Good morning, friends! After taking the summer off, the Let’s Be Honest Mamas series (hosted by Kacie Ellis from Elements of Ellis) is back and in full swing. When I found out what this month’s topic was going to be, I thought it fit perfectly, given that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. And while I won’t be sharing about our miscarriages, I will be giving you a peek in to my life and experiences postpartum – which I feel can sometimes be equally as taboo. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in, because this month’s mamas are about to get really honest!
1 // Did you deal with the baby blues or postpartum depression? If yes, how long did it last and how did you cope? I definitely had the baby blues after Noah was born. I grew up as an only child, never babysat, and only had one younger cousin that I saw on a regular basis. Until Noah was born, I had never even changed a diaper (we actually had to call one of the nursery nurses in to help us). I was used to doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted – I enjoyed structure, order, and having a tidy home. So to say my world was rocked when our firstborn arrived, would be a bit of an understatement.
Noah was not a typical newborn, meaning, he NEVER slept. Like ever. He was a tiny 6 pounds 9 ounces when he was born, and so he wanted to be fed and held 24/7. We had issues with breastfeeding at first, he got a cold at two weeks old, and the boy loved being awake. It was an incredibly difficult transition for me and JD, which ultimately left me feeling helpless.
Thankfully, my mother in law was able to stay with us for two weeks, and to be honest, she was a total life saver. When we were at our wits end, she was there to sit up at night with Noah. She made us food, helped with laundry, went with me to the doctor – it was great. And after a couple of weeks I started to feel like myself again.
What helped me to break through my baby blues? Eating a proper diet, getting outside and going for a walk (something we did a lot prior to Noah being born), letting certain things go, and most importantly asking for help. Raising a human is hard – it takes a village. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
2 // What are your must-have products for postpartum life? A belly band? Pads? Certain types of clothing? While I didn’t wear it as much as I should have, I really liked using a belly band after I gave birth to Graham. It was a great way to keep everything where it should be, and easily fit under clothes my clothes. One product that I absolutely swear by, is Mother’s Special Blend body oil. I used it all during pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks, and now I use it specifically on my breasts postpartum (that’s because your breasts tend to swell up quite a bit with milk, and that’s the one place I get stretch marks). I also keep on hand breast pads, chapstick, and dry shampoo like they’re going out of style.
3 // What is one thing you wish you would have been more prepared for postpartum? Three words: lack. of. sleep.
4 // Share your favorite postpartum recipe…an easy meal, lactation cookies, etc. While it’s not my recipe, I would absolutely say that if you plan on breastfeeding, you should order some lactation bars from Oat Mama. These were an absolute game changer while I was in the hospital, and a great pantry staple now. Especially with having two toddlers, I need something I can grab quickly, eat on the go, and that is beneficial to my milk supply. The mama’s behind this company are also complete sweethearts!
5 // What do love about your postpartum body? Truthfully, if you were to ask my what I loved about my postpartum body’s appearance, it would be hard for me to make a list. But when you ask me what I love physically about my body, that’s easy. I love how strong my body is. I’ve been pregnant five times, carried three babies to full term, delivered them vaginally, and nursed them as well. My body is strong. It is capable of things you can barely imagine, unless you’ve gone through it yourself. My body can run on little sleep and carry babies for hours. Having children has made me stronger than I never knew I could be.
So what are some of your experiences postpartum? Any products you can’t live without? I want to hear what you love about your body post baby. Leave your answers in the comments below, because I would love to read them – then head on over to these other mama’s blogs to check out their thoughts on life postpartum! XO
Kacie Ellis // Carla Thompson // Emily Lindsey // Camille Burley // Victoria Schneider
PS. My Experience with Postpartum Depression, Processing Loss.