Do you know what most expecting first-time mums think and worry about the most?
Mums-to-be hear a lot of horrific childbirth stories that make them second guess whether having a baby was a good idea.
Their mind is full of different questions they are often worried to ask so they turn to the Google search field and type in:
What does childbirth feel like?
Do you poop when you give birth?
What is the process of childbirth?
Is childbirth painful?
But no answer seem to satisfy the stress they feel with the upcoming childbirth.
I was the same, of course.
But here is the thing that I learned after my first babies arrived.
Labour is – in many cases – the easy part!
I totally understand where the worry comes from, of course.
Childbirth is something we have been worried about since we were little girls, isn’t it?
We are scared of the pain and of the unknown.
I get it.
But the truth is, given there are no complications during labour – that the baby does come out, one way or another.
It simply will happen.
There is no point in worrying about HOW it will happen.
What matters is, that it WILL happen.
The professional team will (most likely) do everything they can to make it as easy as possible for you so there is no need to worry (again – in most cases!).
Bear in mind that there is a lot you cannot predict or plan on labour so there really is no point overthinking it.
Planning a labour
When I was pregnant with the twins, I spent months thinking about and planning my ideal labour.
When I had it all worked out, I started to worry about baby essentials.
When I was around 30 weeks pregnant, all we had had was a baby cot, a few baby grows, baby blankets, and a buggy.
The boys arrived 6 weeks early.
At the time, I had no hospital bag ready, no knowledge about how to look after a newborn, and still a lot of missing baby stuff.
My planned perfect birth ended up being an unplanned, emergency c-section.
As horrific as it sounds, I kid you not – when I was in the delivery room, everything I had worried about before disappeared in an instant.
All I cared about at that moment was for the boys to be ok.
Besides, I was drowsy from all the drugs so I didn’t sense the whole experience the same way I would under normal circumstances.
So trust me…
It is surely useful to be prepared, but you WILL get everything you need in the end.
Most hospitals have spare baby clothes, nappies, and other baby essentials.
There is always someone who can help you get whatever you need, whether it’s a friend, partner, or family member.
Looking after a newborn
Another thing expecting mums educate themselves about prior to childbirth is how to look after a newborn – which is only understandable too.
As a mum-to-be, you want to know how to bathe the baby, how to change them, or how to hold them.
However, learning these things in antenatal classes works mostly for peace of mind for you WILL learn it as you go along.
Since our twins arrived almost 2 weeks early, I hadn’t had the time to prepare for any of this.
However, I learned them within minutes.
It only took a few moments to learn how to bathe and change the baby.
The rest I worked out myself.
Some things I’d learned quickly, some of them had taken a few months, and that’s ok!
Don’t forget that as new mums, we are SUPPOSED to learn.
The most important thing to know before the baby arrives
Now, what most new mums don’t prepare for is the POSTPARTUM PERIOD.
More specifically, for the emotional element of having a baby.
How will having a baby impact me?
How am I going to feel?
How do I and my life change after the baby arrives?
What is postnatal depression – do I know enough about it?
How does having a baby impact my partner?
What are my options for help?
These are the few questions first-time mums should ask when expecting a baby.
There is no secret that there’s a huge gap in prenatal education and support.
A new mum is somewhat automatically expected to be happy and experience the best time of her life once the baby arrives.
But let me ask you – did you know that feeling happy is NOT a common feeling of a new mum?
Did you know that it can take a few months for you to feel love for your child?
Did you know that breastfeeding does NOT happen naturally?
Did you know that it is normal to feel down, regretful, or tearful in the early stages?
Did you know it is normal to dislike your child in the first weeks or months?
Did you know how important it is to ask for help and why?
Did you know there are many little-known motherhood facts most mums find out too late?
I didn’t know this either before my twins arrived and I CANNOT EVEN START TO EXPLAIN how learning all of the above (and much more) only AFTER the boys were born impacted me and my wellbeing.
If you are expecting, I therefore strongly suggest you research as much information as possible on life AFTER the baby arrives.
Trust me, it can save you a lot of unpleasant surprises, pain, and struggle!
If you don’t know where to start, my course Get Prepared For Motherhood Like No One Else which I put together with an award-winning midwife Marley Hall is a wonderful source of life-changing information about life after a baby that you won’t find anywhere else (even on Google!).
What you REALLY Need To Know When You Are Expecting
There you go!
I hope this blog post helps you make the best choices and decisions when preparing for the arrival of your baby.
What is the biggest takeaway? Let me know in the comments!