If you are pregnant for the first time and a little worried about what to expect in those first couple months of your newborn baby’s life, I have good news for you! You will have help: a little something called Adrenaline.
I totally had no idea what would happen with a newborn but I did expect to be completely sleep deprived and exhausted. While this was true, I also discovered something a lot of other moms have talked about too: the wonder of adrenaline.
For me, and many other mothers we experience a surge of adrenaline during the first few weeks or so. I would say mine lasted for at least 8 weeks. Everything is so new and you are on a steep learning curve which triggers the body to be very alert. My body just knew it had to keep going and keep learning how to adjust to this new way of life so it kept releasing the hormones I needed. This was a huge lifesaver and one I never expected before I experienced it.
The adrenaline helped me:
- Wake up quickly when my newborn cried.
- Have energy to keep on going even though I wasn’t sleeping much
- make decisions about what to do for my baby
- it helped me get outside and go for walks. In turn the walks gave me energy and vitamin D.
Why am I telling you this?
The biggest take away I really want you to receive is this:Trust yourself. Trust your body.
Trust your body to take care of you.
Just when you need it, your body care for you by kicking in with the energy you need even when you feel depleted. Your body heals the wounds and marks of birthing even while you nurture your baby. Your body builds muscle in your arms, your torso, your legs to help you carry and move your baby. It learns how to use your non-dominant hand so you can eat or brush your teeth all while holding a baby. Your body regulates your hormones so that it give you and your newborn the best chance to bond. What an awe inspiring thing is a body!
I do want to take a moment here to acknowledge that bodies do have breaking points and some are stronger than others. Women with a c-section need longer recovery time and others need help balancing hormones so that depression and/or anxiety doesn’t take over their lives. If this is you dear, brave Mama. Reach out for help. It is not a weakness to need a little help. If you are wondering if you are suffering from post-partum depression or anxiety, check out Postpartum Support International.
In return, Be sure to care for your body.
Don’t take it for granted or abuse it. Get help so you can sleep. Accept offers from people to drop off food. Ask for help cooking or doing laundry. Don’t expect yourself to do it all. Your body is helping you do this crazy, amazing thing of raising a tiny, helpless human. Show it some love!
Here are some key ways to show your body care & love:
- Take baths as you are recovering from birth
- go for walks outdoors. They don’t have to be fast or far just get outside!
- Place water bottles all over the house and be sure to drink tons of water
- Eat. I know it may be easier said than done but please, please eat. If you can’t get a full meal in, make sure to have lots of nutritious snacks around such as fruit and nuts.
- You may want to set a timer to remind you to drink water or eat if you need a little help.
- Wash your hair. Put lotion on. I know these aren’t necessary but they feel so good and your body will love you for it!
- Every day or every other day do a head to toe body scan. Tune into how your body is feeling. Ask each part of your body if it needs anything. The other day when I did this, I learned my feet wanted a lavendar salt scrub!