Avoid these 5 Common Pitfalls Once Baby Arrives

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How to Avoid These 5 Common Pitfalls
Once Baby Arrives

Are you so consumed with thinking about birthing your baby that the thoughts of parenting seem far in the distance?

I was so focused on how to get this growing baby out of my body that I could not take in all the changes that were about to happen.  

Then once I gave birth, for the first days all I could think about was how I did it! I birthed my baby, my body was superbly designed to grow and birth my baby. Wow!!   

I was in awe of looking at the new life that came through me and was part of me and my partner. Yet so many emotions and tears flowed… .  

Happiness for the wonderful child we now had…

Sadness that our life as a couple would forever be changed

Loss of my past self and life of flexibility and spontaneity

And so much more…

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You may find yourself disconnected from your self and your partner and just going through the motions rather than savoring and celebrating this precious time in your life. 

Let’s look at 5 common pitfalls that you can avoid so you can bring more confidence, peace, and love to yourself and your relationship as parents…

5 Common Pitfalls Once Baby Arrives

1.

Stuffing Your Feelings

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

If you’ve given birth, you know that afterwards you have lots of feelings. Was birth less than satisfactory? Was it traumatizing or scary? Maybe you didn’t feel you received the respect or care you deserved. Maybe it was amazing and all you expected, but one moment still feels icky. Or maybe it was Orgasmic! 

One of the most common struggles I hear from women isn’t how their birth went, but not acknowledging, accepting and moving through the feelings that they have about their births afterwards. Don’t write off your feelings under the guise that birth is just a “day” in your life. Birth is truly a day you never forget! How you feel about that day should be honored, acknowledged, and processed. Find people that understand the value of listening to your feelings (Doulas learn and understand how important processing your birth story is). It is important to share your birth story, thoughts and feelings as no matter what you feel – you have every right to feel it. You have to feel it to heal it!

Some births are Orgasmic, and you have every right to feel that, too. Birthing a life through your body is a major event that deserves to be celebrated. If you gave up your desires for your baby’s safety and well-being, acknowledge your loss and honor your strength. If you experienced moments of joy, love, pleasure – this is what Orgasmic Birth is all about.

Honor your strength and power no matter what birth asked of you. Processing your birth is an important aspect of this transitional rite of passage into parenthood. Your birth story holds the feelings that when left unprocessed can simmer into depression, post traumatic stress and leave you stuck in unresolved or uncelebrated accomplishments. Processing your birth can pave the way to feeling whole and expanded emotionally into parenthood in positive ways. 

2.

The "my partner is enough" approach

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Birth partners are amazing! It’s wonderful to have someone you love, know, trust and care for to be there for you during birth and to support you in the days, weeks and years after having a baby. 

But the studies are clear, birth partners do not replace the role of a doula in birth or after.

Doulas are trained professionals that are there to support you emotionally, physically and provide educational resources. They are well educated on the normal physiology of birth, and the hormones and transitions that you and your family will experience after having a baby. Doulas are able to focus solely on you, the parents as they are not medical support. Birth doulas are wonderful at encouraging partners in ways to support the birthing person, and studies have proven that they greatly increase positive birth outcomes.

Postpartum truly takes a village. So many people are fortunate to have partners that want to and/or can take time off after having a baby. Partners still need and deserve support, too. In the past, families and communities provided meals and care to both parents for the first 40 days. The more support you have the quicker you will heal and find your new rhythm as a family. Which leads us to my next tip… 

3.

A Lack of Rituals & Ceremonies

rebozo techniques

Here in the US, and throughout much of the world, getting pregnant means a special baby shower full of gifts and yummy foods. It’s a wonderful event, but it lacks ritual or ceremony that honors the life-changing event that is becoming a parent. Once your baby is born, there is even less attention to all of the rapid and intense changes that families go through integrating a new person into their lives.

New moms and parents notice that they are no longer the focus of attention, and that all eyes are now on the new sweet baby. Of course we all rejoice in having a new baby in our lives, but new parents deserve an honoring of all they are going through. As parents get to know their new child, learn to cope with lack of sleep, and adjust to feeding, changing and caring for a baby, they too would benefit greatly from love, care and attention. 

In many cultures, there are ceremonies and rituals that honor the process of becoming a parent, along with an entire community of people there to support, care for and honor the new parents. Consider how different parenting would be when fully supported and honored by your family, friends and community so that you could focus entirely on your new little human? If you don’t have cultural or religious traditions and ceremonies to honor you, consider creating your own.

4.

The "I will Get My Body Back" Focus

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Social media, magazines, and television all seem to indicate that your postpartum body  should resemble your pre-pregnancy body in short order. It takes 9 months to grow a bump, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that your postpartum body will be changed. Everything will feel softer, fuller and you may have stretch marks too.

Most new Mothers and birthing people hide their bodies waiting to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape. This time can be filled with feeling less than, where during pregnancy your bump made you shine and feel confident to have it show, a post baby bump is often hidden. With all you are doing to care for your baby how can you find time for exercise? 

Body image is a big part of sexuality. What if instead of wanting to get back to your before baby body, you celebrated where you are now? Celebrate your body for birthing your baby safely in whatever way was needed for your baby. Look in the mirror and say, “I love you!” Learning to accept and love where you are at in the present will bring you more joy in many ways as life is a journey moving forward. The past is the past and the key to find pleasure is to enjoy the present. 

5.

Intimacy on the Backburner (don't worry - sex can wait!)

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Sexuality is an essential part of every person. We are all here most likely because two people, our “parents” had sex (as much as might like enjoy thinking about that!). Of course right after having a baby, intercourse needs to wait until healing has completed and this can be different for every birthing person. I know some people who after two weeks could not wait to make love without their baby bump. Other people, especially those with more challenging births that require medical intervention, can have bodies needing months to heal before feeling ready for intercourse. Yet, just waiting without finding alternative ways of intimacy, showing and receiving love can lead to big gaps in relationships when we need our partners most.

Good communication is essential both about your feelings and physical needs so that partners understand your healing is not about them. Discuss ways to both give and receive love and enhance intimacy that may not involve doing anything before you are ready. I love the song “All Your Need is Love”…

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game

It’s easy

Nothing you can make that can’t be made

No one you can save that can’t be saved

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time

It’s easy

All you need is love

All you need is love

All you need is love, love

Love is all you need

All you need is love

All you need is love

All you need is love, love

Love is all you need

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known

Nothing you can see that isn’t shown

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be

It’s easy

All you need is love

All you need is love

All you need is love, love

Love is all…

This is true with you – Love is all – how do you feel loved and how do you help your partner to feel loved? Discuss this question before your baby arrives and continue this discussion after.  Find ways to keep your love alive as it can not wait, it must be tended to and nurtured along with your baby to maintain and grow a healthy relationship. Too many relationships end because love is on hold. The divorce rate is highest the first year after having a baby and this should not be.

As you have learned in my prior blogs, having a guide to both support you and help you develop a treasure chest of pleasure tools makes a world of difference.  With love and intimacy flowing, when the time feels right you deserve the best sex of your life. My Sex After Baby Class talks about this and so much more. I will guide you to heal, communicate and expand your pleasures, love and your orgasms. 

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