When I was expecting my first, I was fortunate to have friends around me who were having babies, and my older sister had three kids already. I bought books. I read as much as I could. I wanted all the details – the good and the bad – for what to expect when I was super nauseous over the course of my pregnancy, during labour and when we brought baby home.
I am a researcher by nature. I want to learn. I’m a constant student, even when it comes to parenting.
However, no matter how prepared I tried to be, what I soon discovered (and that many of you likely discovered too) was that I WAS NOT PREPARED.
My pregnancy glow looked a lot more like a tinge of zombie green for the first 5 months. My labour didn’t go as expected. Breastfeeding was a struggle that I stuck with, but only with significant effort. The hospital support was lacking. We were sent home with a new little one as overtired new parents unsure if we are doing what we needed to do. We were scared.
AND on top of all that, after a very long labour, I ended up with a bruised/fractured/completely sore tail bone. I didn’t want to use the washroom because of fear of pain from my tearing, so I was in pain from constipation. I didn’t know what was normal in my own body, especially now that I was sharing this body with the new little human nursing at my breast.
These are the things no one could prepare me for.
So now, after two children, and near twelve years after I had my first, when people talk about postpartum care, and attempts to support and educate people about postpartum health, I want to shout from the rooftops in support because YES this is needed. All the books I read. All the conversations I had in those first few days were about the baby. Not about my body, my emotions or what I needed. These are important conversations.
There is a company called Mom Friends who are trying to offer support for postpartum mothers in a fresh way. Their postpartum care kits are the perfect baby shower gifts. Don’t worry – baby will have enough blankets and onesies, but mom needs these items.
Included in the kits are things like nipple cream, pads, adult diapers, epsom salts (ahhhh this is bringing back so many memories!) and a mental health info sheet. Plus more.
We need to take care of mom after she brings baby home and I love that Mom Friends is doing that. The business was started by moms because, well, they get it.
Visit the website to find out how you can order one of their two care kits. Even if the expectant mom in your life doesn’t know she needs one, it will be appreciated after! I wish I had a kit ready to go when I got home from the hospital.
If there is one piece of advice I’d give to expectant mothers it’s to make sure they have support in place AFTER they have baby. Because there isn’t enough information out there to fully grasp the needs moms have during their postpartum period.