Motherhood occupies an ambivalent place in society. People and businesses valorize and almost worship the process of becoming a mother, then actively make life harder for those who give birth. They sing that it’s the most beautiful, natural process in the world with one breath, then gut maternal healthcare options with the other.
Life doesn’t become all sunshine, rainbows, and serotonin when you become a mother. Physical, emotional, and societal changes occur that will change the way you interact with the world. Read on to learn how your life actually changes when you give birth.
Enhanced Sensitivity to Stimuli
As a mother, you will experience enhanced sensitivity and reactivity. Part of this is due to a biological response to help you protect yourself and your baby. So, during late pregnancy and shortly after you birth your child, you may find that you’re more sensitive to sounds, smells, and other stimuli.
This enhanced sensitivity also applies to the baby’s emotional cues. So, don’t be surprised if a few weeks after birth, you start getting a “bad feeling” right before your child starts screaming their head off.
You Will Be Tired
The process of giving birth is extremely taxing, and something that a few days of bed rest won’t give you enough time to recover from. Combine that with the fact that your baby won’t sleep through the night for quite some time, and you will be one tired individual after you become a mother.
Your Vagina Will Become Stretched
One of the more well-known physical changes that occur after birth is that the vaginal opening gets stretched. It’s not surprising. After all, you did push an entire small human out of there.
However, this stretching also affects other organs and can lead to incontinence or other issues. When this happens, you can reach out for rejuvenating surgery if you so desire. If you’d like to learn more about this service, check out NuFemme today.
Everyone Will Have Opinions on Your Maternal Care
Let’s talk about one of the biggest societal changes that happen once you become a mother. Once your child enters this world, everyone – and we do mean everyone – will have opinions on what you do to care for your child.
Do you breastfeed your child? Well, you’d better not do it in public.
Oh, you don’t breastfeed your child? Shame on you, breast is best.
If you still work, you’re judged for not spending enough time with your baby. If you don’t work, you’re judged for being a stay-at-home mom. And that’s not even getting into the myriad issues that arise with health, wellness, and disciplining a child.
If you’re not prepared for everyone around you to have opinions about what you do with your child, it can feel isolating. Make sure you have your beliefs well-established, and that you’re willing to enforce boundaries.
“Mom Brain” Is a Very Real Phenomenon
Due to a combination of hormonal changes from the pregnancy itself, chains of sleepless nights, and the mental exhaustion of having to care for yourself and a tiny human, some brain fog is only natural. This often gets referred to as “mom brain”.
It’s interesting to note that a mother’s brain physically changes as a result of giving birth. There are massive amounts of new connections being formed to ensure that you can care for your offspring. This leads to other connections, like remembering where you put your wallet five minutes ago.
You May Experience Emotional Changes, Highs, and Lows
As a result of all the hormonal changes and added stressors in your life, you will experience severe emotional changes once you become a mother. These changes can be positive, as in the sense of comfort or elation you get when holding your child close.
However, they can also lead to crying breakdowns and extreme rages. New mothers get run ragged when they’re already emotionally compromised. So, don’t feel too bad if it feels like you’re riding an emotional roller coaster after giving birth.
There Will Be Blood
When you choose to deliver vaginally, you can expect some bleeding from the site. Many women describe their first shower after returning home like something out of a horror movie.
Don’t be too alarmed. Your body has been through a lot and has stretched beyond its original limits. However, if the bleeding becomes excessive or you start experiencing the symptoms of severe blood loss, reach out to your doctor ASAP.
If You Express Negative Feelings, People Will Judge You
We wish we didn’t have to say this. However, even expressing negative emotions towards motherhood once you become a mother will lead to intense scrutiny and judgment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a passing thought or a simple vent, people will judge you.
Many don’t want the magical, idolized experience of motherhood getting tarnished by the dirty, dirty facts. They’d rather keep their illusions. Thankfully, this stigma has begun to break in recent years.
However, one crucial thing we should note here: Remember that your kids will likely have social media one day. Imagine how devastated you would feel if you came across a litany of posts expressing regrets for your existence, and think before you post such a sentiment on a site they might see.
There’s No Real Guide to Help You After You Become a Mother
Lastly, there’s no real guide out there that can help you after you become a mother. Oh, sure, there are parenting and self-help books everywhere. However, there are so many of them that contradict each other that there may as well not be a guide.
In the end, all you can do is your best. Try not to lose that thought in the midst of waves of well-intentioned advice.
Need Help Processing Your Postpartum Changes?
The changes you experience after you become a mother can leave you feeling stressed out and isolated. However, you are not alone. If you need help processing your postpartum adjustments, check out the Lifestyle section of our blog today.