THIS IS POSTPARTUM
by Sinitta B
Sinitta Balchandani, founder of Mamacare speaks her mom truth about the fourh trimester after reading my book “This Is Post Partum.”
I just don’t understand, why women don’t like or want to talk about the realities of postpartum. As mentioned correctly by Tilda in her book “This Is Post Partum”, it’s a taboo. Pregnancy and childbirth are a happy event, no one wants to burst the bubble talking about the realities of postpartum and early struggles of motherhood.
Opening up to my friends
When I started to finally discuss my postpartum experience with the same friends, I had a chat before my baby was born, they said yes these are normal. Well then why didn’t you mention that earlier??? It was so frustrating. I had decided that I won’t let this happen to any other new mom. I frantically would go around telling every pregnant woman I met the realities of what I went through and what to prepare for. They hated me for that, when I opened the can of worms, but did thank me later! I know all women I have interacted with, who are pregnant are not really interested in talking about postpartum, only the women who have gone through can relate.
When I was pregnant, I had no clue of what postpartum was or what was going to happen to me. You know when you get pregnant you get all the information about how your baby grows, what to do and how to plan for when the baby comes! Even the advertisements you see, all the subscribed newsletters are for babies or of use during maternity, but nothing comes up about postpartum. They talk about labour and how to deal with it but nothing much about after that!! Even the Lamaze classes or yoga classes they just eventually talk about how to overcome labour and go through that. Where is the information on what happens after that baby comes out?
Postpartum hits you in many ways, here are some pointers from my experience.
It’s not necessary to connect or fall in love with you baby right away!
I mean its portrayed that way, that your baby is born and you’re in love instantly. Some moms probably do but It can take days or weeks to form that special bond or connection that lasts forever! However, when some women don’t feel the connection right away this adds to the baby blues (as your hormones are acting up). You start to question yourself as to why you don’t feel what you had imagined for your baby, what is wrong with me, I am a terrible person. And god forbid if you confide in anyone, you get judged. So, I want all moms to know It’s okay to take your time to build that connection that bond, its special.
2. Breastfeeding will cause the baby-weight to melt right off
It might. It might not. Some people hold excess fat tissue while breastfeeding, some lose it. If breastfeeding is a high priority for you, I urge you to table concerns about your body composition until after you wean. I lost weight initially during breastfeeding and then gained it all back and more once I weaned my baby off! While we’re talking breastfeeding myths, this is a good time to slip this in: Nursing is not effective birth control. There are a lot of great reasons to breastfeed, but weight loss and birth control are not among them.
3. That it’s going to be hard to do number two!
No one told me that going to the bathroom would be a task, and one should eat high food and take over the counter medications to help you go! I was constipated for 5 days; I had no clue what to eat or just get the stool softeners!
4. Hair loss is going to be crazy!
At one point I thought I was going bald. The stress of hair loss I thought caused more hair loss! What helped me was that I continued taking my prenatal vitamins to help me control it.
5. The swelling doesn’t go away.
Sometimes it can get worse. My legs were swollen like crazy on day 5 after giving birth. Pro Tip- just keep them elevated and don’t stand for a long period of time.
6. It really will take time to heal.
Not just 6 weeks! I couldn’t sit if I was standing or vice versa. The stiches stung bad down there. Things won’t magically turn around in six weeks.
7. Relationship with your partner
You might think this has taken a toll on your relationship with your partner as you have no time to spend alone. But don’t worry, it’s getting stronger
8. It’s okay to not to breastfeed
I know a lot of moms need to hear this, that it okay to not to breastfeed, your baby will be fine either way. This pressure and that mom guilt, it’s all unnecessary. I could do it for 8 months I was happy, my sister couldn’t breastfeed or pump and my niece was formula fed and also was fine!
9. Its okay to make yourself a priority
And lastly, that it’s okay to take care of yourself, its okay to make yourself a priority your baby will be fine, there is no need to feel guilty. Moms need to let go and forget about following the plan or be available for your baby24x7! You need to take care of yourself too. You deserve to be okay because you matter.
And let’s be honest here- if you’re not okay, no one is okay. You are as much of a priority as your baby.
YOU SHOULD ENJOY EVERY SECOND
My daughter was a terrible sleeper. The sleep deprivation tested my sanity. I love my daughter, but I did not love the brutal exhaustion of those first months. And the sleep deprivation is just one thing amongst the many. We know you love your baby but may not love every second of the early postpartum experience and you will still be a great parent. Cause parenting is hard, and you are learning too. Once more: Your experience matters. Allow yourself to be human. Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Don’t put pressure on yourself to enjoy the shitty and the mundane.
NORMALIZE THE POST PARTUM STRUGGLES
I really hope we get new moms out there to start sharing the raw truth and normalize this. Our body does this heroic thing of pushing this baby out and we should embrace it. We should get all the women out there prepared for what’s coming their way and have them ready to face it. There are now products, brands out there, just like mine, that focus of the physical recovery of the body. There is more to this than postpartum. The baby blues that persists for longer can also take you down the road of depression. In fact, this should be one of the major reasons to normalize and show the reality of postpartum and early motherhood, so that all moms know, that we are all on the same boat and can be there for each other.
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