3. How are you after the birth?
Breast feeding is easy, the baby feeds and sleeps , you are up only once in the night, and you can get back into your favourite jeans after two weeks. You enjoy your new role as a mother and just love all the attention, visitors, presents and are delighted to get back to the white wine and even the odd ciggy. The pelvic floor is in place and sex last night was not a bad you thought it would be, so there is definitely life after babies, and maybe we could do this once more?
Or is there an alternative scenario?
Everything hurts, up three times a night and my piles are killing me. My nipples are cracked and feeding the baby is awful. My stitches are still pulling and I look as though I’m still pregnant.
I can’t get out of the house before 4pm and I’m still in my maternity clothes. And I dare not cough just in case I leak. I’m scared to have a look down there, but it feels as if a hand grenade gone off. My mother says I should pull myself together but I just can’t stop feeling sad. And the Health Visitor is driving me mad. I am never doing this again!
You Don’t Get To Choose
Well as you can see , some women bounce back from pregnancy with minimal wear and tear and are back to a different normality within weeks.
Others take longer, have complications, get depressed and some never really ever recover completely from the experience. They may have had a model pregnancy and a straightforward delivery and just hit the wall in the postnatal period, even if the baby is doing well. One in ten women get postnatal depression, and it is often, yes, you guessed it, unpredictable.
What to do?
- Call in all your markers. Mother, Mother in Law , partner, friends.
- Restrict visitors.
- Get sleep whenever you can.
- Do not make commitments in the early weeks, which could add to your stress.
- Do not expect too much too soon.
- Speak to your GP, Midwife or Health Visitor if you think you need some extra support.
Do not be fooled into believing that you can be all things to all people . Wife, home manager, domestic goddess, cook, fashion guru, sexy beast, social butterfly, athlete, banker, lawyer, AND MOTHER!
Very often it’s being a mother that is the most challenging of these. You simply can’t do it all.