I, like many women, am part of a birth forum for pregnant women. I’m mainly involved as a silent observer, however, I have a few things to say about pregnancy and labor and afterwards.
- Wait till your baby signals he or she is ready to come out. Many girls are having their membranes swept, taking castor oil, or trying other methods to kick start labor, and some are just 38 weeks. Why the hurry? It’s uncomfortable at the end, but these last few weeks are critical for the baby’s healthy development. If you’re healthy and your baby is healthy, take a deep breath and relax! Enjoy these last moments when you and your baby are connected so intimately and your life is status quo (whatever that means for you). For me, I relish the times I get to snuggle by boys without juggling this bundle of joy at the same time. Soon they will have to contend with, and accommodate for baby sister too.
- Hormones are normal. Ups and downs and emotions are normal. If you cry excessively please get help. If you are sensitive that’s okay.
- Know what you need and hold to your boundaries. Relatives and even spouses of all kinds of pressure on pregnant women. Maintain a hold of what you and your baby need. You both come first right now.
- Take help when it’s offered. It’s humbling, but so wonderful to accept help.
- Try and stay home. If you have to work, take as long as you can to be with your baby before going back. If you must work but want to stay home, get creative and start working on a plan to transition home. This value is disrespected and unpopular in some circles nowadays. Motherhood is the highest calling in life. But again, if you have to work, then make sure you’re totally comfortable with the arrangements you make for your baby’s care while you’re at work. I know many families who flex time with their husbands or extended family so the baby can stay out of daycare. If you need to use daycare, research, research, research.
- Allow yourself a full recovery. People may want you to get up and move too quickly. Please recover. When you’ve had a baby you have two jobs, and two jobs alone. Take care of your baby and take care of yourself. Others can wait.
- Breastfeeding can be difficult to establish, but is totally worth the work. Find a Le Leche League group near you for help and support.
- Don’t judge other moms. There’s enough people inserting unwanted opinions everywhere without you piping in. Try to be the voice of support to other moms.
- Our satisfaction after baby is born is tied to the expectation we build beforehand. Have grace for yourself and grow into this new aspect of your life.
- If you were disappointed by your labor and delivery, please wrestle with this and take it to the Lord. Don’t ignore it… birth is the most intimate thing you can ever do. Honor the place it has in your life.