One of the hardest things for me after having a baby was learning to love my new body. I had gained so much weight with my daughter, had so many stretch marks, and clothes just did not fit the same. That coupled with all the hormones, I found it hard to love myself. After having a baby, everyone always asks “How’s the baby?” So often, we forget to ask “How’s Mama?” I struggled with postpartum depression, but I never talked to anyone about it. I felt ashamed. There was such a negative stigma about PPD that kept me from saying anything, but we need to speak up. No one should ever feel alone and embarrassed to admit that they need help. Help is available! There are so many great resources out there and I’ll list a few below. One in seven moms and one in ten dads suffer from PPD, so you are not alone!
After bringing home baby, it is so important to have a strong support system. As a new mom, my mom was here when I came home from the hospital. And bless her heart, she decided to replace my carpet throughout house the weekend my daughter was born. We had to enlist volunteers to do it and man, it was stressful! Then she tried to get me to rehome my dogs to “ease the stress”. It was just way too much for someone who had just had a baby. The hormones overtook me and I thought “Well, if I can’t bring myself to get rid of my dogs, maybe I don’t deserve to have my daughter”. I know it was the hormones, but I struggled. My mom had the best of intentions and I love her for thinking of us. Her and my husband just didn’t understand what I was going through because they hadn’t just had a baby, so I had to cut them some slack. I cried many tears throughout my first week home with my newborn daughter. My mom was here with my son too and it was so much less stressful. I also had Ms. Debbie to hear me out, encourage me, and just support me. It was a completely different experience throughout the birth and first few weeks of having my son at home. This is why I highly believe in having Ms. Debbie as a doula. (She can also do overnight care which would be AMAZING!)
When you’ve been skinny most of your life and blow up like a balloon during the baby phases, it is hard to love yourself. To love that extra skin. To love those stretch marks. People say “those are your warrior stripes” and it is incredibly true. The things your body has gone through to bring life into this crazy world is a miracle. You have to learn to love yourself all over. I often look at myself and say “how can my husband still find me beautiful?” And I’ve asked him that question. He says to me, “Baby, look at what you’ve given us. There is nothing more beautiful.” Weight can be lost, skin can be tightened, and stretch marks can fade. But the miracle you were just part of will always be part of you. When you look at that child and look back at the pictures, you will feel that flood of emotions that you felt the day they laid your miracle on your chest.
It’s not easy to love your body after a baby. It is a big change. I’m still learning to love my body and my kids are 4 and 2. However, it is important and it is possible. You are strong, Mama! You are beautiful! You have created and birthed a miracle. Never forget the amazing love you’ve just made. Our bodies go through so much to bring a child into this world, and it is so worth it!
Think you or your spouse is suffering from PostPartum Depression? Here are a few resources to help!
How exciting! We are so glad you have chosen to share this experience with a doula. It will truly be a benefit for you and your family! I know what you’re thinking, though. HOW do I choose the right one for my family? The simplest answer here is connection. Meet a doula and find out their history. The right doula for you is the one you feel an instant connection with. Who puts your nerves at ease? Tell them about your fears and for what you’re looking. If talking to them makes you feel like you’re carrying on a conversation with a friend, you’ve found the right doula for you! Do they respect your birth plan? Do you feel they’d support you? It isn’t always best to just go blindly by who your friend used because you are not your friend. You are you!
Ask yourself what do you want in a doula. Do you want someone to help you prepare for birth? Do you want one that is there during the birth to relax you whether it be through breathing techniques, massage techniques, and positions? Do you want one that’ll come to your home for postpartum help? Not every doula offers each step. Check their certifications as well. Here at Mommy’s Way, we are DONA certified which is essential to providing the best care for you and your baby. We are also have certified lactation counselors and are healthy children trained. We also offer night nurse training, twin help, and offer other classes you may find beneficial!
We are there every step of the way and cannot wait to meet you! Contact us today to find out how we can help you enjoy every moment of this journey!
You missed a period and took a test. You see those two blue lines and all of a sudden, you’re overcome with many emotions. First of all, congratulations! This is probably one of the scariest, yet most exciting times in your life. A baby is a beautiful blessing and one of God’s greatest miracles. Whether this is your first or fourth, it is equally exciting. You’ve conquered the hardest part…actually getting pregnant. The next step is confirming with your doctor. You’ll take another test and receive an estimated due date. But let’s be real, babies come when they come. Very, very rarely do they actually come on their due date (just ask all those mamas around you). Now, you get to tell your significant other! You can just straight out tell them or be creative! When I was pregnant with our first, I bought an apple and took out a seed. I handed the seed to my husband and said, “This is how tiny our baby is right now.” With our second, I made a onesie for our daughter and laid it out with the two tests on the counter. Have fun with it!
Now, figure out your birth plan. Do you want a hospital? Home birth? Water birth? There are so many different ways. Do you want a natural birth? Do you want an epidural? Laughing gas? Discuss your options with your doctor. The next step that many take is procuring a doula. When I was pregnant with my first, I had never heard of this. So, what is a doula? A doula is someone trained in aspects related to childbirth, but do not actually deliver the baby. They provide physical, mental, and emotional support. They’ve been there for others and can help you prebaby, during baby, and even postpartum! A doula becomes your friend and another support contact. They build a relationship with you and become your confidant. They can help you choose a birth plan that’s right for you. If you are nervous about giving birth, a doula is most certainly the right step for you. Here at Mommy’s Way, we get to know you as a person and not as a patient number. We’ll understand what you like and what you fear. We will be next to you during birth to relieve your anxiety. We can even travel to your home to help you settle into a routine that’s right for you and your baby. You may come to us as a stranger, but we guarantee you’ll leave as family.