Women Change After Childbirth. So Should Their Support

By Lauren Hall
May 6, 2024

Picture this: you’re a mom. You’ve just had a baby, and while you’re over the moon with love for your little one, you’re also feeling a bit… well, different. That was me not too long ago. And let me tell you, becoming a mom changes things – big time.

When my first child came into the world five years ago, I was scared. Scared of losing myself in this new role of being a mom. I’m all about being true to who I am, and suddenly, I was worried I’d only be known as “so and so’s mom.” But guess what? Turns out, you can love your kiddo to bits and still miss the days when you had more freedom to do your own thing.

The same experience happened when my second child was born last year. Adjusting to all of the changes that happened within me and around me after growing and birthing two little beings is still a challenge. My priorities have shifted, my attention and focus are divided, and my time is not my own. Not to mention, my house is a little messier and my clothes don’t fit quite the same way.

And from what I’ve seen on social media and heard from my other mom friends, I’m not alone in feeling this way. Turns out, science backs it up too.  Research shows childbirth permanently changes women physically, mentally, and emotionally.

So, let’s talk about how having a baby changes moms – and how we can support them better.

First up, the emotional rollercoaster. From the moment a woman finds out she’s pregnant to when that baby takes their first breath, it’s a wild ride of emotions. Dr. Alexandra Sacks, a reproductive psychiatrist, says there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how moms feel during pregnancy and after. It’s like a big mix of joy, fear, excitement, and sometimes sadness all rolled into one. Hormones play a part, of course, but it’s also about adjusting to this whole new life while your body is still recovering.

Childbirth can also take a major toll on a woman’s physical well-being. Dr. Sarah Buckley, a family physician and author, calls it a “powerful, transformative experience.” Translation: it’s a big deal. From the pain of contractions to the exhaustion of pushing, childbirth can bring on a range of physical challenges. Recovery from childbirth can be a slow and difficult process, needing plenty of rest, self-care, and support from loved ones. It’s crucial to prioritize health and well-being in postpartum, allowing moms the time and space they need to heal both physically and emotionally.

Let’s honor the incredible strength, resilience, and sacrifice of women who take on the journey of childbirth and motherhood. Let us recognize the mental, emotional, and physical challenges they face with courage and grace. And let us offer them the support, compassion, and understanding they need to navigate the challenges of motherhood.

But let’s not stop there. Here are three ways we can support moms after they’ve had their babies and beyond:

  1. Help out with practical stuff: Moms have a lot on their plate, so lending a hand with everyday tasks can make a big difference. Think of cooking meals, doing laundry, or running errands. By taking some of the pressure off, we give moms more time to focus on themselves and their little ones.
  2. Be there emotionally: Sometimes moms just need someone to listen. No judgment, no advice – just a shoulder to lean on. Letting them know that it’s okay to feel everything they’re experiencing can make a world of difference.
  3. Encourage connections: Being a mom can be lonely sometimes, so help moms connect with others in the same boat. Whether it’s organizing playdates or just hanging out, having a support network can make the tough days a little easier to bear.

So, to all the moms out there: You’re doing great. We’ve got your back, today and every day.

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