Being a mother is a bit more difficult than it seems and goes far beyond the baby crying at dawn. Your whole life is turned upside down and there is a lot that your mother did not tell you. On that Mother’s Day, admire that woman who changed her whole life for you!
If you are the mother, it is day to meet the children – no matter if they are 45 years old – and to be pampered. If you are a son or daughter, it is an occasion to celebrate that woman who raised you, who saw you take your first steps and fought when you made a lot of scribbles on the wall with crayons.
In fact, do you know everything she has been through since you entered her world? All the tears and all the sweat she shed to create you? Come closer. I’ll tell you a story.
Behind the preciousness
Her name is Marta and, until last week, she was 9 months pregnant. The delivery was a success and the little one is called Marcos Alexandre – the same name as his grandfather.
He’s cute. He was born almost in need of a haircut and his aunt laughed, full of tenderness and joy, when she saw him for the first time: “it’s just cheek and hair!”, She said. Aunt’s instinct awakened in her anxious fingers by the fluffy little cheek. And Marta? Marta felt that there was something wrong with her.
During the first bath she took after giving birth, she cried horribly. Her husband – father now -, until a few days before so attentive, did not even notice the swollen face when she got out of the shower.
The silly smile on his face, so beautiful, filled Marta with anxiety . Why couldn’t she smile like that? The child was so well, everything was so right! The little baby looked healthy, why wasn’t she happy?
Until a few days before, everyone treated her with care and dedication. It felt like a jewel box. It was as if Marcos Alexandre really was a gem. The problem is that now, after the jewel was removed, it was as if the box was no longer worth anything.
Marta is a fictional character, but this is true for thousands of women. The emotions a woman goes through in the postpartum period vary and are something that only they can describe.
The expectations are that the maternal instinct takes over and the mission to make the baby happy becomes a priority.
It is expected that after childbirth the woman will live for the child’s happiness, but this is not true for all mothers, and they may feel guilty about it. But it is important to remember that being a mother does not mean that the woman is no longer herself.
However, something that is real for all women who go through childbirth is the puerperium. We’ll talk about him soon.
Some things they didn’t tell you
Many people talk about the difficulties of pregnancy, but – with the exception of the baby who cries at dawn – the postpartum is often overlooked. Here is a short list of some of the things your mom may have been through after you were born.
In medical terms, the puerperium is the period between childbirth and the woman’s return to ovulation.
It is a phase that can last up to 8 weeks, bringing several changes in your body, your life, hormonal load and the way the new mother feels. It is an adaptation period for her.
Based on the account of several mothers, however, the puerperium lasts longer than that. It is an incredibly important period because the woman has just entered a new phase of her life and needs to adapt to it.
The hormonal and physical effects are present, but it is the emotional effects that can last for several months and it varies from woman to woman. There is no right or wrong in the timing of this adaptation.
Unfortunately, many people forget or do not even know the puerperium, and the mother is left feeling abandoned. The woman has just had a child, which is an arduous task – both physical and emotional – and it is important that she has time and care to recover, that is, she needs attention as much as the baby.
During the nine months before delivery, the woman’s body changed completely. Now that the baby is born, it may still take a while for the body to recover from childbirth and the pregnancy itself as a whole.
Urinary incontinence, vaginal bleeding, rapid weight loss, hip enlargement, among other physical changes, can be noticed. The body of the woman who has just had a child can take up to an entire year to return to the previous state and make these adjustments.
Remember that pregnant belly? It does not disappear when the baby leaves. The uterus, with the baby, moves the organs around and they, like the skin and muscles, can take a while to return to their original positions.
There is now a baby in the house. There were months of waiting and the child is there. This is a huge change in the home and mother’s routine. The emotional needs to get used to all of them.
The baby cries at dawn, he needs to have time to feed, to bathe, he has to change his diaper, the house needs care, the hormones are still running… Phew! Getting used to it all can take time and be quite difficult.
A new phase in life
There are mothers who say that when a child is delivered, two people are born. One of them is tiny and has literally its whole life ahead of it. The other is the mother, who is now in a new cycle, in which everything is different, including the way of thinking and seeing life.
The difficult part, however, is that in order for this new woman to be born, the previous one had to die. Hence the baby blues .
Around 80% of women, a few days after giving birth, feel sad and do not know why. This is called the baby blues, and it is expected. It is the period of mourning for what is left behind.
Grief is a process of adapting to loss. Any loss. It may be that sadness that comes after forgetting your favorite jacket on the bus or that after the death of a loved one to an illness.
Each grieves in a different way and each process is unique and in varying intensities.
For the woman who has just had a child, this mourning is necessary because the previous life has just been left behind. The nights away from home without the responsibility waiting, the daily routine without having to breastfeed … Basically, the routine without being responsible for a new life.
The birth of the baby is not a bad thing. Only the loss of the previous life still exists. The woman who was before no longer exists and it is necessary to live the mourning for her. And then, the new life must follow.
Baby blues and postpartum depression are different things. Although they have some similarities, there are key differences.
Depression is extensive, goes beyond the time of mourning and presents itself as an intense lack of pleasure in any activity, even those that previously pleased the person.
The baby blues do not need treatment and it is something normal, perfectly natural for the woman who has just had a child, but when this sadness extends so much that it disrupts life for a long time, she may need medical care
It is important that family members and friends pay attention to the new mother and take care of her. Not only because of postpartum depression, but because this is an intense time both physically and emotionally. Having the support and knowing that you are not alone can make all the difference.
Adoption also counts!
Being a mother at heart is also being a mother, and it is also a lot of work. Adaptation to a new life is necessary, work to care for a child, adjustments to the new routine, the creation of a mother-child relationship, all this happens with the adoptive mother, as well as the biological mother.
They don’t have to deal with the changes that pregnancy causes in the body, but they still have thousands of other things to contend with.
Comments are not exclusive at the maternity hospital. However, the adoptive mother ends up dealing with the hunters in several ways.
In addition to being rude, invasive comments spread prejudice and generate insecurity. The subject may be sensitive for the mother, and even if it is not, some questions may imply that blood is more important. It is not. The mother’s love is the same.
Being a mother is still being a person
Being a mother is not ceasing to be a person. The mother still has feelings, wants and thoughts of her own. She is still a whole woman. Going back to Marta’s story, it is not because she became a mother that our character ceased to be who she is.
That idea that a woman, after giving birth, should donate her life to the child and be happy all the time for her does not take reality into account. Like any interpersonal relationship, the baby and the mother are two different people.
It is necessary to build the relationship
Mother and child have a small genetic advantage in this direction, it is true. The chemistry hits. But the relationship has yet to be built.
The mother needs to know that little person and the baby needs to know the whole world . So it is very important that they spend a lot of time together.
Only in this way can the two love each other in such a special way represented by the love of mother and child.
How to make her feel better?
Pay attention to her. His wife, his sister, his daughter, the moment he becomes a mother, deserves all the affection and care.
Listening to what she has to say, trying to understand how she feels makes all the difference and can prevent postpartum depression.
Help and participate. The child’s father must also participate in the care. Friends and family can do a lot for the mother who has just had a child, helping her with whatever is necessary.
Remember that a woman needs time for herself. Make that space for her! Childbirth and childcare are tiring tasks and women need to be able to take care of themselves.
If you are already a grown child, don’t forget to pay attention to her as well. Take her out for a walk, talk to your mom – every day. Give attention and affection to her. Your mother deserves it.
Tips for moms
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Here are some tips that can help, whatever time you are in the maternity ward.
Think about yourself
You who are a mother, do not forget to have time for you. Whether you are a mother-to-be, if your child is a newborn or is already grown up, having time for yourself is important and good for mental health . Especially during the puerperium, making time for yourself is not selfish.
Relax in the bath
Once the baby is born, it is not easy to have a moment to yourself. A newborn child requires attention almost all the time. So, a good time to separate for you is bath time.
Arrange with your partner that the bath time is yours. Use creams, massagers, do what you can so that this time that is only yours is relaxing and pleasurable.
It’s your time of day to relieve the tension a little bit. And don’t do this “just once in a while”.
Have a support network
A support network is the new mom’s best friend. The whirlwind of emotions, the great changes, the tiredness , the sleepless nights, hormones, baby blues, the mess in the house, the changes in the body, the labor – so many things! – they are too much for one person and friends and family are extremely important for this new phase to start as best as possible.
Mother’s Day serves to celebrate the most important person in our life and without whom we would not exist.
You, mother, went through a lot to get here, no matter if you just found out you are going to have a child or if the child is over 40 years old. This is your day!
And you, son or daughter, spoil your mother that day. I said it once, but don’t forget: she deserves it.
Share this text with your mother, children and friends to remind them how important motherhood is.