Giving birth is one of the most surreal — if not the most surreal — experiences we'll go through in our lives.
Yet new motherhood is difficult in its own, different way. Although it seems like the "hard" part is out of the way, that doesn't mean the weirdness, discomfort, and yes, pain, disappear once you leave the hospital. In fact, the postpartum stage can feel extremely fragile — just as much as the pregnancy itself.
At Binto, every day we hear stories from our community about how isolating, unprepared, and downright overwhelmed women feel after giving birth.
In honor of Mother's Day this week, we asked our community to share a bit about what they've learned after giving birth — especially the unexpected and surprising lessons. Below, we share some of your responses.
Next week on the blog, we'll tackle some of these issues, including "mom guilt" and tips for new mothers to practice self-care.
"No one ever told me....
...that I'd feel so alone."
...that it's okay to call for help and advice if something doesn't feel right to you or scares you."
...that it's okay to get a prescription to help you through the emotional valleys. You are not weak by doing this. Everyone's life on Instagram is not perfect, I promise. Support other women. You are doing a fantastic job — you are keeping a tiny human alive."
...that it's okay for a baby to cry a little. If they are fed, changed, and in a safe space, it is okay to go to the bathroom, eat some food, or shave your legs. I thought my life revolved around keeping my baby from crying, which sent me into depression. I would get anxious about leaving the house, but what I found is that he cried no matter what! So I figured I would at least get some things done in the meantime."
...that you bleed a lot." (You may have bleeding for up to six weeks post-birth. Small blood clots are normal, but if you find yourself bleeding through pads, contact your health care provider. Here are 8 other physical — and mental — changes new moms can expect.)
...that you have to give birth TWICE." (Yes, you also have to deliver the placenta. Curious about placenta encapsulation? Here's everything you want to know.)
...that contractions start like period cramps. Would've saved me a lot of wondering!"
...there is no safe zone in pregnancy."
...that feeling 'touched out' is real in those early months." (Feeling "touched out means that you desperately crave some space and a break from human contact. Read more about it — and how to fix it — here on Motherly.)
...about postpartum anxiety. PPD gets a lot of press, as it should, but yikes — the anxiety is intense."
...how to accept help with grace."