Sunday, July 19, 2015

Open Letter To New Mamas

A few of my dear friends are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their firstborn children and while I am overjoyed for them, I also have a few things to share that I wish someone had told me when I began my journey of motherhood. So here it is:

Lesson No. 1:

Just because you feel like you can cook and clean and do errands or hobbies the first few days postpartum, it doesn't mean you should. You should be in bed for a week with moderate upright activity and in general, just nesting and nursing your new babe. The adrenaline from birth can linger and make you feel like being more active than you should be. Just sit and let someone take care of you. You just made a person and are now likely, exclusively feeding that human. You deserve to take it easy.

Lesson No. 2

You may not swoon with overwhelming feelings of love and adoration for your new bundle of joy. That's okay. Some people get the heady swoon of a newborn and some Mamas need to fall in love with their babies. Both paths are healthy and normal and loving.

Lesson No. 3

Everyone knows to watch out for Postpartum Depression (PPD) but most people don't know about Postpartum Anxiety; it is just as prevalent but often undiagnosed. If you frequently feel anxious, angry or "touched out" you may be experiencing postpartum anxiety and you should speak with your  healthcare provider. Hormones rapidly fluctuate postpartum and can develop into a hormone induced depression and for some Mamas, it just hits harder than it should.

Lesson No.4

At some point you will look at your husband and think, "Who are you? How did we get here? Should we stay?". The sleep deprivation, the poor self care, the lack of social affects you and your  marriage. It's okay. This is a time to reevaluate priorities and focus on shared values.   Plus, fewer things in life are as appealing as watching your husband mature into an excellent father. You can find your way back to those butterfly feelings.

Lesson No. 5

Having children is the most exhausting, sacrificial, and unnerving journey you will ever experience. You will never regret it. You don't just love your children, you fall in love with them, over and over again. These beautiful souls, intrusted to you, are your most important work and you will thank God for every second you have being theirs.

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  1. I would add for the friends of those having first babies that your friend will go through a long period where leaving the house is not easy and is not something they will think to do unless asked. Invite them out to dinner, ask if they want you to pop over for lunch. Maintaining friendships is hard when a baby comes, and new mom is not thinking about how to do that but will appreciate you carrying the friendship through the new mom phase!


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