Having a baby is by far one of the most exciting and heartfelt moments you'll probably ever experience. However, with the addition of a new life. It comes with life changes after baby EVERY mom should be prepared for.
I remember being so caught up in our birth that didn't go as planned. Having feelings of stress as I was struggling to breastfeed and feelings of sadness when our boy was admitted to the NICU.
All the things I wasn't entirely prepared for.
Disclaimer: This post and the opinions in this post are not meant to take the place of medical advice.
Having a baby changes everything
It might not seem like it first, but it's true. Having a baby literally changes everything.
You begin to look at finances in a new light. You start to second guess who you are as a person. The way you could just up and run errands is totally different.
Everything slowly becomes shifted on your new bundle of joy. Meanwhile, old priorities slip onto the end of the list. Sometimes, you might even feel BAD for doing things for yourself. Hence how the term #momguilt eventually became a thing.
Some other areas you might be experiencing changes include:
- Your relationship
- Hormonal/Emotional changes
- Your body after baby
There's honestly a lot more things we can sit here and list out, but I'm here to help you prepare and focus on the big picture items.
The areas you SHOULD be prepared for so that when they arise, you don't find yourself in a rut feeling like all hope is lost.
Keep reading along for all the best tips to help you prepare for having a baby!
Life Changes After Baby & How to Prepare:
Relationship problems after having a baby
Unfortunately, relationship problems are extremely common after having a baby.
In addition to mom going through a natural whirlwind of emotional changes, most tend to forget that dads can also be going through them too!
Did you know dads can experience paternal depression? "Affecting anywhere between 2% and 25% of them during their partner's pregnancy or in the first year postpartum" according to an article on Healthy Children.
Along with that comes the fact that "relationship satisfaction has been shown to tank for over two-thirds of couples after a baby" according to Abby Burd in her new online course to help couples keep a STRONG relationship after the baby is born.
If you're wondering what kind of 'problems' you might be facing after the arrival of your bundle of joy, they could include:
- Lack of intimacy
- Increased arguments
- Built-up resentment
- Uneven parenting workload
- Not communicating clearly with one another
- Not spending time together
- And not taking enough time for yourselves!
Now in order to combat these issues, it's SO IMPORTANT to make sure you and your partner are able to openly communicate with one another not just before, but also after baby is born!
Write down some goals that you'd like to stick to before your baby is born that way once they arrive, you can be prepared to prevent some of these issues from even being a problem in the first place!
Things you can do with your partner after baby is born:
- Plan a date night once a month.
- Make an effort to hold hands & kiss each other AT LEAST once a day.
- Compliment/Show appreciation for one another daily.
- Agree on the parenting workload so it is a TEAM EFFORT (ex. mom and dad can alternate nightly feeds/changes or dad can change baby while mom breastfeeds, etc...).
- Schedule time for both of you to get some alone time while the other takes on baby duty.
Adjusting to your body after baby
Listen, mama, it is EXTREMELY rare for any mom to just bounce back after giving birth.
In fact, it can take up to 6-8 weeks AFTER giving birth before your uterus is able to completely shrink back down to normal.
That means the little mom pooch you've been rockin' could continue to be present for a bit longer than you may be like.
You also will be dealing with common postpartum recovery symptoms such as:
- Bleeding after birth (this is common whether you had a vaginal OR cesarean delivery).
- After birth, abdominal cramps as your uterus shrinks back down.
- Heavy, leaky and sometimes painful breasts as they fill up with milk.
- Back pains from lugging around a baby all-day as that pesky hormone, relaxin, continues to circulate through your body.
- Pelvic pressure after birth.
- And much more!
Yet, even despite all those pesky changes and recovery symptoms, your body still did the ultimate task of all time — It CREATED & BIRTHED a life!
This is why no matter how your body may appear after birth, even if it doesn't look up to your standards, it should be celebrated and appreciated!
Whenever you find yourself feeling down about your postpartum body, remember all the things IT DID DO! Remember how strong it was in a moment of vulnerability. And remember to show it some extra love!
Dealing with emotions after birth
As we touched on earlier in this post, it's common for both mom & dads to experience some emotional changes after birth.
However, I want to specifically discuss WHY & HOW educating yourself about postpartum depression can be one of the best decisions you can make while pregnant.
That's because Postpartum Depression can actually be PREVENTED!
Yup, you read that right. Even though hormones account for a large reason as to why moms experience postpartum depression, there are some other signs that can be detected earlier which can help to prevent postpartum depression [SOURCE].
If you begin experiencing things like sadness, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, or even anger/frustration that is NOT going away on its own within a few days, you should consider getting some help to process these feelings.
So, how can you prepare for these emotional changes after birth?
- Have a support tribe lined up (a person or people you can confide in if needed).
- Get yourself a journal to start logging your thoughts & feelings. You can use this as a way to unload your feelings or track the pattern of whether your feelings are becoming too much to handle.
- Make a list of people you can 100% rely on for help if you need it, whether it's around the house or even just to care for your baby while you take a shower!
- Start looking into therapists & get acquainted with the process in the event you do need to seek out care. This way, you'll know how to get scheduled with them & will already feel somewhat comfortable with them if you need it!
Positive Life Changes After Baby
As someone who was NOT prepared for these emotional changes, I can't stress the importance of them enough!
I do want to end this post on a happy note. Because, despite all the challenges you may not be expecting, there is also a lot of amazing things happening at the same time!
You're taking on the most important role in your life aka MOTHERHOOD! You're raising a tiny living human that YOU & YOUR PARTNER CREATED!
And at the end of the day, no matter what craziness is thrown your way, the love between you and your sweet baby will always outshine it all.