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Surprising Post-Partum Truths You Didn’t Know

By July 23, 2017 , , ,

Photography credit to White Room Studio which captured this picture of us
during a maternity shoot
  It’s been a month since I delivered baby Arjun and I honestly don’t know where the time has flown. I’m revisiting all the joys and challenges of having a newborn but with less of the worries, freak out sessions, and self-doubt experienced the first time around. This is why I felt compelled to share some of my insights and experiences gained from my two pregnancies and post-partum life. For you new moms and moms-to-be out there, the following are not meant to scare you. They are merely meant to equip you with some of the knowledge and useful pieces of random info I wish I had the first time around to deal with the somewhat trying times ahead.

First, the serious stuff…
1. You still look 6 months pregnant after birth. I didn’t know that the first time around and it was made painfully clear to me when just after having a baby, one ignorant male friend of mine said in jest, “Hey! You planning to have another baby?” Needless to say, it was not funny. It took our bellies 9 months to stretch and expand to bake a little bun in the oven. So it’s only fair to give your body several weeks and even months to get back to what it was before. (And yes, it wouldn't hurt if others were a bit more sensitive to this). The uterus has to contract to its original size and the internal organs have to reposition themselves. Our bodies are incredibly resilient but just remember to give it time! So those maternity clothes? Hang on to them for a little while longer.

2. Breastfeeding does not necessarily happen naturally or intuitively. I don’t get why society makes it seem like it’s the easiest thing in the world to do but it’s not. It takes work. It’s like a tango – you and the baby are getting to know each other and your dance moves. It takes a few tries and some practice before both mother and child get the hang of it. But when you figure it out, it can be an incredibly positive experience.

3. You’ll find that your body behaves in the weirdest, most unexpected ways. Like how? Like the tingling, pins & needles-like sensation you get in your breasts every few hours. That's basically due to the milk flowing from your ducts to your nipples. Or the milk flow you get simply by hearing your baby cry (it’s a reflex reaction called “letdown”). Crazy! 

4. What you eat really does affect the baby. This not an old wives’ tale but in fact based on truth. There were times when I had cabbage or beans only to regret it later on when my firstborn would cry blood murder later in the night. Lesson learned! In the first few months after birth, babies are especially susceptible to what you eat. As their digestive system is still maturing, they may be prone to stomach aches and gas issues if you don’t watch your dietary intake. So avoiding gas-inducing foods, eating well, and continuing to take your prenatal vitamins will go a long way to ensuring that you and your baby are well nourished.

5. Baby acne is a thing so don’t freak out if you see your baby break out into small red spots on their face. It usually happens around week 3 and will go away on its own.

The not-so-serious-but-still-incredibly-true stuff…
6. As a mother, you will develop a unique superpower that enables you to hear your baby cry two doors down even if you’re in a crowded room.

7. Sleep (yours and the baby’s) will become a topic of conversation with your spouse over breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s going to be the case for a long time. Be forewarned.

8. Grandmothers will always think your baby is not warm enough even if wearing a beanie in 40 deg C weather.

9. You will do things with your limbs and other various parts of your body that you didn’t know you could, like turning a light switch on and off with your nose and developing amazing dexterity with your toe. 

10. It’s written as Murphy’s Law – the moment you lie down to take a rest, the baby will decide it’s the right time to wake up crying for a feed or a diaper change. EVERY. TIME.

Just learn to smile through it all!

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