Becoming a Mama is one of the most amazing gifts we women get to experience. It’s a precious bond that no man will ever know. We get to help create, nurture, and keep this growing child until he or she is born. Before you know it, it’s time and the baby is coming. You’ve read some of the best material to understand your newborn. You’ve meticulously lined diapers in perfect stacks on the changing table. This little human is the luckiest baby because of all the preparing you’ve done. When you leave the hospital, it’s likely they will discuss and warn about the potential “Baby Blues.” So, you check OUT from the hospital and head home with your newborn. And then, wham! After the labor, delivery, and newborn high wear off, Postpartum hormones check IN. Your postpartum checkup isn’t for 5-6 weeks, so what’s a Mama to do in the meantime?
In the meantime, let’s think back– way back. When women gave birth long ago they were likely surrounded by a nuclear family. Relatives, family, and friends were within arms reach at all times. They say it takes a village, and it does. Except, where’s my village? It’s 2018 and I live away from my parents, in-laws, and siblings. So now it’s me and my husband, and we’ve never done this whole parenting thing before, and I have no village in my house to help me navigate all of the emotions I’m having. How on earth am I supposed to tend to my house, wifely duties, be a new mom, and manage my intense hormonal shifts? This sounds insane! And quite frankly, I had out of body experiences where I wondered what on God’s green earth I was upset about.
I’m six months out from my second postpartum experience so I have a few fresh tips to make the transition into the postpartum hormone highway easier for you!
1. Find your village. They might be a drive away, but figure out who that is and don’t be afraid to reach out to them. It’s likely someone who has been there and would love to talk with you and comfort you as you cope with the huge shift your body and mind 🙂 is making after baby arrives.
2. Remember that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Again, it’s likely someone has changed diapers, helped feed and burp a baby, or can easily tidy up your home while you and baby rest. Although hard because we want to do it, let someone help you. This includes lactation consultants. These professionals are simply amazing.
3. Have your go-tos on speed dial. I’m fortunate to have a few go tos and these poor souls had a dumping of hormonal hiccups after my kids were born. Your husband or partner, although amazing, will never truly understand what you’re going through. While he can help support you, the only people who get it [inside & out!] are other Mamas. See a couple of these real-life text messages below.
4. Speaking of him, talk to your husband or partner– out loud. Don’t just think it or will it in your mind. Say it. Own it. Although we Mamas show off our superhuman powers as our bodies transform and do magical things during labor and delivery, our husbands are still humans with normal powers, and when we get home from the hospital they are still unable to read our minds. But guess what: they want to help you. They want you to be well and avoid these baby blues as much as possible! Sometimes this means stepping out of our comfort zone and telling them what we need. Hugs. Coffee. Offer to take the babe so I can take a snooze. Hugs. Kisses. Affirmations. Hugs. Compliments. All of the above and at the same time. It’s ok to be honest with what you want and need!
5. Keep a journal of your feelings. I have call logs, pictures, and texts to look back on to identify where my tough days were. When the day passes, I propel my strength and use it to have another good day! Consider a daily affirmation that you can count on to lift your spirits. Better yet, have it on your coffee cup! 😘
6. The Postpartum Hormonal Highway starts with an incredible high. Like the highest high of your life. But then once the newness wears off and you start to feel the dips in your overall demeanor, your sleep starts to suffer, and you’re trying to learn how to care for this new, helpless human, you feel sad because you think you should be happier and you should know exactly what to do… This is normal. It is ok. Talk to another Mama and share how you’re feeling.
7. Take 15 minutes a day to practice any form of self-care you can. Yoga. Coffee break. Take a walk and get some Vitamin D. Call a friend. Take a bath. Read a new book. Watch funny videos on Instagram of that cute little Mila Stauffer. Start a blog. [Ok maybe this is just me 🧐]
8. Search your local area for groups of new Mamas. I have several friends who have joined these groups and found them to be very beneficial (ie: Moms Meet Up, or through Amma).
9. Find refuge in the Bible. It is an endless opportunity to get lost in spiritual guidance; through His word, you can find peace in knowing that you’re not alone and that God has a beautiful plan for you as a Mama. Remember: he has known your journey all along! I also love this daily devotional: Prayer, Praise, and Promises
10. See your doctor early if it’s becoming too much. Your feelings are important for the well being of your family. If you’re not well, your family will not be either, so let your partner know that it’s time to see the professionals. This is ok, Mama! I intentionally kept this post light-hearted. However, postpartum depression, anxiety, and other related things are real, very serious, and should not be taken lightly.
It’s hard navigating all of the emotions, challenges, learning, and patience it takes when you bring your new child home. Aside from that, you’re also supposed to take care of yourself. Yikes! It sounds like a lot on our plates. So, one day at a time, Mamas. You can do this. And if you need any encouragement, I’m just one part of the Band of Mamas. Reach out and we can help each other!
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