• Life After Giving Birth: Expectations vs Reality
  • Having a baby changes a woman’s lives in leaps and bounds. Although a lot of the changes are expected by most moms, there are inevitable surprises when it comes to the realities that a new mom faces after giving birth.

    We talked to a few moms and we got their real, honest answers on various aspects of their lives after giving birth.

    On their post-natal figure

    In a perfect world:
    “I breastfed my baby which helped me shed some weight off.” – Clarins, 11-month-old mom

    The reality:
    “I still looked like I was pregnant for five months.”

    “I still look pregnant until now!”

    “After carrying my baby for nine months, I didn’t expect my tummy to disappear immediately.”

     

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    On breastfeeding

    Breastfeeding may be the best way to feed the baby, but it is not exactly the easiest for some moms. A lot of moms empower themselves by reading and preparing as much as they can. There are some who were fortunate not to encounter too much difficulty:

    In a perfect world:
    “It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. The hospital where I gave birth was very supportive and so is my family which somehow helped me cope better with the difficulties better.”

    The reality:
    “I didn’t expect that it would be so exhausting. I tell myself every single day that it’s going to be the last day that I will ever breastfeed, but one year and three months later, I am still directly breastfeeding my kid.”

    “My husband and I planned on exclusively breastfeeding our baby. We actually did well when we were at the hospital, but when we came home, it was as if my baby didn’t want to breastfeed, or he wasn’t getting any milk. He cried and turned blue. His nails were turning violet. He won’t stop crying and it was so heartbreaking and scary at the same time. As much as we hated to, we ended up giving formula. Relactation massage didn’t work so we had to keep giving him formula.”


    On sex
    After giving birth, moms are usually given a few weeks to recover before they can try to have sex again. Some moms are able to resume being intimate with their husbands with just a few minor hurdles:

    In a perfect world:
    “It felt tighter, but not necessarily painful.”

    The reality:
    “I thought my body would go back to normal after giving birth. I delivered the baby via CS so I was surprised by the pain when we actually tried to have sex.”


    On how the new baby changed their relationship with their husband

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    Adding another person in your husband-and-wife relationship will expectedly change your dynamics. Some mommies felt that the new baby improved their relationship with their husband:

    In a perfect world:
    “I fell in love a hundred times over with my husband when I gave birth. He was a hands-on husband and father. He took me out on dates (at times without the baby) and made sure I have all the support I need.” – Mico, 34, 2-year-old mom

    “I felt that our baby brought us closer because our baby brings us joy.” – Clarins, 11-month-old mom


    The reality:
    “We were childless for seven years, I thought we are already tough in the disagreement scale, but the baby really put so much stress into our relationship. We live in different houses now.”

    “I feel we have different opinions with everything now.”

    “I feel like there’s a gap between us and he suddenly stopped being romantic... I don’t know if it was just me, but I felt that things changed.”


    On how they felt towards their baby

    Having a baby is oftentimes depicted in loving images of a mother and her baby’s basking in each other’s presence and many moms find out that this image is indeed accurate:

    In a perfect world:
    “I never imagined I could love someone this much”

    The reality:
    “There was a point in time when my baby kept crying despite all efforts and it drove me mad. I knew that something like this would happen but I never knew how hard it actually is.” – Clarins, 11-month-old mom

    “I wanted to have her adopted by someone else at an early age of 10 days, simply because I was shocked to be this sleepless.”


    On how they changed after having a baby
    Having a baby changes not just the life of a woman, but it also changes the person itself:

    The reality:
    “I guess my heart and mind changed when I became a mother.” – Mico, 34, 2-year-old mom


    “I am happier now that I have someone to take care of.” – Clarins, 11-month-old mom

    “I love where I am now. This is the season of my life where I am given the chance to influence and love a young person.” – Mico, 34, 2-year-old mom

    There are moms who are surprised with how they have changed because they’ve become a mother:
    “The first time we went out without our baby, I felt like my arms were empty or lighter and I had that nagging feeling of having left something at home. I kept on missing my baby the whole time we were out.” – Chachie Pabalan, 34, 14-month-old mom

    “My mother told me not to have kids because I was really impatient with kids. I was surprised that I would be this caring for my baby.” – Clarins, 11-month-old mom

    “I thought I could still be the typical career-driven working mom after giving birth, but my perspective immediately changed.” – Chachie Pabalan, 34, 14-month-old mom



    On getting the baby blues

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    Being a little down after giving birth is not unusual because of the huge hormonal changes that a mom goes through. However, some moms are quite unprepared with how the baby blues will hit them:

    The reality:
    “Until now I still have it and I don’t know how to pull myself out of it.”

    “I didn’t expect that I won't be able to handle things well. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by my family and my baby’s smiles helped me cope and move forward.”

    “I totally didn’t expect to have post-partum depression, at all. I’ve always thought of myself as resilient, optimistic, and a generally positive person. During the first few months after giving birth, I felt so alone in taking care of the baby despite the efforts from my supportive husband. I was also depressed at how much people would focus on the baby and totally forget about me. When my mom gave me a hug and told me, “You did a good job,” the day after I gave birth, I bawled.” – Chachie Pabalan, 34, 14-month-old mom


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    On whether they think their babies are cute or not

    Almost all mothers expectedly think that their baby is the cutest baby ever:

    In a perfect world:
    “As my husband says, I am a stage mom. I felt that she is the most beautiful baby every!” – Clarins, 11-month-old mom

    “My baby looks like me! Of course, I love it!” – Mico, 34, 2-year-old mom

    “My baby was cherubic and pretty-faced. I was actually surprised and while high on meds, I even asked the doctor if he was really mine.” – May

    The reality:
    “I was hoping that my baby would be my mini-me, so I was disappointed that she turned out to be a mini-me of my husband. The first four months, I thought she was one of the ugliest babies I have seen! But when she started smiling at 5 months, she won everyone. Until now, everyone says that she is a charming little girl with a captivating smile and sparkling eyes.”

    “I just wished she looked more like me. She’s a mini-clone of her dad!” – Chachie Pabalan, 34, 14-month-old mom


    On things they are discovering about themselves now that they’ve become a mother
    For some mothers, having a baby is a new experience that brought about new discoveries about themselves:

    The reality:
    “I was surprised that I am actually capable of doing the dirty work like washing somebody else’s poop or the spit in my clothes.”

    “It’s scary how I’m spoiling my son… I’m surprised by how easily he can make me say yes to everything he likes. It’s surprising for me because it’s not how I planned to raise my baby.”

    For a lot of moms, becoming a mother was more instinctive and easy:
    “Motherhood came naturally to me. I didn’t worry so much about being able to care for my baby because I somehow figured out how right away.” – May

    “I was surprised at how mothering came to me naturally – in the sense that I knew most of the time what to do when she cried, how to console her, how to bathe her – and it made me so proud to be HER mom and that no one else knows her better than I do. Up to this day, my heart swells every time we gaze into each other’s eyes during a nursing session. I did not expect to fall in love this much!” – Chachie Pabalan, 34, 14-month-old mom

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