Brand New You

You! You just had a baby! How exciting and wonderful and beautiful and special. But you didn’t just “have” a baby. You labored for it, you quite literally pushed your way into motherhood, and as beautiful as it all is, all the sweet noises, and adorable faces, you don’t quite feel the same. Certainly not down there. And your body doesn’t look the same. And you have a new name, a new role, a new identity. It’s a big deal, becoming a mom. You will never be the same. You are brand new.

The adjustment to motherhood can sometime be glazed over by all the birth preparations. You were once a fully functioning independent member of society. And while you still are, now you wear yoga pants much more often, and there is a little person clinging to you all the time, completely dependent. This is a huge undertaking, and to feel as if your identity has changed is completely understandable. It’s okay to look in the mirror and not recognize who you are now. This heavy load of motherhood is yours to carry, but hopefully, not alone.

Here are some things it is okay to do.

  1. It’s okay to cuddle all day.

    Spending the day nurturing an infant, feeding them, holding them, and taking naps, is a perfectly fine way to spend the day, and yes it “counts” as productive. And yes it is important. And yes these days are fleeting so hold them closer, longer, for as long as you both need.

  2. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to need help.

    There are so many hormones that have been coursing through your body over these nine plus months. Sometimes the baby blues are just that. Sometimes it’s more. If sadness persists longer than 2 weeks after delivery, talk with your partner, friends and medical provider. The mix of hormones, lack of sleep, stress, and poor nutrition, can take a toll on anyone, like 1 out 7 women. If you think you might need extra support following the birth of your baby, a postpartum doula can help. Reach out, there is help.

  3. It’s okay to wear maternity pants…for as long as you need.

    Maternity pants are great, they have stretch, they have support, you can’t even tell they are maternity pants! Your new body, it probably looks different, and feels different, but please extend yourself the same grace you would to a friend who just had a baby.

  4. It’s okay to need time to yourself.

    As much as you want to cuddle your baby, you may also want to have time to yourself to shower, to nap, to drink your coffee uninterrupted. So find yourself some willing arms to hold that baby while you slip away. You will be surprised how many friends would be willing to come over and hold your little one while you take an hour for yourself, so go ahead and text them. Or hire a postpartum doula who can help you have those hours consistently.

    Please be gentle with the new you. Give her time to breathe, and time to cry, time to laugh, and time to be still. It’s a big journey you have embarked on, and this new you, is ready for the challenge. Welcome to Motherhood.