Myth 1: You’ll forget the pain of labor, and whatever mild discomfort you feel during your recovery will be overshadowed by love for your new baby.
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Myths Debunked! True stories from new mothers. by Wendy Helfenbaum
Pssst... Wanna know a secret? Those books you’re reading, those pre-natal classes you’ve attended – they don’t exactly tell you what it’s really going to be like after you give birth. Debunking motherhood myths up front might ease your anxiety, says psychotherapist Alyson Schafer, bestselling author of Breaking the Good Mom Myth and Honey, I Wrecked the Kids. “The difference between the reality and the expectation is where unhappiness happens for mothers,” she says. “It isn’t that you need to be doing more, it’s that your utopian vision needs to be humbled.” So here’s the real skinny from moms who’ve been there, and survived to tell you about it: 18
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Reality: “After labor, I went through the toughest two months of my life: I couldn’t walk or sit, and had hemorrhoids the size of pears,” says Judy Obadia, mom of one. “Not one woman had told me how hard the afterlabor was going to be. … I totally didn’t expect this.” Dealing with it: “My sister-in-law had a six-inch tear and 50 stitches up to her rectum,” says Schafer. “Imagine someone saying, ‘Hey! Would you like to have your gallbladder out, and we’ll drop off a newborn!’” She turned to family and friends for help during her recovery.
Myth 2: You’ll fall in love instantly. You won’t want to let baby out of your sight, let alone your arms. Reality: “Nope! I mean, I loved my kids, but when people came over to see if they could help, I’d practically throw the baby into their arms so I could shower or just have my arms free for a while,” confesses Marijke VroomenDurning, mom of three. Dealing with it: “Some mothers think they’re supposed to bond right away, but I’ve met many who didn’t get that loving feeling for quite a while,” says Schafer.
Myth 3: You’ll know what each cry means. n Reality: “Boy, did I feel incompetent forever, not knowing most of the time what the crying meant,” says Amy Rea, mom of two. n Dealing with it: “Parents think, ‘If I knew (what this cry means), I could solve this,’ but it’s a game of persistence and just hanging in there,” says Schafer. “There’s no magic bullet here! The way you earn your stripes in motherhood is enduring it, basically, until you figure it out or until it goes away. It’s complete trial and error, and sometimes you don’t even know what you did that suddenly worked.” atlantaparent.com
Guide for New and Expectant Parents