Are you worried that your postpartum phase is not the way you thought it would be? Don’t stress out. The postpartum phase is difficult for all new mothers, and each mother’s difficulties are different from the rest. This time of your life comes with its highs and lows, so you can go from feeling very happy about having a baby, to feeling tired and worried. So, yes, even if your postpartum experience was not as ‘beautiful’ as everyone told you it would be, don’t worry, it’s alright.
Every woman is different, and so is every pregnancy and postpartum experience. There are several myths and stereotypes about the postpartum phase that you can break free from. These are some of them:
Myth #1: Your stomach will go back to being flat once you have your baby.
Of course this is false. Your stomach has just stretched and carried a baby, it will not automatically shrink. You may think that from seeing all the celebrities look glamorous right after having a baby, but that is a result of having time, money and rigorous training. It takes time, and this is different for every woman - some lose the weight fast, and some take more time, and that’s okay!
Myth #2: Your body will look exactly the way it was before pregnancy once you lose the baby-weight
This myth is as bad as the previous one. Your body went through immense change over months to give you your little one. Even if you lose the weight you gained, your body shape may have altered, or you may have some loose skin, and that’s not a bad thing. It is a natural consequence of having a baby. So stop pressuring yourself to return to looking the way you did 9 months ago, you’re amazing just as you are!
Myth #3: Avoiding stretch marks is your responsibility
We hear a lot of advice during pregnancy about avoiding stretch marks, and while some of this advice helps, it is only by a small percentage, because stretch marks are something determined by your genetics - some women are just more likely to have stretch marks than the others, and that’s okay. Don’t give yourself a hard time for stretch marks or altered skin, they’re only natural.
Myth #4: Breastfeeding is "easy"
Despite how natural and easy others may have made it look, breastfeeding is not an easy experience. Some mothers experience pain and discomfort while feeding their babies, and it’s a part of the process. So in case you’re struggling, speak to someone who can help you out. Some moms recommend taking prenatal classes for breastfeeding, or altering your latching technique while nursing your baby.
Myth #5: Postpartum depression and the ‘baby blues’ are the same thing
The baby blues are experienced by almost all moms for a few days after their delivery due to hormonal changes, but postpartum depression on the other hand, is more long-lasting and difficult to deal with. If this persists, it’s completely okay to seek help from loved ones or a professional. Don’t suffer in silence.
There are surely more myths and stereotypes about the postpartum phase. There’s no one who can take care of yourself and your little one better that you can, so make your own rules. It is always best to stay informed and do your research before jumping to conclusions. What other myths have you come across before? Tell us what you think!