Your beautiful, sweet and tiny nugget has finally made his or her appearance and everyone is so thrilled for you! All they want to do is snuggle that baby and smell that intoxicating newborn scent. As they should! What an exciting time; it definitely calls for celebration!
But all too often, we don’t focus on you, mama. You grew this tiny fetus inside of you for months, dealing with all of the intense hormonal, emotional, and physical changes. You were grateful, but it wasn’t always easy. You were overwhelmed with the responsibility of keeping that babe healthy and it wasn’t even born yet. You read everything you possibly could online to prepare, and your mind was overloaded with information. You thought to yourself: “Can I really handle this?”
But you jumped that hurdle like a champ and delivered that baby! Honestly what an accomplishment! Whether it was a vaginal birth or a Cesarean, you truly rocked it. Maybe it wasn’t how you envisioned it would go, and your birth plan was crushed by an emergency, or your baby had to be taken to the NICU after delivery. You read everything and thought you had it all under control.
Babies will do this! The unexpected happens, even with low-risk pregnancies, but we need to address how you felt about it all. Your labour experience becomes such a blur and the next thing you know you’re at home with this tiny human being and you are recovering. Tearing, bleeding, swelling, scarring, cramping, and soreness – just to name a few.
Are you ok?
Of course you’re elated that you and your baby are as healthy as can be and you’ve been told this is all very normal. But let’s talk about it, because WOW your mind and body just did so much! It’s important you take the time to reflect, vent, and go over the events that happened in your experience because that, too will help you heal.
I believe a mentally healthy mama is the cornerstone to a healthy family. It’s time we address the not-so-pretty sides of our journeys into motherhood. We all have a story, and we’re all just trying to figure it out as we go. Seek help when you feel that something is off. Speak to a professional. It is the most courageous thing you can do when you are struggling.
Here are a few tips in caring for yourself even in those early days after your newborn’s arrival:
– Take a walk by yourself once a week. Even just around the block. It will rejuvenate you.
– Put on a nice face mask and take a bath.
– Journal. Letting out your feelings and frustrations on paper may be magical for you.
– Confide in a trusted friend. An amazing conversation can do wonders for your soul.
– Keep healthy snacks in your home that you can easily grab. Fruit, yogurt, nuts, salads, etc.
Let’s ask more women how they’re doing. When I ask my patients one question and they follow up with their life story, I am the type of person that will gobble that right up!! Your story means everything and shapes what’s happening to you today. It helps me understand not only who you are as a person, but as a parent as well. Your uniqueness is your strength and it will help us move forward as a team. You’ll find your rhythm and I can help. I want you to know that you got this mama, and I’m proud of you.