Two lines appear on that telling little test...congrats are in order!!!
There is a whole lot to accomplish in these next nine months. Parents need to get the nursery together, make a baby registry and attend their baby shower. They have to read up on the baby's development, attend birthing classes and prep themselves on what's to come.
No matter how hard someone studies up on parenting, they will still be missing some critical components of the experience. The kicker is parenthood happens to be one of those things in life that can only be perfectly and truly understood over time. By the time the kids turn eighteen and get ready to move out of the house, mom and dad will be professional parents. While there most certainly is a whole lot that they will learn along the journey of parenthood, some of the introductory information will be doled out by well-meaning friends, family, and professionals. Seasoned mothers won't let parents-to-be go into the labor and delivery room completely blind. That said, there are still some things that nobody is going to tell the expectant couple about that first day of parenthood.
But we will!
Here are 20 Things Doctors Don't Tell Soon-To-Be Moms About The Day After Labor
Taking those giant prenatal pills every morning probably was not the highlight of your pregnancy, but you have to agree that these things are super important. Prenatal pills ensure that your unborn child is getting what they need to grow strong and healthy. Most women stop taking them once the baby arrives, after all, those prenatal pills had that name for a reason right? Wrong. It is recommended that women continue taking them even after their baby is born. If they are nursing, moms will want to stay popping them until they entirely wean their infant.
Pregnancy hormones will make you question who you have become, but they are nothing compared to the supernatural mood swings that often sneak up on new mothers. Those first few days of motherhood can send a woman's emotions into a complete tizzy. They can be euphoric and suddenly weepy. Mommies can encounter all sorts of hormonally charged feelings out of the blue. It's important to recognize what is a temporary hormonal shift and what is a more serious condition, however. Some women experience more severe psychological conditions following the birth of their babies.
This next one should go without saying; you are going to be tired after giving birth. This tired is not just any old tired though; this is all the "tireds" wrapped into one feeling of exhaustion that compares to going a week without sleep. You'll, of course, be physically tired because you just grew and delivered a human being from your body. You will also feel emotionally spent, which is understandable. You did just meet and hold the seven-pound love of your life after all. Your body will ache, and your brain will feel like mush. One half of you will want to sleep, and the other half will fight to stay wide awake and stare at your newborn baby. Decisions, decisions. Welcome to parenthood!
Everybody tells you that childbirth is going to hurt, but no one informs you that your first few number twos are going to hurt pretty bad also. Women who have been through delivery know what I am talking about here; the dreaded first trip to the loo. Just remember that this pain is indeed temporary, and in a few more trips you will be back to your old self. Just a side note here: this unpleasant day one experience is something that women get to go through regardless of how they delivered. Natural birth or C-section birth, everyone shutters at the first number two.
I remember being baffled at the number of medical professionals who came through and visited baby and me in our first few days. Nurses will enter your recovery room around the clock. They will check on the baby, take her out for routine tests and procedures and make sure all is going well. A separate team of nurses will come in specifically to check on you. They will take your vital stats, dole out pain medications, make sure that your body is returning to normal slowly but surely as well as keep an eye on your mental health status. There is no slapping a Please Come Back Later sign on your hospital door. They are coming in whether you want them to or not.
One misconception pregnant women often have is that they will deliver their baby and return to their pre-pregnancy size in a mere couple of days. Unless you are Kylie Jenner, this is probably not going to happen right off the bat. Yes, you lost a few pounds with the delivery of the actual baby, but your body is still hanging on to fluid and hormones. You are going to look pregnant for some time. Be kind to your body and try and remember that it took you nine months to get it to look this way, it's going to take time for it to snap back to its former self.
How hard can it be to care for a six pound human who can't move and supposedly sleeps for most of the day? The short answer? Hard. Newborns do mostly sleep and eat, making them slightly easier to care for than a toddler, but things can become hairy when you throw in factors like a recovering mommy, other children, and pets in the house, no partner at home or hormones that will not cooperate. Your baby might also not take to nursing well or be a crier. Parenting a newborn isn't as easy as you initially though now is it? Ask for help! You would be stunned at the number of people who are itching to get over to your house and cuddle a newborn baby so that you can practice self-care.
You have waited for what seems like an eternity to meet this little person, and now she is here, and you are, for lack of a better word, blah. You aren't bursting at the seams with love for this pink, squirming ball of adorable; you feel almost indifferent to her presence. The fact that you assumed bonding would happen immediately makes it all worse because you expect to bond at first sight with your child. When that doesn't happen in the way you anticipated, you feel confused, maybe even disappointed, like something is wrong with you. The good news is that nothing is wrong with you and you will bond with your baby. Some women take a little bit longer to get there than others. Motherhood isn't a race, so try not to be too hard on yourself, be patient. You both are just getting to know one another.
Your delivery room will be packed full of essential items that both you and baby might need. There are drawers full of newborn diapers, lotions, bulb syringes, little hats, onesies, mesh undies, and ready-made formula. Here is my seasoned maternal advice in regards to these products: take them all. Seriously, they are there for you and your baby, so take them home. Trust me; there isn't a bulb syringe out there that can compete with the hospital grade one and things like diapers and formula are expensive, so load the diaper bag up before you take off for home.
Super, you want to nurse your baby. Good for you! Mother's milk has tons of benefits for both you and your child. New moms assume that the second they deliver that milk will be waiting to flow like the nectar of the Gods, but that is not often the case. A mother's milk takes a few days to come in fully, and believe us when it comes in you will know it. In the meantime allow your infant to get the hang of latching on and developing proper latch and sucking habits. These are super important in the long run. Even though you aren't making milk yet, your baby is still getting colostrum from your body as you nurse. If your baby seems highly agitated at your lack of the goods, consult a lactation consultant on the matter.
Some babies take to nursing like it's nothing. Some little ones take right to it as if they were born to do this, while others struggle to figure it all out. Every baby is different when it comes to nursing, even if they are born to the same mother. Baby number one could be a pro, while baby number two might take more time to work it all out. Whatever the case, if you are nursing, it's important to get your baby to latch on correctly. The latch is essential to nursing success. Nurses are great resources in this department as are the hospital lactation consultants. Don't leave the hospital without getting the hang of the latch.
Childbirth is a beautiful, but often, messy, business. Most pregnant women know this, but some are surprised at it. Losing bodily fluids is a common thing, so don't fret. What new moms are never quite prepared for is the leakage that takes place after the baby is born, especially if they underwent a cesarian section. New mothers are going to lose fluids for several weeks. The discharge will start heavy but will decrease in color and amount over the next few months. Knowing that this WILL happen will save you from freaking out when you first stand upright post delivery. You're welcome.
After having a baby, diapers become your life. Of course, your newborn baby will be going through diapers at warp speed; we parents prepare for this. Little ones can plow through 6 to 10 diapers in one day. What you might not have prepared for is that you and your baby may be twinning in the diaper department. If you are losing a ton of fluid after delivery, and you loathe the giant boat-shaped maxi-pads, you might spring for some adult diapers yourself. Don't knock them until you try them. These things are hella comfortable, and comfort is what you need right about now.
It's tempting to never close your eyes after having a baby, just in case you miss the cutest thing that she ever did, but please mamas, TRY! Sleep when you can. That is the single best piece of advice that I, a mom to four, can give you. Even if the adrenalin is surging through you in those first few days of motherhood, make sure that you sleep whenever the opportunity arises. Trust me, you have a whole lot of sleepless nights ahead of you, so stockpiles some snoozes as best you can. The hospital staff will likely be accommodating in this area. Some hospitals will take your baby to the nursery for a few hours so that you can nap.
Everyone is going to want to come and meet your precious bundle of joy as soon as she is born. These friends, family members, and coworkers are well-meaning and want to shower both you and the new baby with love and affection, but hospital guests can become exhausting. Remember what I just said about catching some sleep while you are laid up in the hospital? That is hard to do when every person you ever knew is coming through the door with gifts and flowers. Consider asking all guests to wait to visit until after you get home and get settled in.
That first warm shower that you get after having a baby is the single most amazing thing that you will feel in your entire life. Childbirth is kind of icky, and the hospital can make people feel icky and germy, so chances are you are counting down the minutes until you can stand under steaming water. Be careful though! Too warm of water can make blood pressure levels plummet, and if you just gave birth, then yours might be a bit wonky, to begin with. A nurse or partner might be a good person to have on standby as you take that first cleansing shower.
Mom might be a bit surprised to see that both she and baby look like there are on house arrest during their hospital stay. Infants often wear small security devices around their tiny ankles and moms have matching identification bracelets around their wrists. This baby LoJack system can seem peculiar to some people, but the jewelry is for an excellent reason. You can never be too safe in any medical facility. It's a rare occurrence that a hospital loses a mother's baby, but it does happen. These security anklets ensure that babies stay right where they should, and no one can sneak them off of hospital grounds.
Before you and your little one can head home, all sorts of different criteria have to be passed. Medical evaluations are done to ensure that both mom and baby are in well enough health to start their lives outside of the hospital. Hospital staff will also check out your car set and make sure that it is standard and meets safety requirements. They will also do a double check to the installation of the seat. No babies are going home in car seats that are not properly installed. It's a good idea to have the car seat securely fastened to the vehicle before you even head to the hospital.
Some parents had decided on their baby's name long before they ever met their little one. Plenty of people out there stored up family names of favorite names long before the baby was ever a twinkle in their eye. Other moms and dads struggle with giving their child a name that they will carry forever. They might want to wait until they get a feel for their infant's spirit and personality or perhaps they aren't ready to commit to such a permanent decision off the bat. Either way, the hospital is going to want a baby's official name on the birth certificate before the family leaves.
New mothers sometimes feel like the minute they emerge back into the world, baby in tow, they should be doing it all. The superwoman myth is a long-standing one, and we wish it would just go away. Ladies: it's going to take some time to return to your old self. Even then you might find that you feel like an entirely new version of "you." Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint, don't feel pressured to snap back after your body achieved the most incredible thing known to humankind. Appreciate how far you have come every single day, and know that while it is great to have goals, nothing is going to happen overnight.