If you are pregnant right now and it’s your first child….Congrats!
A world of wonder awaits you, first look at your new baby, first diaper changes, first giggles, coos, smiles, steps and so much more. It is all truly wonderful…. Well, almost all of it. There are a few things that you probably aren’t being told and frankly, I wish someone would have given me a heads up, so to keep you from having the same little “surprises” that I never knew were coming.
This list is certainly not inclusive, but after two children, it’s what I have found to be true twice over.
#1: You may get really strong contractions the first week you breastfeed. And they can be pretty painful (I noticed this way more with my second than my first). This is because when you are nursing it releases the hormone oxytocin, which is the same hormone that triggers the contractions during labor.
#2: The first week of breast milk is going to be very thick and very yellow and it tends to stain those pretty new outfits, so while you want everyone to your new little baby doll you might want to wait a week before dressing them in anything that would make you cry if it got breast milk spilled or spit up on it.
#4: If you had an episiotomy or tear during delivery, it will probably really hurt when you try to poop. Stool softeners, will be your friend.
#5: Sex if often the last thing on your mind, however there are the exception and that’s how my friend wound up with “Irish Twins, which brings me to #6.
#6: For the blue moons that sex is on your mind during the first few months after a baby definitely get a birth control plan going at your 6-week check up even if you are breastfeeding, you can still get pregnant.
#7: You will probably pee when you sneeze or giggle because of a full bladder during allergy season it’s called the “perfect storm”.
#8: You will have to do Kegel (like forever). Do Kegels regularly before baby arrives, it will make it easier afterwards and keep you from [literally] peeing your pants more often.
#9: Hormones are a real thing and if you didn’t experience this during pregnancy you will after. If things get a little crazy with the shift to post-partum or you feel down for more than a day make sure to talk to someone and perhaps seek support for dealing with post-partum depression.
#10: If the hormones don’t to get you, then lack of sleep might. Seriously, let the house go, do only what is essential to bathing and cleaning for a couple weeks, a month even, caring for a new one is a whole life mission in itself, eat when you can, sleep whenever you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
#11: Babies crying peaks between 6-10 weeks. This period is known has “sleep hell.” My suspicion is that this is timed perfectly so that the schedule routine that you were just getting baby on, gets thrown out the window, along with any confidence you may have developed along the way. If you are super lucky and baby continues to sleep through the night, do not tell your friends with babies or they may shun you from future play dates.
While this list is presented with honesty and a little humor, these can all be serious issues that moms/parents must work through during the first few months of parenthood, and just like everyone else, you will survive. It will seem a little crazy for a while, but it will get better. Baby will eventually sleep for periods of 4+ hours and you will be supermom before you know it.
Memory is a funny thing and the love of that little one will overshadow any of the pain, insomnia, piles of dirty dishes and everything else that comes with bringing a new life into the world and life will be harder, but way better, than it ever was before.