Hurray, the baby is here! Congratulations and well done you! So what now? Do you know what to expect after you have a baby?
Well apart from grabbing the nearest glass of wine and piece of brie, you might experience some new things that you were not quite expecting.
What to Expect after you have a Baby
1. Uninvited Guests
Oh yes, they mean well, they’re acting out of genuine excitement and love but add a tiny and cute newborn baby to your household and expect a barrage of well-wishers knocking on your door every day.
Which would of course be lovely if their intention was to clean your house, let you take a nap or, um, bring you cake. Let’s be honest though, they really just want to get their newborn cuddle fix sorted. Perhaps some want to check out how your post-pregnancy diet is going too! Grr.
If you do not want visitors until you’re feeling more settled at home then be firm and stay strong – and get your partner in on it too. Don’t worry about offending people too much, the baby will still be there to cuddle in a few week’s time but for now enjoy your little ‘new family bubble’ and find your feet in your own time.
2. Phantom Kicks
This is a weird one and I do remember experiencing it for weeks’ after having my first baby. My daughter was a very active kicker in the womb and after I gave birth, I STILL ‘felt’ those kicks occasionally – weird!
I could only put it down to my uterus shrinking but it was a little bit disconcerting at times – and caused me to rub my tummy a lot in public – cue worried looks from strangers.
Contractions? After the birth? Why yes!
Luckily my midwife did warn me of this one but if you breastfeed like me, you’ll likely experience mild contractions whilst feeding for the first couple of weeks as apparently breastfeeding causes your uterus to contract. Which is a good thing of course.
It’s nothing too painful, more like very mild period pains.
4. Extreme Hunger and Thirst
This is something else I’ve experienced after each pregnancy when I’m breastfeeding. I’m not exaggerating either – I mean extreme!
It’s really important to drink plenty of water while breastfeeding though and to eat healthily so don’t allow yourself to get dehydrated.
I don’t think it’s gives me carte blanche to eat all of the cake though oops. Or the Dairy Milk.
Whether you gave birth vaginally or via a c section, blood loss is inevitable and can last up to around 6 weeks.
To be fair, we have been period-free for 9 months prior at least.
So stock up on the maternity pads and Dairy Milk. Ok, perhaps the chocolate isn’t a necessity.
It is though, isn’t it?
6. Pressure to Lose the Baby Weight
Whether it’s from yourself, a family member/friend or an advert on TV, you might well experience this pressure soon after having the baby – the pressure to get your pre-baby body back.
Personally, I don’t want my pre-baby body back, I want my 21 year old body back! But you know what I mean.
Be kind to yourself and set some priorities – looking after your baby and you well-being comes first. Being a new parent can be hard enough so give yourself a chance to recover and heal physically and emotionally after childbirth before you take on any more challenges.
Enjoy every minute of my newborn snuggles while they last.
What about you? What did you experience after childbirth that you were not expecting?
Any advice for other new mums on what to expect when having a baby?
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