No one really tells you about how you are going to feel once you have had your baby. You spend a good chunk of your pregnancy really focusing on how you feel. You are aware of every symptom, you know the size of your baby thanks to tracking it through phone apps, and you really know how you feel physically and mentally. But when the baby arrives things change, and sometimes we are not too aware of how or when this happens. The truth is, it is different for everyone and while you may feel completely thankful for your wonderful bundle of joy, the chances are mentally and physically you don’t feel your best. This is completely normal.
The problem there is that not many people talk about the body and mental side of things post baby, apart from the looking out for the signs of postnatal depression. This is essentially very important, but there are other factors and changes to consider. So here are some of the realities of the post-baby mind and body. Let’s hope it makes you feel more content and normal so you can get back to enjoying those newborn days.
The baby blues are normal
Many women who have had a baby will be aware that afterwards they need to look out for the signs of the baby blues. It is a completely normal reaction. Your hormones are all over the place so it is completely understandable for you to be teary, fragile and feel out of sorts. There is a difference to feeling this way, and to feeling depressed. The signs that the baby blues are more than just a few days or a hormone imbalance will include feelings of despair, struggling and getting frustrated with yourself and possibly not wanting to bond or do anything towards the new baby. Only you know yourself, so you will understand that if your baby blues are developing into more like postnatal depression. It happens to us all, and it can happen for days, a matter of weeks or even months. But you will get through it.
Your change how you feel about your body
Your body mentality completely changes once you have had a baby. There can be either feelings of huge gratitude towards your body for doing this most incredible thing of carrying a child and giving birth. But then there is the negative aspect where you start to worry about losing weight or getting your figure back. The one thing we can all agree on, is that our opinions change, and the best advice would be to just relax with your body and feel grateful for the most amazing thing you have just done.
Not everyone snaps back into their jeans
The truth of the matter is that not everyone snaps back into their jeans as if nothing has happened. Some people have that body makeup, where it happens for them, but others it just doesn’t. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you or your body, we are just all different. Some people struggle for months afterwards and look into whether or not they could be a tummy tuck candidate to get some help with issues to do with the body shape. Some people accept the new shape and embrace, and others work hard on a healthy lifestyle and regime and try and get back into shape that way. The best thing to remember is that not all of us snapback, and to just relax and go with the flow.
The isolation and loneliness you can feel
There is a huge feeling or isolation and loneliness as a new mother. So many women feel it, but yet many don’t really talk about it. You might be fine for those first few weeks as your partner may be around with you. It might be that you have friends visiting or family, but once the routine sets in, it can be a lonely place to be. This is when you need to come to terms with this new life and routine you have, and start making a new life for yourself. Heading to baby groups, making new friends, or just getting used to one another. It is a special time.
The separation anxiety is real
Finally, the separation anxiety is a real thing that many new mothers experience but yet not all really talk about. You can become so consumed with motherhood and your little one, that leaving them to perhaps even just go shopping can feel like a huge task. It is the worry and the fear, and it is more common than you think. Thankfully, there is some excellent advice available on how to deal with it if you find yourself struggling.
Sometimes it is good to talk about the realities of life, as it can help people feel more normal and less alone.
Definitely need to face realities, and cope with such truth. Can’t be thinking of everything you’re told to feel
Good post. Many do not consider the lifestyle changes. They might not consider relationship changes or many other things.
Good article on what happens after birth of a baby for a mother, her body, emotions etc.
My baby is going to be 21 this summer, but I remember how I felt after having her. I was afraid to be a stay at home mom…she was so tiny!
This is so true.As a first time mom and now having a 7 month old baby, I can differentiate how it feels now as compared to the first few months!
So very true! Thanks for this post. I think it is an issue that needs to be talked about more! There is too many images of ‘perfection’ online, and it is not possible to be perfect!
It sounds sad, but thankfully it’s normal and something a lot of people can relate to. Connecting with friends and other moms can help a lot. 🙂 Thank you for writing this.