This post has been a long time coming and I’m excited to share it with you today – I polled our Mama Notes Inner Circle Community and asked them to share ONE thing they wish the knew before they gave birth. You can read my thoughts on what I wish I knew before I gave birth in a hospital here!
That you really need to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally . I read a book about basically taking care of yourself for the first 40 days after pregnancy before my second and it was really powerful.
Your vagina goes back to normal
With my first kid I thought everything was focused on caring for a newborn, but I didn’t take care of myself and got really rundown and depressed. I should have asked for more help and remembered that I was healing and go through something too!
How big clots could be in recovery. Scared the *** out of me.
“I’m getting an epidural” is not enough of a birth plan! Turns out, sometimes they don’t work. Need plan b, c, and d.
I wish I had been told to enjoy our time in the hospital more. We were so tired that we basically slept in a dark room the whole time, and didn’t really get to soak in that first day with our son. I wish I would have taken way more photos, too :-(.
Read the instructions and assemble your beast pump before you have the baby.
How long it would take for me to be able to not pee myself. And to seek help because while common that is not normal!
I had no need for my hospital go bag.
Things change SO quickly
To be more prepared for my postpartum needs – especially for an unplanned C-section. And to trust that eventually I would feel better and be more mobile again.
That it takes time for everything to heal, to give myself permission to admit being a new parent is hard.
Breastfeeding is so hard! I read so many books that made it seem like baby would naturally know what to do. If you are struggling get help from a LC. I saw 3 different ones in the first month.
No matter how you deliver (I did both a c-section and med-free VBAC) you need to give yourself at least 2 weeks of downtime.
I was not prepared for my uterus cramping while nursing.
I didn’t realize how much you can sweat — especially in your sleep — in the week postpartum. I ended up sleeping on towels instead of changing the sheets each night. The new mom life is so, so glamorous. :)
I wish I had the confidence to trust my instincts more. As a new mom I got caught up in books and what worked for my friends. Kids are not one size fits all, and rarely do my instincts fail me when deciding what is right for my family.
More about the postpartum period and especially pumping.That there was such thing as a postpartum doula and that I should hire one.Sleep as much as you can!
It’s okay to not feel like yourself, you’re a new version of you, and you can mourn the changes if you need to.
That your child has his/her own plan for how and when they are born and that it will be the hardest journey emotionally, physically and mentally but well worth the adventure.
It’s ok to not love every minute of those newborn days. It doesn’t mean you love your child any less. It took me a while to come to terms with that and not have terrible #momguilt.
Get nursing help early and often
I feel like the things I wish I knew, I would have no way of understanding before experiencing birth. But in hindsight, I do wish I had asked and/or accepted more help!
What post partum would be like and how to help my baby sleep!
To spend more *truly* quality time with my husband.
I wish I knew to get help earlier for post-partum depression. I feel like I might have missed some amazing moments because I was under such a dark cloud for the first 3 months after giving birth.
How you are thrown right into the postpartum room and expected to learn to breastfeed instantly. After giving birth you are exhausted and everything is such a blur.
That my pelvis would never be the same! And require a lot of stretching/ exercise to get back to normal function I.e. no pain.
The people that you are supposed to be able trust (like a MIL) may not always have the best advice or intentions and it is OKAY to disagree with them. It’s your baby and your job to advocate for them. Establish boundaries and expectations early on, be consistent with them, and make sure your partner understands.
That it doesn’t go the way you think it will but it’s the best thing in the world
How recovery could be SO much more difficult than the pregnancy.
How incredibly powerful you will feel afterward!