Being a new mum can be a really daunting time, especially with lots of unknowns in front of you. Here are some things you may not know about, to help you feel a little more prepared when the time comes.
Your emotions will be all over the place. This is perfectly normal, but if you are feeling really down or overly anxious, don’t hesitate to speak to a healthcare professional. Your hormones will be yo-yoing, you will most likely be sleep deprived and juggling a new routine as your pre-baby routine may have suffered. You will have good days and bad days, but if you feel you are having mainly bad days, know that you are not alone and please speak to someone.
For the first week after giving birth, it will most likely be painful to have a wee. A good tip is to have a container by the toilet which you can fill with warm water and pour “down there” at the same time as weeing. This can really help to soothe you while you go.
In the first few days you may sweat – a lot! This is especially common at night-time and is due to your hormones fluctuating. You may find that you wake in the night so drenched in sweat that you have to change your pjs. It doesn’t last more than a few weeks but can be quite unnerving if you’re not expecting it. Remember that it’s totally normal, and nothing to be embarrassed about.
Make sure to drink lots of water if you do experience this to keep you hydrated, try to choose a natural lightweight fibre such as cotton to sleep in rather than synthetic pyjamas, and you can put soft towels down to help absorb moisture and keep you comfortable while sleeping.
At around 3 months after giving birth, you may start to lose your hair. While this might be upsetting, it is perfectly normal (postpartum hair loss) and will grow back. Try to keep your vitamin levels high, get plenty of protein in your diet, and talk to your doctor if it continues longer than six months postpartum or you’re worried about symptoms.
You may feel anxious about going out with your newborn, things which you used to do without thinking can now seem daunting. Try to prepare yourself as best as you can for trips outside – make sure your clothing is comfortable and easy to access if you’re breastfeeding, and your bag is packed with anything you think you might need – and spares just in case! But the main thing you can do, is to just go out – once you’ve made those first few trips out you should start to find it easier, and realise that it feels good not to isolate yourself at home. Once both you and your little one get used to the world outside, it will be much less intimidating.
If you’re still struggling with anxiety, please open up to your partner or family, and don’t be afraid to speak to a healthcare professional or your GP if you don’t feel an improvement.