Provider’s Starter Guide to Postpartum Intimacy
Listening to the stories and experiences of other mothers can help us feel heard and seen. Sometimes we can feel alone in this journey but the stories show that many moms are walking this journey together. These stories offer ideas into how women navigate the 4th Trimester. Some ideas may be of interest to you and others won’t be. Only you know what’s most important for your journey. Have a story to share please let us know!
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There’s something about birthing babies that should make a woman feel pretty indestructible. The fact that our bodies are able to form and give life to an entire human being is nothing short of amazing. Whether you had a natural birth, or a c-section like I did, your body deserves to be celebrated.
I got pregnant last February so it’s been almost a year of my body experiencing changes. First, growing to accommodate my beautiful baby girl and now that she’s here my body transitioning back to its pre-pregnancy state. This is my third pregnancy so I’m much more comfortable with this process than I was with my first child.
I never knew love like what I experienced the first time I saw my daughter’s face. In that moment, it felt like my heart had swelled to near bursting.
I was 29-years-old the last time I sat on my grandmother’s lap. My grandmom was always soft and warm. My cousins, aunts and I never missed a chance to snuggle up to her regardless of how old we were.
Sometimes I like to dig through my old blog posts and see what kinds of gems I can find. After all this space has served as a sort of diary for me. Well sometimes I stumble upon junk, trash even. And I don’t know whether to shake my head, laugh, or cry at some of the things I put to pen.
A few nights ago I went to back to school night at my daughter’s school. As I sat listening to her teacher tell us what to expect in the third grade, it hit me that five years from now I’ll be starting all over again.
Whenever I talk to other working moms about their inspiration for working, 99% of the time they say they’re doing it for their family. That’s my answer when someone asks me, too, but sometimes I wonder if we’re not telling the full truth. I know so many women who give everything to their jobs and/or their business, and quite frankly, they have nothing at all left for their family.
I’ve been a working Mom and I’ve been a quasi-stay-at-home Mom (I’m in Canada and have three kids, which means I’ve had three year-long maternity leaves). Both can be wonderful, and both can be difficult – in very different ways.
I can remember the first time I breastfed my oldest child almost 15 years ago. Unlike many, breastfeeding was the norm in my family so it wasn’t really a big decision for me. After seeing it done so often, I fully expected it to be natural and easy. I didn’t get what I expected.
There was never a question about whether or not I would nurse my baby. Nine years ago, when I had my first child, breastfeeding came naturally to me. Baby girl latched on quickly, and we experienced 19 blissful, milk filled months of nursing. I had a feeling things would be different this go round.
I almost gave up about 5 times until I got the best advice from my lactation consultant. Never quit on a bad day. And yes while the winter nights were harder, the mornings came and somehow, it did get a bit better. So we persevered.
It was a no-brainer for me: All the books said I should breastfeed my baby because it was best for her that she would be stronger, faster, smarter, better for it. And so I rushed out and bought myself a fancy Medella breast pump and stocked up on breast milk storage bags and got all giddy when I started filling out my nursing bras.
We’ve all been there. If you are a mom then you’ve experienced some form of what they call the “baby blues”. According to Mayo Clinic, there are more than 3 million cases of postpartum depression reported yearly in the U.S. alone! I didn’t think it’d happen to me at all.
I recently did a guest post for Vanessa Rapisarda at Running In Triangles. It was about my struggles with postpartum depression. To be quite honest I wrote it awhile ago but held on to it for a little while after I had written it because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share it with anyone. Even as I was dealing with my postpartum depression I stayed to myself in my house. If I did have any visitors (which wasn’t very often) I wouldn’t tell them what I was really going through.
The past 7 weeks…the fourth trimester.
I know it’s been a while since you’ve seen an image of me on the blog. I didn’t want to reappear with a glammed image of myself because that’s not my reality these post-partum days aka the fourth trimester.
In the first days and weeks of finding out I was pregnant I kept the news closer than usual. I told my husband of course… Immediately. Actually, I was out of town working when I found out and I first told him in a text message (more on that later).
So, your friend just had a baby and you can’t wait to get to her side! But before you rush out the door let me give you a couple of things to think about when going to visit someone with a newborn baby.
Inside: If you’re trying to figure out how to deal with going back to work after baby (because the thought of it makes you feel like you’re dying inside), these must-read tips will help. It’s normal to feel anxiety when going back to work after baby, but preparing yourself will make the transition easier, for you AND baby.
Practice makes perfect (or close enough). Soon, unclipping a nursing bra and getting your baby latched on will seem like second nature (and before you know it, they learn how to help themselves to the milk buffet). Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and remember that it’s totally normal for breastfeeding to not come naturally.
Being a breastfeeding mama is one of the greatest joys of my life. Looking down into my sweet little boy’s eyes as he receives nourishment just fills my soul.
It’s important to prepare for pumping at work long before you begrudgingly step over the threshold into working mama status.
The most important and difficult work know to humankind is getting done by you. You are growing a human at the most vulnerable and important time in their life. There is absolutely nothing that can be more important than that.