5 Things No One Tells You About Birth

You've planned and prepped for this baby for months, or even years. You've read every book, blog, and article you could get your hands on and you're ready to rock this parenting thing. Along the way, you’ve probably heard loads of advice (mostly unsolicited!) from every single person who notices your baby bump & pregnancy glow. But there are a few things no one tells you about that you might actually need to hear.

Pregnancy Isn't Always Easy

In fact, it's downright hard some days (weeks... months). You've probably heard from your well-meaning aunt/mother-in-law/total strangers how glorious this time in your life is and how you should enjoy every moment because 'someday you'll miss it'. Hey momma... maybe you won't miss it. And that's okay. I know for me, sure I miss the tiny kicks and those moments of my life, but here's the thing: I will never..ever miss the morning sickness.... the aches and pains.... the feeling like I just couldn't do things because I felt like I had been taken over by a tiny (although perfect and adorable) energy-zapping baby. It's okay not to love every minute of it. Heck… it's okay to not love a single minute of it! You are not a bad momma or soon-to-be momma for saying out loud that pregnancy is just not your thing.

Emotions Will Be High After Your Baby is Born

Okay… and before. But the days and weeks following the birth of your baby tend to be an emotional roller coaster of sorts. Crying at a car commercial? Yup, normal! Sad because your baby already outgrew the onesie that was too big last week? Also normal! Hormones are high and that means emotions are too. Take time for yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help. These sleepless nights and long days that turn into long nights will pass. In the meantime, take up your friend's offer to fold your laundry... let the grandparents hold your little one so that you can catch a nap... and if the baby blues just don't seem to be letting up, know that there is nothing in the world that you did wrong and that is perfectly okay to reach out for help.

You'll Still Look Pregnant... Even After Your Little One Arrives

I vividly remember a very WTF moment after my first baby was born. I was young and no one warned me. I had packed cute skinny jeans dang it! Take it for what it is, but you will still look and feel several months pregnant for a while. Pack something comfy and know that this is just part of the process. There's not a good way to sugarcoat it. It took time for that perfect little babe to grow and it's going to take a bit of time and probably some hard work for that to change. Let's stop telling mommas that they will bounce back and instead be helpful and encouraging to each other. Offer to watch that beautiful baby so she can just take a shower for crying out loud! And then when she's ready, offer to be her workout buddy or babysit so she can head to the gym if she wants!

Labor Isn't As Terrifying As People Make It Seem

By now you've probably heard every horror story out there. I get it. Everyone has a story and they LOVE to share them. But here's the thing. Women have been giving birth since the dawn of time. It's a natural part of the circle of life. Stepping on my soapbox for a moment here.. you can do this, and it's not always the worst-case scenario! Yes, sometimes things come up and it is always good to be prepared. But don't let the stories of well-meaning strangers scare you before your big day arrives. I gave birth on the side of the highway once and I'm still here to talk about it. Getting through pregnancy and childbirth... and even parenting is 10% preparation and 110% mindset & perseverance. I can't recommend the book "Birth Without Fear" enough. You were made for this. You've carried this baby this far already and no matter how or where you choose to deliver your child, you are more than capable of this parenting gig. Get to know your options... educate yourself and then go rock this pregnancy & childbirth thing!!

Nursing Doesn't Always Come Naturally

In fact, it rarely does. Both you and your baby are still learning about each other, and that takes time. In the early days, colostrum is MORE than enough and your baby does not need formula to supplement (unless you choose to formula feed, and then, by all means, go for it!)

Looking for tips on how to nurse? I'm working on a post for that too, check back soon!

xoxo - Jess