‘Where did it go!?’
This is a common cry amongst new mothers and could refer to any number of issues including their downtime, their privacy, their intimacy or their figures. Parenthood is a drastic change for many people, particularly those used to a busy work and social life – it can take some adjustment.
Understanding these changes ahead of time can make the transition easier, allowing you to prepare for them and to smooth the way. While most changes are temporary, many are not. Likewise, change is not necessarily a bad thing, and the life changes which come with a new child can be the most life-enhancing and fulfilling experiences you will ever go through.
From very early on in pregnancy your body will begin to change. Stretchmarks and stored fat can turn what may have been a svelte pre-baby body into a softer, more matronly figure. This change can scare many formerly slim women.
By the time baby is born, your tummy can hang like a large bowl of jelly from your abdomen. Don’t panic; this is only temporary! Embrace the fact your body is blooming and give yourself a break. Aim to lose weight slowly over the course of the next year and get exercising.
There is a range of sensational baby prams on the market designed to enhance the walking experience while lulling baby comfortably to sleep. Ideally get a cheap step counter and aim for 10,000 steps per day. Don’t put the step counter on your wrist though, as your hands will be static on the pram’s handle and won’t clock up any steps! Pop it in your pocket.
Adopt a low carb diet and stick to fresh, natural food, avoiding ‘low fat’ options which may be packed with hidden sugar. Embrace natural fats found in foods as these will keep you feeling full for longer and boost your milk production. Ideal foods are:
- Oily fish like salmon
- Natural, organic yogurt
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Unsalted, raw nuts and seeds
While many new mom’s revel in the joy of parenthood they can be oblivious to dad’s feelings of neglect. This can be a trying time for many relationships due to sleepless nights, demands of the newborn plus hormonal and libido issues. It is also a temporary period of adjustment where baby takes precedence over everything else – often to the exclusion of intimacy.
The dynamics of a relationship may change permanently; after all, there are three of you now, but that needn’t mean it has altered for the worse. By both parties understanding, they need to be patient, affectionate and tolerant, things will eventually settle back into a more equitable balance. Simply understanding how each other is feeling can prevent distancing.
Affection shouldn’t have to lead to intimacy. Many women would love to be more affectionate with their partners but avoid it because their partners always take it as an invitation for intimacy. Think about the quality of time you spend being affectionate rather than the amount of time.
Many new parents find that their single or childless friends can also be demanding of their piece of your life. There may be pressure to maintain the same level of socialization as before the baby, and it can be confronting to find out how strong this pressure is.
Again, friends need to understand there is a period of adjustment and your relationship can survive, but will ultimately look different to the one you had before children. They also need to understand you care for them and will always have time for them; it may just be less time.
By broaching these issues early, you can pave the way for a smoother transition into parenthood. You are at the beginning of a wonderful adventure, and as with any adventure, by arming yourself with a map, tools, and strategy for coping, you are increasing your chances of success.