What to Expect When Expecting
The Baby is Here Now What?
The first 9 months may have felt like a whirlwind. Your body went through so many changes from morning sickness, to exhaustion, to soreness of muscles. As the baby grew you began to feel flutters of kicks and then full-blown somersaults. During a 40-week span from conception your baby is growing, developing a heart, lungs, and other vital organs. A face begins to form with eyes, nose, lips, and ears. Before you know it, you'll be fighting over who the baby looks like more. All the while your anxiety may be increasing and you’re asking yourself: will I make a good parent? What if the baby doesn't like me? How will I juggle parenthood and say a career or multiple children?
These are normal fears but don't let them overcome you. Doubt is a normal phase of life, but it is just that a phase. We go in and out of phases all the time. What you can do is trust your gut and believe that you have been equipped with all the skills necessary to not only grow and birth another human being, but to nourish that baby with love and life.
Now the journey has come to an end. After 24 hours of labor, yikes, with or without pain medication, completely your choice, and many curse words the baby is finally in your arms. Now what do I do? I'm freaking out again! It's OK, breath.
First thing you'll probably want to do is feed the baby. Bottle feeding or breastfeeding is again totally up to you it is your baby. The baby will mostly sleep, hey it's been a hard journey. If you decide to breastfeed your milk may not come in for the first 2-3 days. The best way to produce more milk is to move more milk either by constantly and consistently putting baby on the breast or breast pumping or a combination of both if you plan to return to work any time soon. Breastfeeding stimulates hormones called oxytocin which will tell your body to begin to shift back to normal.
You may begin to lose weight and feel like your old self. Or you may not. If you don't feel like your old self or your experiencing feelings of intense sadness, anxiety, depression, or isolation you may have what is called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is different from the baby blues in the sense that it is intense feelings of depression and lasts longer well after 6 weeks. If you suspect you have postpartum depression or deal with feelings of wanting to harm yourself or others including your baby, please seek help right away. Preferably with a professional.
Therapy has helped me tremendously and I suggest it to anyone struggling with any type of depression. Parenting is stressful especially if you’re doing it alone or if your partner is away a lot. It presents a lot of new expectations and pressure to be a certain way, look a certain way, or parent a certain way. We are all different and that is OK. Know that you are enough, and strong and capable of raising an extraordinary human being.
I am sending you positive light for your life. The strength to get through the struggle. And the confidence to love and accept yourself for who you are