There’s no denying it: recovering from childbirth is TOUGH.
Mom’s life is TOUGH.
And it starts from the very beginning.
The baby arrives, and is hungry!
And from that moment on their needs are endless.
And your life is never the same again.
Too Many Downplay How Tough Postpartum Recovery Is
Motherhood is tough enough, but what’s crazy is that moms often make it tougher for each other!
You know how it goes (or have been on the receiving end?). Out and about. Running errands. Trying to keep it all together. Doing your best. Every day. But then…
Some other mamma makes a dig at you. Maybe it’s a subtle comment. Maybe overt. But it stings. Why do people do that? I don’t know. But it does seem to make things harder. Only it shouldn’t!
So! In an effort to put some GOOD vibes out in the universe…
Here’s a few thoughts on how YOU can support a mom recovering from childbirth.
Don’t Judge Her Birth Story
We’ve all heard the stories, or been around someone who likes to give out judgey opinions. It’s hard enough recovering from childbirth on your own! It doesn’t help when someone else takes one small piece of your story…
And JUDGES it. Ugghh. This is always the worst. Because they never know the CONTEXT of the birth story. It’s always more complicated than it seems at first.
You don’t know what she went through. You don’t know all the details. Or complications. Or emergencies. Or last-minute changes because things didn’t go exactly as the birth plan had said.
So why judge?
If you are inclined to judge, maybe just take a deep breath before you make a comment and ask yourself:
If I was this mom, how would I feel to be on the receiving end of this comment?
Keep Your Feeding Opinions To Yourself
I think after comments about the birth story this is probably the one area where people most often share their opinions. And boy do they have opinions!
It seems everybody’s got the answer. For every feeding challenge. The best kind of bottle. The best solution. The best nursing pillow!
The amount of feedback and opinions people give you will at times be overwhelming. And made even more so because it seems the number of challenges that come with feeding a brand new human are endless.
So that’s why I think it’s best to really just keep your opinions to YOURSELF. Because just like with birth stories, at the end of the day you don’t really know what people are going through.
Was Your Postpartum Recovery Quick? Don’t Judge If Hers Wasn’t
It goes without saying that giving birth and recovering from childbirth is one of the toughest, if not THE toughest, things a mom will ever have to do. Is that a little over the top? Maybe…
But if you think so, then perhaps you’re one of the moms out there who didn’t have such a hard time with childbirth? I’m not sure.
But I know this: some mamas have a smoother recovery than others. And that’s putting it gently and mildly. It’s not easy for tons of moms out there. Now, I don’t know about you, but this is something I NEVER heard people talk about.
Instead of just jumping too quickly to share comments about how quick your recovery was, here’s a few ideas of things to do instead.
- Listen with compassion and smile
- Open your heart to their story
- Take a big drink of “don’t judge” tea
- Consider how you’d feel if you’d gone through what they’re going through
Empathize With A New Mom’s Anxiety
So this happened the other day:
It was after work. We’d just finished dinner, and it was before bed. We were playing chase with our 15-month-old in the living room…
And he took a tumble.
Onto the hardwood floor.
It sounded terrible.
The sound of his cute little face connecting with the floor.
The CRACK was immediately followed by his wail. The tears started flowing. Then I saw the blood.
It was oozing from his nose. The first bloody nose! We hadn’t had to deal with that before. It looked terrible. I was on edge. I quickly realized I had NO IDEA what to do.
After quickly doing a search I figured out a strategy. Pinching the soft part of his nose. This wasn’t easy. He doesn’t hold still.
But we got it taken care of and stopped the bleeding.
But not without my anxiety levels going through the roof!
Which bring me to my main point:
Whether you have a newborn or a toddler, as soon as your baby is born there are endless sources of anxiety. It’s never-ending, in a way.
There’s always something to worry about.
So remember this the next time you’re talking to a mom who’s recovering from childbirth. And when you are talking to a mom, there’s no way to really know her level of anxiety. It could be sky high.
Talk About Work Stuff Another Day
Ok, last but not least!
Maybe this is obvious?
Well, I sure thought it was. But turns out it’s not. But here’s my best advice. If you cross paths with a mom who is still on the mend from bringing her bundle of joy into the world and is taking a break from work too…
DON”T Talk To Her ABOUT Work.
She’s got enough stress (see anxiety section above).
Do her a favor?
Let her take that break.
She’ll thank you for it.
Till next time!
What are your best tips for recovering from childbirth and postpartum recovery?