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3 Mistakes I made as a New Mom

No one is born fully equipped with all the necessary skills to handle motherhood and the surprises it brings along with it. A mother is born when a child is born. With every passing day, we learn and evolve as mothers. Every mother's journey is unique and mine is no less. In this post, I would like to share the 3 mistakes I made as a new mom, their consequences and how I addressed those.

1. Loosing sleep over milk supply

We all know how nutritious and healthy mother's breast milk is. It is the purest form of food for  newborns. Though I intended to breast feed my child, there was a delay in the milk production due to c-section delivery. Adding to the bodily complications after the delivery (stitches, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding), frequent nursing, stress of not able to generate sufficient milk for my child didn't allow me to sleep in peace. Due to the stress, milk production got delayed further and had an adverse impact on my sugar levels and recovery. My (gestational) diabetes levels didn't drop soon after my delivery, as expected. It took a month for me to get into a rhythm in nursing my baby. 

In majority of the cases of c-section moms, it is quite common to see a lag in milk production. Frequent nursing, skin to skin contact, pumping at regular intervals helps to generate milk production better. If you decide to nurse your baby, you may have to follow a tiresome pattern to achieve it, but it is totally worth your effort. Patience is the key. Otherwise, we develop unwanted stress and negatively impact our recovery process. 

Another common mistake which most of us make is end up eating more believing it to generate more milk. All the additional calories just adds up to our fat deposits rather than helping in our attempt to feed the child better. Certainly a nursing mom has to consume more calories, but instead of gorging on carbs focus on healthy eating like including lots of vegetables, protein, healthy fats in your diet and eat at regular intervals along with drinking adequate amount of water. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine rich products is not only good for your health and your baby's, it also lessens the risk of dehydration which has a direct impact on your milk supply.

2. Not giving the much desired rest to my healing body 

Every mom has a different labor and delivery experience. As per medical practitioners, it might take 6-8 weeks for someone to completely recover from a c-section. But there could be cases which might take longer time to heal. May be, mine was such. I started off doing house hold chores right from the 3rd month of delivering my baby and ended up developing umbilical hernia in the 5th month. I have heard cases of ladies delivering babies via c-section develop hernia, but not at such an early stage as me and the only way to fix it is through a surgery. It was too early for me to go for another surgery. To have the situation under control, I consulted a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy isn't a cure to hernia, but it helps to manage the symptoms to an extent. As an add on, I had diastasis recti too, a common condition in pregnant and postpartum women. The physiotherapy sessions helped me manage my medical condition to a greater extent and also helped building confidence in me to handle my body better. 

3. Not paying attention to my body's signals

Pregnancy and weight gain go hand in hand. Most women will gain 10-15 kgs over the period of their pregnancy, while few tend to put on more than the desired weight. I was on the second list and gained close to 20kgs during my pregnancy. Surprisingly, I didn't lose much right after the delivery. So all those extra kilos is my baby fat. Due to the complications I developed during the child birth, I wasn't in a position to exercise right after 6 weeks as specified by my gynecologist. Upon her insistence, I tried a couple of simple floor exercises and ended up bleeding again in 2 days. It might be feasible for many to get into their regular routine and shape sooner. But it took me close to 2 years to get back into my previous weight.

If you could relate to any of these or have a completely different experience, remember you are not alone. Most importantly always remind yourself that, "One rule doesn't apply to all" especially when it concerns pregnancy related matters - right from conception to post partum recovery. Similarly there is no perfect way of parenting too. Each pregnancy, each mom, each child is different. It is your own journey. Trust and follow your bodily signals and instincts and take it at your own pace. We learn through our mistakes and with each passing day and experience, we evolve and grow as a mom/ parent. 

In spite of the difficulties, I was able to nurse and take care of my child in the best possible manner, manage my health and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, though it warranted some additional effort and few personal sacrifices. I still carry certain scars and imperfections, that constantly remind me of my rebirth as a mother!!

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