With the help of a few of my mummy friends, I have complied list of 10 things we all wish someone told us before had a baby.
No, it’s not easy, it doesn’t come naturally, and you will cry and want to give up. Your boobs will be handled by more people in those first few weeks than you could’ve ever imagined possible.
Trust me, all your baby wants to do as a newborn is feed. Although you have already spent hours second guessing what the crying is for. You have changed them, burped them, and yet they are still screaming… if In doubt always go for the boob! It will save you hours of tears (yours not theirs)
At the end of the day, whether its boob or bottle, we are all there together, sharing the love, tiredness and most importantly, the milk drunk babies. 👶🏼
2. Silent Night time fights
Everybody warns you there will be sleepless nights- that doesn’t come as a shock. No, the brutal reality happens a few days after the endorphins levels fall. You spend months picturing yourself sitting in babies nursery , feeding them in your comfy rocking chair(you probably spent hours deliberating over) whilst singing a lullaby and then tucking them in with a soft kiss good night.
What we’re actually faced with is very, different. The night times can be lonely, cold, and as close to torture as I think we will ever come.
In those dark hours you learn you have the ability to have a full-blown argument with your other half . You can threaten to smother them with a pillow when they are sleep and tell them you’re going file for divorce in the morning, all whilst not allowing your voice to break a whisper.
Or if you are even more unlucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of peacefully sleeping significant other. I will tell you for free, that rage is real, and you might accidently elbow them hard, in the ribs 😅
3. Poo- All the poo, everybody’s poo!!
A baby might seem small, innocuous and insanely cute and this is what they want you to think. They want to hit you when you are least expecting it, opening their eyes the moment you put them down because you think they are asleep, vomiting up the last feed they so desperately wanted and screamed bloody murder for despite being attached to the boob for 22 or the last 24 hrs ( see 1.)
These tiny little people have the ability to poo like no other. “Poonarmi” will become another everyday used word and you will never believe that you could talk a lot someone’s else fecal matter so much. Watch out when your are mid-change, they can fire a yellow stream liquid much further than you think! Always be prepared!
Now, as for me, I wish someone had told me that I MUST take lactulose... it wasn’t a “if I feel like it” option. It was a necessity. As a new mum, I was already rattling around dosed up on pain killers and antibiotics every few hours. I was sure I didn’t need any extra medication in my system (just like I was so sure the baby wasn’t hungry, again see 1.). When the time came for my first post birth ‘movement’ I learned the hard way that, yes, I absolutely did need it. I ended up in the some of the most painful few hours of my life, glued to the toilet questioning whether I was giving birth to a secret twin. The whole episode lasted so long my crying baby had to be fed, yes you guessed it, while I was still on the loo! Mama’s please, please, PLEASE drink that lactulose like it’s the cold glass of wine you’ve been fantasising over for nine months. You’ll thank me later!
4. Dr Google is not your friend!
You think you rely on google too much now? You just wait until you have had a baby. You will find yourself googling the most random things I’ve compiled a list of my favourite.
Theswe are 100 % genuine things people I know have googled after giving birth :-)
“ Why is my baby so red ”
“ Why won’t my baby sleep ”
“ Why is my baby’s back so hairy ”
“ Weird yellow oily liquid in my poo ”
“ Why are my labia smaller ”
" Is it okay not to have poo'd for 5 days "
" Why am i sweating so much at night "
" Is it normal to be so thirsty "
“ Will ‘it’ look like a jokers mouth after stitches forever ”
“ Why is my vag so tight after C-section / why can’t my husband fit his penis in after C-section”
“ Can I die from lack of sleep / Can you die from sleep deprivation”
“ is it normal for my baby’s balls to be so big”
“ Do cabbage leaves really help with mastitis ”
“ is my baby allergic to me ”
“ will I always fanny fart during sex”
Ladies, ( and gentlemen if you are reading) step away from google. It is not your friend!!!
5. Lack of confidence
You will find having a baby will challenge even the most confident person. You will find yourself second guessing everything , and wondering if you are even cut out for this?
It’s very normal to feel tearful and totally overwhelmed. You can blame a mixture of sleep deprivation, hormones and losing your identity.
If you are super lucky you will have a support network around you, so you can send a text, call for a chat, and rock up with cake for a cuddle. Whoever you are, whatever your background and current situation. Don’t just think you can deal with alone, a support network is vital. I would have been lost without my network of girls. Knowing I could send a WhatsApp to my mummies group with an “SOS” meant I never felt alone. Build your support network now, it’s vital. You will never need it more.
6. Don't be afraid to ignore advice, even the well meaning stuff!
Everyone, including Great Auntie Jean will come at you with their advice ( heck even me!). Remember those well-meaning friends-friend whose baby was sleeping through at 8 weeks. All because they crushed a rusk up and shoved it in their bottle because that’s what their mum did, and they turned out fine? You don’t have to listen to it.
Your baby, your rules. You must do what works for you. My babies were swaddled, I used a dummy, I weaned slightly earlier than 6 months, and I combi fed all of my babies at some point. But it worked for me, that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.
Roll with it, don't stress if they aren't sleepig through, taking a bottle, sitting up, talking, clapping, walking, they will and soon it will seem so insignificant that you ever worried in the first place.
7. You aren’t just “Mummy”
You will sleep again, One day! Dinner will be eaten hot, and you will finish your cup of tea before it goes cold. Dry shampoo and wet wipes will soon be replaced by a real shower and shampoo , and you will start to feel like you again.
Your body has changed , you are leaking some bodily fluid from what feels like every orifice and you are now at the beck and call of a small person 24/7 . But it’s not forever, you will survive and not just that, you will excel and become a better person . You will be calmer, kinder, more patient and maybe just appreciate the little things a bit more than you ever used to? Hot cuppa anyone?
8. You can’t spoil a baby!!
Hold your beautiful baby as much as you want. You will never get this time back. Don’t agonise over the hours you will spend staring at them sleeping, or watching their chest rise and fall on you. It’s a myth, you really can’t spoil babies You can, however, spoil pre-schoolers and pre-teens – I’ve seen it first-hand. But for now, indulge in those tiny cuddles. The washing can wait, dinner can be eaten one handed and cold, and nobody cares if you have got dressed this week.
9. Self Care is Vital to survival
Please take this seriously, put your feet up whenever possible. Leave the dishes, drink water and don’t forget to eat ( even if its cake) . The age old “sleep when the baby sleeps” DO IT. It is not lazy, its vital to survive these first few months. Nobody gives you s a sticker at the end if you don’t!
If when people come to visit take advantage of that time to shower and have some time to yourself. I can guarantee they haven’t come to see you , they only want to see the baby and won’t care if they only have their company.
10 . Ask for help, mental wellbeing is so important.
The number of women who are suffering from Post-natal depression are rising. It’s so, so common. I was one of them, baby number 3 and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d never felt so alone and frightened.
Why don’t we talk about this more? Why is so taboo? Have you been feeling overwhelmed more than normal? Are you angry all the time? Please, if you think you might be feeling anxious or depressed don’t feel alone, because you’re not. If you are worried that you are having trouble taking care of yourself , your family, or your baby, please, please, please call your doctor or reach out to your friends right away. My friends and my family got me through that time and I am now in the best place ever.
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