Becoming a mummy for the first time is probably the single most life-altering and amazing thing that could ever happen to you. You find yourself filled with love for a little person, in a way that you didn’t ever imagine would be possible. Lots of new mums find that despite having read lots of books, magazines and having chatted to lots of friends who’d already had a baby, there are still things which take them by surprise. Things no one tells you!
Of course, it’s not some big conspiracy to keep mums-to-be in the dark, there are just some things which don’t seem to be talked about much! So we asked some mums to reveal to us the one thing which no one told them, when they had a baby… After birth pains
“I was really surprised by the intensity of after birth pains after I had my second baby. Apparently they can get stronger the more babies you had. I didn’t remember having them with my first daughter but with my second they really hurt! I had a beautiful labour with no pain relief at all, but was stocking up on paracetamol once the after birth pains kicked in!” Molly Forbes, mum of two.
When pregnancy hormones leave your body “Everyone mentions that you might have a touch of the baby blues, but no-one tells you about the emotional rollercoaster of day 3 – and beyond – when all the good pregnancy hormones leave your body and you might feel more than slightly glum and cry at absolutely anything at the drop of a hat (the good news is that it passes really, really quickly though).” Gillian Crawshaw, mum of two.
That your period sometimes re-appear while you’re breastfeeding “That the supposition that your periods don’t return if you are breastfeeding isn’t always true. I was surprised, and a little bit frustrated, when mine returned after 12 weeks. It made the next five months of breastfeeding interesting…at some points in the month my boobs had a life of their own and my milk quality diminished.” Eleanor Willock, mum of one.
The conflicting emotions “I didn’t expect to feel such a huge mix of emotions…an overwhelming desire to protect my baby and them never be out of my sight yet also the wish that I could sleep 8 hours straight or have just five minutes to myself” Polly Davies, mum of four.
Doing that first wee and poo! “I was shocked to discover that everything doesn’t always work straight away after you have a baby. It took about 15 minutes for me to squeeze out my first wee, and my poor partner was a little shook up when I asked to hold his hand whilst doing my first post-birth poo!” Bryony Barry, mum of two.
When your milk comes in My milk coming in was a real shocker for me…they literally ballooned out of nowhere and I then spent about 12 hours hopping in and out of the shower to ease the swelling, scolding my chest with a hot water bottle, hand expressing into my baby’s mouth because she couldn’t latch onto my mammoth boobs!” Katie, mum of one.
It can take time to breastfeed “Breastfeeding is mostly talked about as if it’s going to be easy because it’s natural. It can be but for many mums, it’s a learned skill. When we do hear about problems, we don’t hear enough that they can be overcome. It was a real shock to me when I struggled to establish breastfeeding with my first baby. Though we eventually managed, it rocked my confidence as a mother in a way I couldn’t have imagined beforehand. I wish I’d known it was OK to find it hard.” Adele, mum of two.