Let's be real, motherhood is not an easy journey. My goal will always be to keep it real as well as give you the tools you need for success.
Back in 2019, I did a poll on social media asking new moms what they wished they would have known beforehand and things they would have done differently. 14 moms responded and here is what they had to say.
What are some things you wished you would have known as a new mom? And what would you have done differently?
Mom #1: "That breastfeeding is hard."
Mom #2: "You literally will be more exhausted than you ever thought."
Mom #3: "I wished I had asked for more help. Also that I should've made a way to save enough money or plan to be off work longer than the “normal” 6-8 weeks. It’s not long enough."
Mom #4: "I wished men, and husbands were taught to value women’s unpaid labor. One of the hardest thing is busting out my butt as a wife and mom. And no one cares if I’m on my a game with cooking and cleaning and laundry. I’m a beast, I kill it. And the only ppl who appreciated me were the clients paying me to help them. I wished I would have known how valuable I was. And let myself rest and take time to let the laundry pile up... for real tho."
Mom #5: "Probably postpartum in general! But mainly that breastfeeding isn't easy for everyone!! And it's ok to ask for help or need help. You don't have to do it all by yourself. I probably would've sought out alternative options as to why breastfeeding wasn't going well like chiropractor or a lactation consultant outside of the hospital because the hospital ones were no help! Just accept help from other people around me more."
Mom #6: "Honestly just the breastfeeding and that I can’t please or listen to everyone and everything I read. Every mom and baby is different. I knew I was gonna be tired, I knew it’d be a strain on my relationship but the biggest slap in my face was the breastfeeding. I don’t think it was too much I would have done differently. Maybe in the beginning I was hard core no co-sleeping, and lost so much sleep trying to force my baby to sleep in the crib or bassinet. Once I finally let him sleep in the bed I got solid sleep and felt a lot better than before. It didn’t take forever for him to transition to his own bed. I wished I would have just listened to my gut in the beginning."
Mom #7: "I wished I knew that as a first pregnancy it is very possible to have a short labor. I would have had someone set up a meal train for us when he was like 4-6 months old because I was still getting my bearings as a mom and I felt like help kind of disappeared after that time."
Mom #8: "I wished I would have known how terrifying the 1st BM post baby was going to be. I wished I would have documented the entire process very differently. I wished I had a Momma tribe who let me know that it’s okay not to be okay!"
Mom #9: "As a new mom I really struggled with my loss of independence and I really craved time alone."
Mom #10: "I wish I had known how quickly the first year would go and to relax and just enjoy the season! With baby #2 that knowledge made a world of difference for my own mental health during those first months."
Mom #11: "I wished I would have known that breastfeeding is not as “natural” and easy as the books make it sound! For the first month of his life I felt like I was doing something wrong because it was so hard!"
Mom #12: "Probably the biggest thing I wished I’d known was how anemia affects recovery. I had a hemorrhage and the doc was most focused on whether I could make it on a walk around the unit. If I’d known how bad I’d feel for MONTHS afterward, or how anemia contributes to postpartum depression (PPD) - I probably would’ve taken the blood transfusion. Or concentrated recovery efforts on building up my blood counts."
Mom #13: "The breastfeeding journey looks different for everyone. I wished I’d know to not put so much pressure on myself when my journey looked different."
Mom #14: "I wished I knew that it would take 4-6 weeks for my baby and I to get into a nursing groove and for my body to adjust."
Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions and experiences of various individuals when asked what they would have known or have done differently as a new mother. Not everyone will have the same postpartum experiences. According to research, it is recommended to practice safe sleep by placing infants on their back in a crib, basinet or other safe sleeping device to decrease risk of sudden infant death syndrome. If you are experiencing complications in your postpartum journey it is highly recommended to seek professional services from a medical professional trained in the respective areas.
My intentions are not to scare any individuals that are currently pregnant but to share real life experiences. This will hopefully help you to know some things to prepare for beforehand. I personally wished that someone would have shared this with me.