Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 12:20 pm
Nothing will change a woman’s life like bringing a life into the world…
Pregnancy and childbirth are beautiful. But the truth is a bit more “Photoshopped” than we might think.
This is why a lot of the realties of birth and pregnancy come as a shock for many women:
- “Why did no one tell me that I would have to recover from second-degree tearing on my vagina?”
- “Why was I not aware that breastfeeding is so hard?”
- “Will they ever sleep right through the night?”
- “Why am I feeling so terrible about being a new mom?”
Conversations around postpartum realities and maternal mental health might be on the rise. There’s a need for more information to empower women.
Without more accurate information, new moms may end up believing pregnancy myths and miss out on little moments that could have made a big difference to their journey.
Here are 5 things South African moms would say to a friend who is pregnant:
1. This too shall pass.
A lot of changes happen physically and emotionally. Some issues persist after childbirth like pigmentation.
One mom shares that “those patches on the face, neck, and chest will fade away.”
This applies to many other moments in your motherhood journey. The fatigue, the restless or ill child, the diaper rash, the throw up, or the physical pain you are currently facing – It passes.
The beautiful moments also pass, so soak it all in!
2. Tell people how you are REALLY feeling when they genuinely ask
When someone that cares about you asks you how you are, and you are not “okay”, then say it.
Postpartum depression affects a lot of women after childbirth, and some guilt themselves about it, or are not even aware that they are experiencing it. Awareness can take place through conversations with people we love and trust.
You just birthed a child. So, allow yourself to not be “okay”. This might be the key that you need to unlock yourself from mom shame and guilt. We all have moments where we have no idea what we are doing. Make sure you have someone close by who really cares.
3. Always plan for the unexpected
Birth plans are great, but babies don’t always stick to the plan!
Moms have emergency C-sections when they have planned vaginal births, and there is no shame in that. The focus should always be on ensuring that your baby arrives on earth healthy and happy, and the rest is outside your area of influence.
4. Trust your gut
In essence, every mom is an expert on their own children. No one will know your child better than you, so take parenting advice with a little pinch of salt.
The ‘mom instinct’ is a real thing for many, but does not work the same for everyone. Try and be in tune with the voice that tells you something is wrong with your child. Better to find out that there is nothing wrong that sit on a problem because someone said there is nothing to worry about.
5. Take loads of pictures
You can easily forget the good and fun moments if you do not capture them. The journey is hard, so it is important to remind yourself of the moments that make it all worth it. Plus, cute pictures can sustain you when you go back to work after maternity leave, which is an emotional rollercoaster on its own.
In conclusion, you are going to be just fine.
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