“5 Things you need to know about having your first baby,” Part 2

“5 Things you need to know about having your first baby,” Part 2

In my last blog post “5 Things you need to know about having your first baby,” I covered some of the issues moms can expect after giving birth; however, there is just so much more to it that I felt like writing a part 2. I remember there was a lot that caught me by surprise after I had my first child. When I talked to other moms, a lot of them had the same experiences. But it seems that there are certain topics that people like to avoid talking about. Personally, I believe that it is very important for new moms to have a community where they can share their experiences about the good, the bad, and the ugly of motherhood. Especially, this year where moms are bringing kids to this world under the “new normal” and new challenges are arising. Therefore, I will talk about some of the more uncomfortable truths about motherhood hoping that it will help someone.

 1)     Female hygiene after childbirth

After a woman gives birth to a child, the body has to recover from the amazing job it has done of creating human life. Her body now has to rid itself of all the extra blood and tissue it needed for your baby during pregnancy. Thus, women experience bleeding for up to six weeks after giving birth. The hospital – or midwife if it was a homebirth – usually provides the new mom with all she needs for her postpartum care. This usually includes some sort of big pad, epifoam (or whatever recommended for any tearing), and mesh panty – often referred to as the adult diaper. In all honesty, it does look a bit weird and you really won’t be feeling the sexiest wearing this but the big silver lining is that this phase will pass and everything will go back to normal eventually. While you are still in this uncomfortable phase, it is important that you wear very comfortable clothing. Additionally, you want to make sure to only wear fabric that is soft to your skin. Due to the change in hormonal levels, you may be experiencing allergies on your body which is why it is important to be gentle to your skin while you are recovering.

2) Nursing and its side effects 

While many women are not very excited about having to wear adult diapers, the look of their postpartum breasts usually makes up for that. Once the milk comes in, a woman’s breast size grows by a few cups. While some may be delighted by the sight of their new boobs, it is very important to take all the necessary precautions. First, women should not wear any bras with a wire while breastfeeding or pumping. The milk needs to be flowing freely and a wired bra could lead to a clogged duct or painful mastitis. Postpartum bra and especially nursing bras are the way to go for new moms. For pumping moms, I would highly suggest to also get a bra that can hold the pump since it is very time-consuming. Also, you may be leaking milk so I can once again reiterate that it is important to wear comfortable clothing that is not too tight. In addition, nursing pads to catch any leaking milk are very helpful as well.

3) Take it easy on the movement

While you are still recovering, it is recommended to not work out for the first 6 to 8 weeks until cleared by your doctor. You want to make sure to drink a lot of water and make sure you’re resting. Try not to run around the house too much taking care of things. Most women experience postpartum swelling after giving birth which is why they are given compression socks for your legs in the hospital. Try to put your feet up and relax. However, if you want to get a head start on bouncing back before you can do any sort of physical activity, you can wear a postpartum belly binder. They come in three pieces and will help you bounce back into shape.

4) Social distancing during COVID-19 

Besides all the struggles moms normally go through during pregnancy and after childbirth, the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 has made things a little harder on new and expecting moms. Normally, a pregnant mom is celebrated throughout pregnancy and ends up getting most of the items she needs during the baby shower. I remember even outside of my baby shower, I had people come over bringing me clothes and other gifts for my bundle of joy while I was pregnant. However, 2020 put a big damper on this celebratory time. Most baby showers were canceled and due to social distancing most expecting couples couldn’t have any visitors. Subsequently, most expecting or new moms did not receive as many gifts for the baby as it used to be the case. 

Certainly, having a child can be tough on the body. Therefore, self-care and having help is crucial to postpartum recovery. Getting help this year might be a little more challenging than during previous years but rest assured – you are not alone, mama! Baby and Sunshine has an amazing subscription box service that delivers all the items you need for your little one right to your doorstep. Your box will include comfortable high-quality clothes you can wear during your postpartum recovery, functional nursing bras, as well as belly binders. If you are expecting or if you just had a baby, you can let them know what items you need and they will compile an awesome personalized box with the cutest and most efficient items so you won’t rely on anyone else. If you know a new or expecting mom, brighten up her day by ordering her a one-time box to her house. Not only will you help a mom who needs support now more than ever but you will also support mom-owned businesses. Baby and Sunshine has made it their mission to collaborate with mom and pop owned businesses. Most of the September boxes already included items from two small business owner moms Happy Momma Merch and Adry’s Boutique. This month they’ll be adding another SAHM-business Crochet Crafts by Sandy who will be providing handmade crotchet baby blankets and adorable baby hats. Check out Baby and Sunshine under this link and have an awesome month of October!

5 Things you need to know about having your first baby

5 Things you need to know about having your first baby

My pregnancy with my first child was a time overfilled with joy but also with uncertainty. We were so excited to be expanding our family but at the same time, we were clueless about what to expect. I used to think of parents as people who have some naturally born expertise in having children but I realized quickly that no one has a clue what they are doing when having the first baby. But that is ok since parents usually end up figuring everything out. My husband and I would spend so many days (and nights) researching the best baby gear, going to different childbirth preparedness classes, and I read several books on pregnancy and having children. However, we all know that theory and practice do not always match. While being pregnant, I would envision some peaceful scenario of me snuggling peacefully with my little sunshine, exclusively breastfeeding him, all while simultaneously getting back in shape in a heartbeat. But reality turned out to be quite different. A lot of things ended up not being as easy or natural as I thought I would. Here is a list of challenges you might come across and solutions to these challenges.

  1. Life in yoga pants

Before I had a child, I vouched that I would still want to look great as a mom. I saw a ton of pictures of bloggers and influencers looking absolutely stunning when taking their newborn home from the hospital and in the weeks after. Subsequently, I was planning on doing the same. However, it is easier said than done. In the first couple of weeks of having your first baby, you won’t have a lot of time to do anything for yourself. This applies to eating, showering, and even going to the bathroom. Needless to say, you won’t feel like putting on make-up or dressing up. As a matter of fact, as a new mom, you will find yourself wearing the most comfortable clothes sometimes for days at a time because you will mainly be spending time at home taking care of your little one. I was basically living in yoga pants for the first weeks after having my baby boy. Baby and Sunshine offers extremely comfortable yoga pants in all different colors as part of their subscription box. They are very high quality and also make a great shape. I also get a lot of compliments when I wear mine.

Yoga Pants

2. Breastfeeding may not come as natural as you thought it would

Exclusively breastfeeding was another expectation of mine that was crushed by reality. I thought it would come naturally and would be a piece of cake to breastfeed my child. However, I struggled with it a lot. A lot of factors came together that made it impossible for me to solely feed my child through this method. My baby didn’t latch correctly which I later found out was due to a lip-tie. Also, he had had high bilirubin levels which made me decide to supplement with formula. However, the supplementing lowered my milk supply. While this journey was disheartening, I still tried to breastfeed as much as I could for the first six months. What helped me a lot with the right feeding technique was the right nursing pillow and nursing bra. Baby and Sunshine offers awesome nursing pillows with baby head support and bras to make your nursing journey a lot more comfy. I also relied heavily on pumping since I already started working a month after giving birth. Having a pumping bra was such a lifesaver and timesaver at the same time. You get to multi-task and take care of things while the pump does its job. Baby and Sunshine has all sorts of nursing bras even a model where you can pump on one side while feeding your baby on the other side which helps tremendously in increasing your milk supply.

3. The mommy tummy

Like mentioned above, I looked at too many pics of public figures that looked quite amazing after giving birth that I had the unrealistic expectation that I would bounce back immediately after having my first baby. To my surprise, I still looked pregnant for the first couple of weeks after giving birth. As a matter of fact, it will actually take a while for the uterus and hence the belly to shrink back. Sometimes, it won’t shrink back at all and women keep having a visible lower belly pouch often referred to as the “mommy tummy.” One way to prevent this is to use a post-partum girdle. Baby and Sunshine has an awesome 3-piece belly binder for postpartum recovery that can help you prevent getting that mommy pouch and help shrink your uterus back. Once you are a few weeks postpartum, you can use their high-waist body shaper which will further help in shrinking your tummy. My son is two and still wear mine every day since it helps with a flatter stomach.

4. Buy useful things

I remember when I was pregnant, my husband and I would go to Target to buy a few things for the baby but almost 400 dollars later, we came home with a ton of fancy baby outfits. We just had to buy every single baby tuxedo and tiny businessman outfit we could get our hands on. And we committed an even bigger mistake: we bought all of these in newborn size. Obviously, we did not even take him out anywhere until he had his 8-week doctor appointment. All we really needed where comfortable baby clothes that can be changed easily due to spit-ups and diaper blow-outs. Needless to say, we only used the fancy outfits for pictures and he never wore some of them. Baby and Sunshine will make sure to send you not only useful clothing items for your baby but also very high-quality ones. You will find a lot of soft pajamas, onesies, and bodysuits made out of premium quality materials that are gentle to your baby’s skin.

Soft Baby and Sunshine PJ’s

5. Making baby feel comfortable and adjust to the “outside life”

There is a reason people call the first couple of months of a newborn baby the fourth trimester. At times, the transition from inside the womb to the outside world can be a bit rough on the little ones. That is why it is important to keep them extremely comfortable to adjust to their new environment. Swaddles are a great way to achieve this goal. They are meant to keep them snuggled, tight, and warm like they were inside mommy’s belly. Baby and Sunshine has some wonderful, soft swaddles for babies made out of premium materials such as bamboo, organic cotton, and wool. This will help your little one sleep better which of course, leads to mommy getting more sleep as well – and you will need all the sleep you can get during the newborn phase. Once they have outgrown their swaddles or they constantly try to break out of it, you can transition them to Baby and Sunshine’s comfy sleep sack. It keeps your little one extra warm and it is so ultra-soft that it makes them feel like they are sleeping on a cloud.

Mamas, if you are taking away only one thing from this article is to please choose comfort over looks during your challenging postpartum life. If I could do it all over again, I would worry less about how I look like after giving birth and cute outfits for the baby and more about being comfortable and bonding with the baby. Thankfully, Baby and Sunshine is here to support you in getting exactly what you and your little one need after childbirth. If you want more information on how they can help you with your hospital, please read this article. Other than that, please check out their website and have them worry about what you need. You stay healthy, mama, and enjoy your new bundle of joy!