As soon as you see that positive pregnancy test – or even way before – you start excitedly preparing for the noble phase of motherhood. "Instagram moms" make it look so easy, but you don't see the real, more common challenges that every new parent has, that no one discusses.
1. Not bonding with your baby immediately
Most people will say that once your baby arrives, you will feel an instant gush of love and emotion for the little one – but this isn't always the case. The reality is that sometimes it takes moms a little longer to bond with their new baby. Sometimes feelings of fear, inadequacy or shame can overshadow their joy, and it is okay to feel overwhelmed. It will not be that way forever.
2. Loneliness and darkness can set in
Motherhood is a huge change, and the "baby blues" are widespread responses to the shift in hormones and the constant sleep deprivation in the beginning days of motherhood. Some moms could spend all day crying without finding a real reason; if this continues for longer with more intensity, it is termed postpartum depression. If left untreated it can become a severe condition.
Self-care is something that moms tend to neglect, but it is an essential aspect of motherhood. If you find yourself not wanting to get out of bed sometimes or do any basic personal hygiene, you should ask for help.
3. Not knowing who you are anymore
Your baby suddenly becomes your focus and your entire life. Your routines change, and you don't have that freedom to do or want to do things you used to. Your body is different, so you wear clothes for comfort instead of style. But it is valuable to keep something for yourself. Find a new hobby that can help bring joy into your days whenever you're feeling lost.
4. How relationships change
Every mom will experience changes in her previous friendships after having her baby. Maintaining your previous relationships after the baby is born is pretty tricky. Parenthood is time-consuming and occupies mothers physically and mentally. Our needs and wants, as mothers, change when it comes to the essential people in our lives.
The harsh truth is some of our relationships will not withstand the change to motherhood. You may slowly experience distance because some friends don't relate to, or understand, your anxiety when you think of leaving your baby with somebody else, for example.
5. Intimacy after baby
Every couple goes through this. The first time you might have intercourse after having a baby can feel like you're about to do the act for the first time. When the day finally arrives, you might not even feel ready. It is imperative to be open with your partner about all your worries and thoughts. The best thing to practice is patience, both for yourself and your partner.
Through all these changes, it's essential to lean on someone and reassure yourself that you are never alone. Embracing change can be difficult, but don't be afraid to discuss it.
Medshield walks the pregnancy journey alongside our moms. A health cover partner committed to mom care and new life, ensuring that the next generation of South Africans are all born healthy and happy, and stay that way.
Medshield Mom assists women on their journey to motherhood through all the various stages of pregnancy, birth and postpartum, ensuring that parents and parents-to-be are aware of the pregnancy-related benefits they enjoy as Medshield members. The website, www.medshieldmom.co.za, is an easy-to-use online resource to access a hub of important content related to health, fitness, nutrition, the body, motherhood, babies, toddlers and more, all suited to the pre-and postpartum phases.
Take a Mama Moment at our upcoming High Tea event!
We invite all moms (and dads!), whether you are a Medshield member or not, to join us at our upcoming mom event, hosted by Mpoomy Ledwaba and with keynote speaker Rakhi Beekrum (Psychologist) alongside other notable moms on the panel, including; Naomi Holdt (psychologist and parenting consultant), Dr Nosipho Mhlanga (doctor and health advocate), and Christy Ann (physiotherapist and body coach).
Date: 18 March 2023
Time: 11:00 to 14:30 SAST
Venue: The Houghton Hotel, Lloys Ellis Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198
What to expect: High Tea, entertainment, make-up stand, presentations, panel discussions (mom, health, baby, kid related) and a lucky draw
Click here to register and attend!
All proceeds go towards supporting worthy causes at Reach for a Dream.