As a new mama, my head and heart have never felt so full, but gosh can it be a confusing and overwhelming time. Where my thoughts were once full of business ideas, weekend adventures, date nights, and making sure to call my friends, they are now all about nursing, making the “right” health decisions for my baby, and hoping he is happy at daycare. Where my routine before baby was so set with morning walks, yoga, and a definitive work schedule, it’s now a jumble of changing diapers, feeding, naptimes, making funny faces to get kiddo to smile, and maybe a sun salutation or two.
This mom stuff is HARD. Can you relate? Maybe you’re a new mom. Maybe you have young kids or remember really well those early days. Or maybe you’re expecting a baby soon. Whichever season you’re in, I thought I’d share the five things I wish I would’ve known before having our little fella.
5 things I Wish I Would’ve Known Before Baby:
People say breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. And, it may be. However, breastfeeding has been BY FAR the biggest challenge I have ever faced. Forget opening a business. Nursing takes the cake. We've had engorgement, latch issues, cracked nipples, oversupply, overactive letdown, nipple shields, etc. I wish I would have taken a breastfeeding class BEFORE baby’s arrival and I wish I would’ve found a community of women pretty soon thereafter to learn this skill. Because, yes, it’s a skill. But, if you want this relationship with your baby, I believe you can have it with patience and practice. And, if not, then you'll do what's right for you and your baby, and it will be fine. #fedisbest
You’re going to be in the house....A LOT...especially in the first few weeks after baby’s birthday. As a gal who’d rather be out and about, I had a very hard time with this. First, newborns nurse around the clock (am I right?). You can easily nurse a new baby 10+ hours a day. Second, after a long labor my muscles sort of shut down and I had a hard time walking (more on that for another time). So, I was in and around the house a lot. I learned that it’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to rest. I also learned that standing in the sunshine on my patio and even taking gentle strolls when I was ready worked wonders for my soul.
I wish I would’ve taken meal prep way more seriously. Because....I didn’t and I'm hungry. Iam eternally grateful to my mom, dad, grandma, and mother in law who stocked our fridge and our cabinets immediately after Bodhi was born (and whenever they visited in the early weeks). And, thank you to the numerous friends who brought meals straight to our doorstep. Having a baby requires your full attention. All of it. If there’s ever a next time or if one of my dear friends becomes pregnant soon, I am making you tons of soup to freeze. Promise.
The next one surprised me, because I thought I had given this some attention, but not enough. So much so, that I’ve been bringing it up a lot while teaching prenatal yoga. I wish I would’ve really sat down with my fears and anxieties about birthing my baby. I wish I would’ve set aside adequate time with my husband to talk about what would make me feel safe. It sounds simple, but it’s so important to honor your fears and worries, and think about how you might work through them. We are all happy and healthy in our house, but I do believe I might have felt better during my labor had I given my fears some more attention.
You’ll need time to process your birth. And, that’s okay. It’s actually healthy. So often, after a baby is born, all the attention shifts towards your little one. And, why wouldn’t it? They’re cute. They’re squishy. They have the sweetest little toes. Everyone is finally meeting this human you’ve been growing for 9+ months. But, mamas, you’re still important, too. You did a lot of work to bring your baby into the world, and whether your birth was quick, long, intense, traumatic, spiritual, etc. you need time to process it. Talk with your partner, relive with your doula, write out your birth story in a journal. It helps. And, regardless of your story, I bet there’s a ton of beauty in there.
What do you wish you would’ve known before having a baby? What would you share with a friend? I’d love to compile some of these thoughts and share them with each other. I believe our prenatal and postnatal yoga community can continue to grow just as our little ones do, too. With that, I’d also like to welcome you or maybe an expectant friend to join our next Prenatal Yoga series, starting on November 14! It’s my vision to continue our journeys into motherhood with pre/postnatal yoga, postpartum support, and additional services over time.