Having a baby is one of the most exciting and life-changing experiences a person can have. It can also be overwhelming, as there are so many things to consider and prepare for before you have a baby.
From understanding the physical changes that come with pregnancy to learning how to care for a newborn, it can be difficult to know where to start.
We’ll walk through some of the main things that parents should know before having a baby, such as an impact on their sex life and lifestyle changes that may occur. Spoiler alert, you’ll also get less sleep for a while.
With this knowledge, you can feel more prepared and confident before the baby comes.
Things you should know before having a baby
1. Try to remain flexible with your birth plan
Having a birth plan is a great way to prepare for the arrival of your baby, but it is important to remember that things may not always go as planned.
It can be difficult to accept that you are not in control of how your baby is born, but being flexible and understanding that unexpected outcomes may occur will help you cope with any changes.
Jen Schwartz, a postpartum depression survivor and the founder of The Medicated Mommy, ended up having a C-section during labor despite wanting to avoid it. Her story emphasizes the importance of being ready for all possibilities in childbirth and not focusing too much on one particular plan.
It is also important to understand that you may not have an immediate, overwhelming feeling of love for your newborn.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t love every minute of having a new baby – this does not make you a bad parent. Having a long labour can increase the risk of developing postpartum depression, so it is important to take the pressure off yourself by understanding that it is normal to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
And, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Having a baby can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be exhausting and overwhelming. Make sure you are taking time for yourself to rest and recharge so you can be the best parent possible for your new bundle of joy.
2. Financial implications of having a baby.
Having a baby can be expensive, from diapers and formula to doctor visits and daycare costs. It’s important to plan ahead for these expenses by creating a budget and saving money in advance.
It’s also important to understand the financial implications of having a baby.
For example, you may need to adjust your budget to accommodate additional expenses such as extra food, childcare, and medical bills. Additionally, you may be eligible for government benefits or tax credits that can help offset some of these costs.
Finally, it’s important to consider how having a baby will affect your career. If you plan to take time off work, you may need to adjust your budget accordingly.
If you plan to return to work after having a baby, you may need to factor in the cost of childcare and other related expenses. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that having a baby is a life-changing event and the financial implications should not be taken lightly.
3. Your body will go through physical changes during pregnancy and childbirth
One of the most important things to know before having a baby is that your body will change. Pregnancy and childbirth can have a significant impact on your physical appearance, including changes to your breasts, abdomen, hips, and more. You may also experience changes in your skin tone or texture due to hormonal fluctuations.
Body Changes During Pregnancy
Your body will go through physical changes during pregnancy and childbirth. These changes can include an increase in size, stretch marks, skin discoloration, and more. You may also find that you’re more prone to skin issues such as acne or eczema.
Additionally, you may find that you are more prone to stretch marks or other skin issues. As a result, it’s important to take care of your skin during and after pregnancy. This includes using moisturizers, avoiding harsh soaps, and wearing sunscreen when outdoors.
During pregnancy, every woman’s body will experience a variety of physical changes. As your baby grows and develops, so does your body and its anatomy.
Your breasts will develop in size and shape to prepare for lactating, the hormones that filter through your body during pregnancy can cause aches and pains throughout your muscles, ligaments, joints, and bones.
Body Changes After Childbirth
After childbirth, any abdominal-area tenderness or achiness is common as the muscle fibers which make up your abdomen stretch to accommodate the baby; many women also face uterine contractions which further add to the postpartum discomfort.
These common postpartum body changes can often be eased with rest or remedies like increased water intake or light exercise such as swimming or walking.
And while returning to your postpartum body can take time, eating a balanced nutritional diet, getting exercise and ensuring stress levels are kept in check will help.
4. Your emotions will change
Having a baby can also have an effect on your emotional and mental health. You should be prepared for the emotional roller coaster that comes with having a baby.
From joy and excitement to fear and anxiety, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions during this time. Make sure you have an outlet for expressing these feelings such as talking with friends or family members or seeking professional help if needed.
You may find that you experience a range of emotions, from joy and excitement to fear and anxiety. It’s important to be aware of these changes so that you can take steps to manage them.
Talking to a therapist or other mental health professional can help you cope with any difficult feelings that might come up.
5. Every baby has their own “norm”
There is no such thing as a “normal” baby. Every baby is unique and develops at their own pace. It can be confusing to read about what to expect from a baby, as there are many conflicting sources of information.
It’s important to read up on parenting topics, but take everything with a grain of salt and make decisions based on what makes you most comfortable (here’s some popular parenting books from Amazon.com).
It is normal to feel overwhelmed in the first few months of parenting a newborn. It’s normal for both parents to not know exactly what to do.
Support from family and friends can be beneficial in navigating life with a newborn, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if needed. With patience and love, you will soon find your groove as a parent and enjoy watching your little one grow!
6. You won’t sleep
Sleep deprivation is a difficult experience that no one can prepare for. Mothers who have recently given birth face additional challenges such as postpartum recovery and engorgement. It is important to take advantage of any opportunity to sleep, as the challenge of sleep deprivation will not last forever.
Sleep deprivation can make everyday tasks seem much harder, so it is important to get more sleep in order to improve your outlook and attitude.
Adjusting to life with a newborn can be tough, but there are tips to help you get through the first month. During pregnancy, the body produces extra hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and hCG, which can lead to an unpleasant sensation known as morning sickness that may last all day.
Symptoms of morning sickness should lessen after the first trimester, however, it is still important for mothers to take care of themselves during this time by getting enough rest and eating nutritious meals.
Taking breaks throughout the day and asking for help from family or friends can also be beneficial in managing stress levels during this time.
7. Feeling overwhelmed is common and understandable.
It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed when adjusting to life with a newborn.
Becoming a parent can be an overwhelming experience, and it is important to remember that many mothers have experienced the same feelings of overwhelm.
It can be difficult to adjust to the new demands of caring for a baby, and it is easy to feel like you are not doing enough or that you are failing in some way.
However, it is important to remember that this feeling of overwhelm will pass with time. You can feel less overwhelmed if you:
- Focus on the important things such as bonding with your baby and taking care of yourself.
- Taking breaks when needed
- Asking for help from family and friends can also be beneficial in managing the feeling of being overwhelmed.
It may take some time but eventually you will find your own rhythm and routine with your new baby.
8. Postpartum depression is common and can hit when you least expect it
Postpartum depression is a common experience for many new mothers.
It affects around one fifth of new moms, and it is normal to experience postpartum depression, and it is not the fault of the parent.
It is important to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of postpartum depression in order to seek help as soon as possible in order to mitigate negative feelings associated with postpartum depression.
There is nothing wrong with having postpartum depression and it should not be a source of shame.
Postpartum depression can hit unexpectedly, even when everything seems to be going well. Fathers can experience postpartum depression as well as mothers, so it’s important for both parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
Exhaustion can make it easier for triggers to set off feelings of depression, so getting enough rest is essential for managing postpartum depression.
9. It can take a toll on your relationship with your significant other
Having a baby can be an incredibly exciting time for couples, but it can also take a toll on their relationship. According to research, 70% of couples report dissatisfaction in their relationship when the baby comes home.
This is due to the immense amount of stress and responsibility that comes with having a newborn. It’s normal for couples to feel overwhelmed and exhausted during this time, which can lead to arguments and tension between them.
To make it through this difficult period, couples should have daily check-ins where they talk about their experiences and offer each other support.
This will help them stay connected and remind them that they are in this together. They should also make sure to take some time for themselves away from the baby so that they can reconnect as a couple.
Taking breaks from parenting duties will give them the opportunity to focus on each other and remember why they fell in love in the first place.
10. You need the support of others
Parenting can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be exhausting and lead to parental burnout. To prevent this, it is important to ask for help and support from family and friends. Taking time for self-care is essential in order to bring one’s full self to parenting and relationships. It is important to be prepared for the arrival of a baby, but unexpected things can come up.
Accept offers of help and don’t hesitate to ask for additional assistance.
Utilize resources such as friends, family, postpartum doulas or nannies to get the help you need.
Crystal Clancy, a perinatal mental health expert, recommends seeking help and support before baby arrives. Resources such as parents groups, Early Childhood Family Education classes, and postpartum doulas are available.
Seeking help quickly can lead to faster recovery from any mental health issues that may arise during the transition into parenthood. It is important to remember that you are
11. Preparing freezer meals can save you time and effort.
Freezer meals can be a great help after having a baby. Preparing freezer meals ahead of time can save time and stress in the future, when you are busy caring for your new bundle of joy.
If you’re looking for a way to involve loved ones in your postpartum plan, suggest they make some freezer meals. It’s an easy way to provide you with food that doesn’t require a lot of work on your part, leaving you time to care for your little one.
Freezer meals are easy to make and can last for months in the freezer. You can make large batches of food such as soups, casseroles, lasagna, chili, and more that can be portioned out into individual servings and frozen until needed.
This will provide you with quick and easy meals that require little preparation when it’s time to eat them. Freezer meals are also great for those days when you don’t have the energy or time
12. Self-care is important
Self-care is an important part of parenting, especially for new moms. It can be difficult to find the time and energy to take care of yourself when you’re caring for a newborn, but it’s essential for your mental and physical health.
Things you can do to take better care of yourself after giving birth:
- Developing empathy, tolerance, and adaptability will also help understand personal limits.
- Practicing stress-relieving exercises such as yoga or meditation can help manage stress levels.
- Offering or receiving massages from your partner can also create a better connection between you two.
- Taking time to sleep when the baby is sleeping is also important in order to recharge and have enough energy for the day ahead.
- Spending at least one hour outdoors each day can provide some much needed fresh air and sunshine which helps reduce stress levels.
- Unsubscribing from Facebook parenting groups can help avoid toxic motherhood comparisons that are often found on these platforms.
- Making time for self-reflection and down time to recharge your energy levels.
- Lowering expectations and finding a support group can help cope with the challenges of parenting.
13. Breastfeeding can be tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it
Breastfeeding can be a tricky process to get the hang of, but with time and effort it is possible.
It may take up to five days for milk to fully come in, so it is important to be patient and experiment with different techniques and positions until you find one that works for you.
Breastfeeding is not easy and takes time to warm up to, so seeking help from a lactation consultant or midwife as well as support from family members can make the process much easier.
Also, learning about ways to latch properly, prevent blocked ducts and taking lecithin early on can help avoid mastitis and hospitalization.
Reading Chribsheet before giving birth can also help ease expectations and pressure on new moms.
Lastly, parenting responsibilities should be shared between the mother (who breastfeeds) and father (who sleeps).
You can do this by expressing breastmilk manually or using a breastpump, and keeping the breastmilk in the fridge for up to 24 hours to let your partner help feed the baby at night, so you can also get some needed rest.
14. You might not have time to keep your house spotless – and that’s ok
Having a child can drastically reduce the feeling of privacy and space in a home. With the addition of one more person, the physical environment changes significantly. Toys are scattered everywhere, making it difficult to find things and keep the house spotless.
It can be hard to find time for yourself when you have two children running around. Tripping over toys, not being able to find things, and struggling for alone time are common experiences when having a second child.
It is important to remember that it is ok if your house isn’t always spotless. You may not have enough time or energy to clean up after every mess your children make. Instead of stressing about keeping your house perfect, focus on spending quality time with your family and enjoying each other’s company.
Take advantage of moments when you can relax and enjoy some peace and quiet in your home.
Remember that having a messy house doesn’t mean you are failing as a parent; it just means that you are prioritising the most important needs of your baby first.
15. It may take time for maternal feelings to kick in.
Becoming a parent can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience.
It’s common to hear people talk about the maternal instinct that kicks in when you become a mom, but this may not always be the case. It takes time to learn who your baby is and what they need, as well as learning more about yourself as you take on the role of mom.
Ryan and his wife had a second child, but didn’t consider how it would make their first child feel. Their five-year old daughter became resentful and quiet, feeling ignored by her parents.
Ryan wishes he had realized the strong emotions of a young child, and done more to make her feel included. He now understands that it’s important to pay attention to each of his children’s needs and feelings so that they both feel loved and supported. He has learned that his maternal instincts may not kick in right away, but with patience and understanding he can develop them over time.
16. Get on the same page with your partner on your approach to discipline
Having a baby can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences in life, but it can also be one of the most challenging.
Women often complain that their significant other doesn’t help enough with the baby, but at the same time never let them do anything without supervision or criticism. Start as soon as possible by sharing the responsibility and having someone there to share the load.
Couples should not view marriage and family as a balancing act, but rather as of one cloth. Making the philosophical shift to prioritize both the parent-child relationship and the marriage will help them thrive. Spending time together discussing the baby is a sign of success, not failure. New parents often struggle to maintain their relationship after the arrival of a baby
17. Perfection is unreasonable – What works today may not work tomorrow.
No matter how much you read, how many classes you take, or how many parenting books you read, you will never be fully prepared for the arrival of your baby. Every child is different and every parenting journey is unique.
Establishing a routine for a baby is essential for their development and well-being, but it can be difficult to achieve. Every day is different and what works one day may not work the next.
For example, if you have been able to get your baby to sleep through the night by following a certain routine, the same routine may not work the next day. This can be disheartening when expectations are not met, but it’s important to remember that each day is unique and that babies are constantly changing and growing.
It is important to remain flexible in order to adjust to these changes. It may take some trial and error before finding something that works consistently.
Remember that consistency is key; sticking with the same routine each day will help your baby learn what’s expected of them and make it easier for them to settle into a regular sleep pattern. With patience and perseverance, you will eventually find something that works for both you and
18. Your sex life may go through many changes.
Pregnancy can have a huge impact on a couple’s sex life. Hormones released during pregnancy can cause changes in libido, with many women experiencing a decrease in the first few weeks due to nausea and dizziness.
During the second trimester, fluids around the vulva and clitoral complex increase, leading to increased arousal for many pregnant women. This can be an exciting time for couples as they explore new ways of connecting with each other.
Having a second child can also drastically change the lives of parents. Someone I know experienced this firsthand when they had their second child. With their first child, they were able to keep working, studying, and going to parties without much disruption to their lifestyle. But with their second child, they realized it was impossible to make the child revolve around their own lives.
They had to adjust their schedules and priorities in order to accommodate their growing family. This shift in lifestyle can have a dramatic effect on couples’ sex life and in turn their overall relationship.
19. Having a baby may affect your work and career
Your career and work mostly likely will be affected at times, including taking time off work or adjusting your budget to accommodate childcare costs if you plan to return to work after having a baby.
It is important to plan ahead for these changes and make sure you have a support system in place. Talk to your employer about any potential changes that may need to be made, such as flexible working hours or job sharing. It is also important to research childcare options and find out what financial assistance you may be eligible for.
Having a baby can also affect your career in other ways. You may find that you need to take a step back from certain aspects of your job, such as networking or attending conferences.
You may also find that you have less time for professional development and learning new skills. It is important to be aware of these potential changes and plan accordingly.
Conclusion – Things to know before having a baby
In conclusion, having a baby is one of the most special and memorable moments in a person’s life. While it can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking journey, there are many things to understand and plan for before embarking on the path towards parenthood.
From considering different parenting styles that best fit for you, to ensuring you are financially prepared, to keeping up with all the doctor’s appointments and checkups – it’s essential to prepare ahead of time as much as possible.
It is possible to find a new normal after pregnancy and childbirth, although it may take some time. The first year can be chaotic as you adjust to your new life and responsibilities, but eventually, you will feel capable and in control again.
It is important to remember that this period of adjustment is only temporary; soon enough you will have settled into your new life and everything will be fine in the end.
Every baby is unique so enjoy this wonderful experience! Good luck! 🙂
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