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How mums REALLY feel after giving birth for the 1st time!

October 30th, 2019
Chrissie
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How mums REALLY feel after giving birth for the 1st time!
It is quite surprising – and probably quite a relief – to know that many new mums do not feel the textbook surge of love for their baby when he/she is placed in their arms for the first time. In reality, having a baby is physically and emotionally exhausting and for many women, it takes time to adjust to being 'mum' to the little bundle sleeping soundly in the perspex cot next to you!

For nine months you have been waiting for the arrival of your first baby and it has been a whirlwind of emotions including elation, excitement and despair. Many new mums do not enjoy their pregnancy for a variety of reasons including morning sickness, tiredness and the thought of losing all the camaraderie of the workplace.
Another big shock lies in store because the emphasis in later pregnancy is on your birth plan which is a programme that sounds as though it will be carried out with military precision! Well you can forget that! Your baby will come as and when he wants to and any birth plan will be quickly ditched if there are any complications! At the end of the day, the top priority is (quite rightly) the health of you and your baby.

Once your baby has been born, there is a real feeling of relief because whatever the books say, even the easiest delivery and all the pushing is exhausting! Worse news is that this immense tiredness will stay with you for several weeks as you and junior try to get into a workable routine. The best thing is to take things slowly and surely and accept all offers of help as this will ease the pressure on you.
Much has been written and said about the moment you meet your baby for the first time. Whilst some mother's find it the most overwhelming moment of their lives and are filled with an intense feeling of love, an equal number find the experience totally underwhelming and can experience a myriad of negative emotions – both reactions are totally normal. For nine months you have awaited the arrival of your baby and it can be really disappointing when a close examination of their scrunched up little face reveals no family likenesses. Some mums find themselves feeling the panic rising as they hold their tiny, vulnerable baby and wonder how on earth they can safely care for him. Others realise as they cradle their infant, that life will never be the same again!

The important thing is not to feel bad if you don't feel an overwhelming rush of love, just give yourself time to physically recover from the birth and also to adjust to your new role in life as someone's mum. In those first few days just try and relax because you will be feeling tired and sore and if you have decided to opt for the most natural way to feed your baby – breastfeeding – prepare yourself for another challenge!
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All these happy smiley mums in magazines, proudly feeding their offspring do not portray the true picture at all! Until you both get the hang of it, your baby will cry as they are still hungry and your nipples will get red and very sore. You do actually plummet to the depths of despair on about day three and threaten to grab a bottle, when suddenly everything falls into place and it becomes second nature. If it takes longer, don't worry as each mum is different and I have yet to find a baby who has read any of the manuals!

The other hurdle to get over as a new mum is the 4th day blues which can affect even the most upbeat new mums. It is all to do with your hormones settling down post natal but be
prepared to feel blue and don't be surprised to find yourself crying in the shower – it happens to many many women.
Don't forget about the shock! Having given birth to your baby and a sizeable placenta, you are probably feeling sylph-like once again, which is lovely, but whatever you do, do not be tempted to hop on the scales as you will be in for a huge shock – your weight will have changed very little. Post-baby weight can be hard to shift and it will not totally disappear until you have finished breast feeding.

Wow! This must sound so different from the baby magazines! You will find those early days fly by in a blur as you try to adapt to caring for your newborn baby. The best news of all is that if you are gentle with yourself and give yourself time, if you had a less than perfect birth, your memories will recede and even if they don't fully, one glance at your baby will make it all seem worthwhile.

A useful saying to remember is that we are not born mothers, we become mothers and the person who teaches us this is our own baby....

Chrissie x

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