Postpartum things that have been normalised that are not normal

Postpartum things that have been normalised that are not normal

After 10 weeks of hosting Mother’s Groups at From Day One here are some things we have found that society has normalised about the first 12 months with a newborn, which are definitely not normal: 

  • Postpartum period ending at 6 weeks post-birth
  • Parenting without support 
  • Bounce back culture 
  • Assuming second + time mothers don’t need as much support as first time mothers 
  • That every moment of motherhood should be enjoyed 
  • That all babies can subscribe to the same schedules 
  • That you need all the ‘things’ to make postpartum easier 
  • Returning to work before you are ready 
  • That motherhood should be all fulfilling
  • That if you need help you aren’t doing it right 
  • That mothers can do it all 

Her are the 5 myths about postpartum that we’d like to see gone.

Myth 1. The postpartum period ends at 6 weeks.

Postpartum isn’t 6 weeks or 3 months (like we’ve been told). It is actually years. Adjusting to motherhood is a process called matrescence and just like adolescence your physical, emotional and hormonal self changes.

We need more compassion and understanding for new mothers going through their matrescence. The sooner we let go of the expectation that our body, our mind and our life will to return to normal after 6 weeks, the easier it becomes to accept that it is a forever change. Take the pressure off and give yourself time.

Myth 2. You need to “snap back” to your pre-baby body.

The pressure on postpartum women to “bounce back” to their pre-baby body is omnipresent, and at a time in their lives when they are the most exhausted and vulnerable they’ve ever been. The focus should shift towards healthy, wholesome food that will support your recovery, nourish your body, leave you feeling energised when you’re awake and support you in getting periods of rest when possible.

Myth 3. You need fancy gadgets and trending apps to make it easier.

What you really need is a solid postpartum plan made up of a strong network of emotional and psychological support, education and practical information so you feel empowered and a community to connect and to share your experiences with.

Myth 4. You need to savour every moment.

You might not enjoy the sleepless nights. You might not want to/be able to breastfeed. You might not bond with your baby straight away. And that’s ok.

Myth 5. You can do it all.

We live in a world of pressure, judgement and comparison of mothers.
Prioritising rest and recovery is crucial in this stage of life. Set up a support network around you to help you through emotionally. Set boundaries to prioritise your mental health. We need more safe spaces so mothers can stop feeling less than, guilty and insecure.

The postpartum journey looks different for every mother. More time, energy and money needs to be spent on planning for what happens after the birth of your baby so you can set yourself for a successful postpartum. 

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