emotions that women experience but don't expect. Even though joy makes the cut, emotions such as fear, sadness, and doubt are common occurrences too.
It may be hard to believe that we would have anything to be sad about, but for some reason we find ourselves constantly weepy. Baby blues are a normal result of our hormones getting back to normal and us adjusting to our new role as a mother. Postpartum anxiety and depression can also result and should be addressed by a doctor.
There is nothing scarier than realizing we are completely responsible for caring for and protecting this little being we just brought home. This is where a great deal of women experience fear and doubt. Are we doing a good job? Will he/she be a good person? We also find ourselves suddenly second guessing trips to the store, restaurants, and guests because of germs. We find danger in activities that were totally mundane just a few short weeks ago because we are responsible to protect this little bundle of joy.
5 The Endless Laundry
How does such a tiny person make so much laundry? According to AmericanPregnancy, newborns require a diaper change about every 2 to 3 hours. Somehow during the majority of these changes, baby somehow also requires an outfit change. He/she may have gotten a burp cloth, blanket, or changing pad dirty as well during these changes because newborns are incredibly unpredictable. If we are being honest, it feels a lot like whenever we open that diaper up baby suddenly goes and hits whatever is in reach. We find ourselves with a never-ending pile of laundry.
Babies require a ton of linens. There are crib sheets, bassinet sheets, countless types of blankets, clothes, and burp rags. No matter how much of a stockpile of these things we have, we are still constantly laundering them. Spit up, spills, and accidents are all common reasons why we have changed our newborns clothes for what feels like the hundredth time in a day. Truthfully we aren't even halfway through the day when we feel this way.
4 Finding Balance
Whether this is the first baby or the fifth, adding a member to our family surely shifts our family dynamic. WebMD recommends that we stay connected our partner after baby's arrival. It can be difficult as we find a balance between our role as a spouse and as a parent. Even the most seasoned parents have issues finding and maintaining this balance so it is especially important for new parents to make time for each other with no baby talk involved. As our number of children increases, our alone time with our spouse declines. This can put a damper on our relationship both inside and outside of the bedroom.
Obviously, our newborn requires a great deal of our attention which takes away from other family members. This can be a struggle as we often deal with jealousy issues. Our other children have to adapt just like we do. It's not an easy task for anybody. Many parents try to teach the big kids to be helpers to keep them included in the new baby.
3 The Exhaustion
Pregnancy is tiring. We know newborns don't sleep well, but we will never be prepared for the extreme exhaustion we experience during those first few weeks and months with a newborn. According to BabyCenter, newborns typically get up to 16 to 17 hours of sleep a day. That may leave some people wondering how new moms could possibly be tired. What would we have to complain about when baby sleeps that much? Too bad that sleep is often in short spurts making it impossible for parents to get any decent type of rest.
Our nights are full of sporadic feedings, changes, and holding our bundle of joy. Ideally people say moms should "sleep when baby sleeps." Clearly those people are either insane or have some full time help who can manage the rest of the household chores. Oh wait, when are we supposed to eat, drink, use the bathroom, or take care of ourselves? There just aren't enough hours in the day, no matter how many of them our newborn sleeps for. Being a new parent is being an around the clock caregiver for our baby, and it requires a serious sacrifice of our own rest.
2 After Pains
Delivery was the painful part, but that doesn't mean everything with our uterus is all fine and dandy now. During pregnancy, our uterus expands to about 500 times its usual size according to Parents. It doesn't just magically go back to business as usual when baby moves out. It is usually worst in the days following delivery, but it takes several weeks at minimum for our uterus to go back to its normal size.
If we pump or nurse, it will also encourage our uterus to contract and shrink back to normal size. These contractions often get milder and do eventually stop altogether. This is a problem that few women hear about before experiencing it. It is no surprise that we kind of expect our uterus to get back to its normal size and business following devilry. We just never really think about how it is going to get back that way. We are much too distracted with being excited about the baby coming out. It makes sense that everything else is chopped liver.
Those first six weeks after delivery can be extremely isolating. For some, it is our time away from work yet our spouse may still be at work. Visits do tend to taper off in the first couple of days and weeks which can make for a long, quiet six weeks. Newborns aren't great conversationalists, and if we are breastfeeding, it sure feels like we are doing all of the heavy lifting. It really limits our adult interaction because we find ourselves trapped in the house, baby attached, and talking to ourselves.
PsychologyToday reports that new mothers often feel disconnected from everyone including their spouses. We are at home with this tiny human, and the world outside still keeps turning. It's easy to feel a little lonely. Taking a newborn out can be difficult plus some would rather limit baby's exposure to the public due to germs. This feeling comes as a shock to most because we aren't alone technically. We are basically glued to our baby and severely lacking connection with other adults. We miss our friends, colleagues, and even in some ways our spouses.