Part 1 of our Baby Blues series – ‘Vicky’s month of grey fog’.
When you’re pregnant everyone, who’s anyone will talk about ‘those’ pregnancy hormones, those pesky things, that are slightly worse than PMT. They’ll have you laughing uncontrollably one minute, crying hysterically the next, then seeing red about 5 minutes after that. But I was prepared for all this. I handled them pretty well. (The other half might say different…).
What I wasn’t prepared for were how my hormones made me feel the month after Marnie was born.
My god. I actually thought I was losing my mind. I had no idea what was going on.
I felt like I had a constant hangover, whilst trying to navigate through a thick grey fog, on zero sleep. I thought I was failing as a mother because I didn’t look like that mummy on the Johnson’s advert. (You know the one, have your tissues at the ready). And I couldn’t keep up with the demands of my baby.
On top of this, my other half was taking to parenthood like a duck to water. Suddenly he’d become the new me. This efficient, happy, fresh faced super dad. That was a slight kick in the teeth.
Our advice is don’t worry. It’s normal.
Every new mum will feel completely different. And it’s so hard to prepare any new mum for how these ‘postpartum’ hormones will make them feel. All I can say is, it’s completely normal. What I now know is, I wasn’t failing. My body was recovering from birth and adapting to this new life. What you’re feeling is temporary, and before you know it the fog as cleared and you’re starting to feel more like yourself again.
Our advice is:
- Rest, rest, rest. Even a 20 minute nap will make you feel like a new woman.
- Take advantage of your partner’s paternity leave. This is your time to recover, so you’re raring to go once they have to go back to work.
- Eat healthy. You won’t have time to cook, so get family and friends involved. (Alex was an angel and made us enough lasagne to feed the British army). Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Make the most of your midwife visits. They’re coming to check on you as well as the baby, so don’t be afraid to ask any wacky question, or tell them if you’re feeling out of character.
- Get fresh air. Try and get out of the house once a day. Even if it’s a 5 minute walk with the pram around the block. Fresh air does wonders (and it’s good for the baby too).
If you are feeling low, and you’re starting to really struggle don’t suffer alone, talk to family and friends and visit your doctor. Here’s the NHS link on how they can help.