First off, congratulations!
Welcome to the community of those who have experienced pregnancy, those who are currently expecting, and those who are there to support their loved ones with baby bumps.
If you’re a new mommy, you’re probably a tad overwhelmed. There’s a seeming mountain of information you need to absorb about being a mom.
We’re here for you. Keep reading for our know-how tips: what to expect during your expectancy and how to handle every situation that might arise.
1. Fertility and Periods
Did you know that after giving birth, some women can get their period as soon as three weeks after?
Yes, this means that you can still get your period during the breastfeeding stage.
If you bottle-feed your baby, it’s possible you can get your period as soon as five weeks after delivery.
However, it may also be the case that if you’ve exclusively breastfed, your period may be delayed until after the baby has been weaned off night-time feeding.
This is because the hormone that causes your body to lactate can inhibit your menstrual cycle.
2. First Period Post-Pregnancy
Pregnancy sometimes causes permanent changes to a woman’s body.
You may experience:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Changes in blood flow
- Cramping (may be better or worse than before your pregnancy)
- Blood clots in menses
If you notice you have blood clots in your period flow, make sure to contact your OB/GYN or doctor, as this could indicate more serious health issues.
3. Your Body Will Change
A woman’s body image has a demonstrable role in their susceptibility to postpartum depression.
Your body begins changing as soon as you get pregnant and some of those changes can be permanent.
The skin around your stomach may be stretched. You may have a lasting scar from a C-section.
You may have gained weight, or your breasts may have changed in size.
During this time, it’s important to communicate to your loved ones that you need their support. Have them affirm you, your emotions, and the hard work you’ve done. Let them know that you might need more loving words and reassurance as you adjust to your body’s physical changes due to pregnancy.
You can strengthen your communication skills surrounding pregnancy in online childbirth classes. Feel free to sign up with or without your partner.
4. Sex After Birth
Many women wonder how giving birth and becoming a mother will affect their sex life with their partners.
Here are our words of wisdom: take it slow, and communicate. Healthcare professionals recommend waiting at least a few weeks post-delivery before having sex again.
Hormonal changes in your body can alter your sex drive and your experience of sex. Women report myriad symptoms, from decreased sex drive to vaginal dryness.
It’s up to you to communicate these changes and ask for understanding from your sexual partner.
If you or your partner have lasting concerns, know that you have the option of consulting your doctor or a qualified relationship therapist.
It’s normal for the area in and around the vagina (the perineum) to feel sore and bruised after giving birth, and this soreness can last for weeks for some women. If you feel pain during penetration, definitely bring that up with your partner and consult your GP. In the meantime, you’ll want to explore non-penetrative forms of sex, through masturbation, oral sex, or using toys.
Use extra lube to ensure your comfort, as hormonal changes can lead to vaginal dryness.
5. Knowing How to Read a Diaper
You can read a diaper?
Yes, you can.
Some diapers have yellow lines that turn blue when a baby pees on them.
These are helpful indicators for knowing when your little one needs a diaper change, without you having to unwrap and investigate.
However, not all diapers come with this functionality, so you could try picking up the type that does.
6. Self-Care is Okay
You’ll want to show your baby as much affection as you can, and hold them in your arms if you can to comfort them.
However, we want all new moms to know that self-care is okay and absolutely valid. You can put the baby down if they are crying and you are overwhelmed.
You can take a shower and prioritize your own sleep, diet, and well-being. You can communicate expectations with your partner about caring for the little one. It shouldn’t all fall on you.
Many new moms are heroes, giving the most of themselves for a baby.
We’re here to tell you to take time for yourself as well. If you’re constantly overwhelmed, it’s not good for you as a mother or your baby’s development.
7. Babies Will Cry For No Reason
Crying is how babies communicate.
They may be dissatisfied, they may need a diaper change, or they may be hungry or gassy.
Sometimes, they’ll cry for no reason at all, so don’t stress too hard about it every time they do.
As a new mom, you could be doing everything right to make sure your baby’s needs are met and still be met with endless wails. Some babies just cry a lot, and that’s normal!
8. Avoid Co-Sleeping
According to experts, co-sleeping with your baby comes with risks of suffocation or SIDS.
Your best bet is to set your child up in their own crib, well-secured on their back.
Either have them in the same room as you with their own crib or in a separate room with some sort of baby monitor.
9. More Fertile After Giving Birth?
You can get pregnant less than a year after having your first child.
In fact, you can get pregnant even as soon as three weeks after.
If you’re not trying for another baby, make sure to use proper contraception.
In terms of being more fertile post-baby? That one is a myth.
Stages of Motherhood for the New Mommy
Giving birth is just the first step. As a new mommy, you’re probably realizing you have a ton of work cut out for you.
We’re here for you all the way. We’ve put out a ton of helpful advice for new moms in our health and lifestyle sections, so stay tuned, and welcome to the community.