The powerful Instagram post that reminds us why we need to take better care of new mums
The first six weeks after delivery is what we normally refer to as the postpartum period.
It is an intense period for every new mum. Your body is trying to heal and recover from an almost 10-month long pregnancy journey and birth. You are leaking and bleeding. Your hormones are all over the place. You are feeding on demand. And a newborn doesn't know the difference between night and day, and doesn't give a toss about bedtimes, so chances are you are pretty sleep deprived right now too.
Midwives and doulas across the globe are forever trying to remind new mums and those around them that, really, we should be talking about a fourth trimester when we speak of the six weeks following delivery. It is a time so crucial for both mum and baby's health that we cannot ignore its importance. Nor can we overlook just how overwhelming a job mums are doing at this time, trying to both recover themselves and look after a brand new human.
For so many, feeling overwhelmed by all this new-ness, we try to rush back to being our "old selves". We're trying to establish routines and normality, when what we probably should be doing is get into our comfiest pair of pyjamas and not thinking about much more than bonding with your baby and nourishing our postpartum bodies with healthy, wholesome foods.
Let's not be afraid to ask for help, be it in the form of grandparents being roped in to entertain older children or do créche pick-ups, or having someone bring you over dinner when you are just too out of it to manage to cook something for yourself. And when you know someone who just had a baby – offer to help. Cook some freezable dinners and bring them over to the new mum; hold the baby while she has a shower; fold the laundry for her while she naps – it will mean the world.
In the meantime, take a look at this beautiful post below, highlighting just what a vulnerable and overwhelming time this is for new mamas – and why we need to take extra good care of them through all this:
View this post on Instagram
#repost @thegarciadiaries: "This is postpartum in all it’s glory. Soaked nursing bra, naked newborn (bc blowout), matted hair. Cellulite and stretch marks and rolls on rolls. This is me. 6 weeks after delivering Bronx. 2.5 years after Deuce. 4 years after Harlym. And 5 years after Brooklynn. . Instagram is filled with pretty photos, captions with inspirational quotes, a highlight reel of people’s lives. What if we all showed the real and raw side of motherhood and postpartum? Would we feel less alone? This is my real: • I’m constantly tired. Most days, it feels like my body is failing me. • I can’t remember shit. On the phone with the kids’ doctor a few weeks ago, I couldn’t remember Harlym’s birthday. Like I actually could not remember the date and had to look it up. • At least once a day, I lock myself in the bathroom and cry because my toddlers are evil. • I’m lucky if I shower once every three days. • I wake up every morning in a puddle of breast milk because my letdown is so intense. • Nothing pisses me off more than my husband saying, “I think the baby is hungry” 10 minutes after I finish nursing. • I haven’t lost a single pound since giving birth, even though my baby weighed 7lbs 10oz. ? • I binge eat while breastfeeding (those cravings tho) and tend to gain a lot of weight. I feel less than when I hear about mamas who lose a ton of weight while breastfeeding & when I hear about mamas who are back to their pre-pregnancy size within a few months of giving birth. • My anxiety is 100x worse after giving birth. For months. I take 100mg of Zoloft and even that doesn’t help much the first few months postpartum. THIS is postpartum. This is me, sharing all of these things that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to share if not for this beautiful movement. When I was asked to participate in this movement, I was immediately inspired and in awe of all the incredible women surrounding me. Women of all sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds. All these mamas on a journey of self love - all of us navigating this postpartum period together. Changing the narrative of postpartum, one story at a time." #this_is_postpartum