You’d have a hell of a time if you ever dared to crawl through the recesses of a first-time mother’s brain. There are hormones flying around everywhere, with assumptions and uncertainties abounding. Whether their feelings make sense to you or not, you can guarantee that every new mother you know has at one time or another worried about a slew of the most bizarre but legitimate non-issues.
1. Their baby’s poop.
Never in the history of the universe have we cared so much about another person’s bodily fluid output as we do when we’ve got an infant. Is that poop supposed to look like mustard? What are those tiny black specs? Does my baby have a secret second butthole that’s responsible for eight blowouts in a single day? Oh God. I’m not cut out for this.
2. Their own poop.
Speaking of poop, one of the most terrifying aspects of the postpartum period is the eventuality of having to poop. Do we have to do it? Yes. Do we want to? Oh, hell no. Will all of our insides fall out of our butt? We’re pretty sure the answer is no, but there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there?
3. Baby lactation.
FUN FACT: It’s possible for newborn babies to lactate. We don’t just share a deep love and good genetics with our children; we share a veritable hurricane of hormones with them, too.
Holly Wainwright talks to Milli Hill, found of The Positive Birth Movement, on This Glorious Mess. Post continues after audio…
4. Every single houseware, personal possession, or object anywhere. Ever.
All mothers develop an innate sixth sense when it comes to baby-proofing a house: everybody knows that knives, pills, and electrical outlets are dangerous —that’s for rookies. But any mother with a toddler will scour your house at the macro-level until she’s cleared out every last thing you own, lest her baby slam head-first into it or put it in its mouth. Or both.
5. Squeezing their postpartum body into their pre-pregnancy jeans.
Girl, it took you nine months to grow that baby of yours. You made a person with your body. So cut yourself some slack, chill out, and enjoy all the yoga pants, sweat pants, or no pants you can.
6. Why their baby isn’t doing the thing that the other babies are doing.
Reference books and Almighty Google are helpful tools when your baby’s on track. But as soon as we start noticing that our friends’ kids are even remotely ahead of our own, we start trying to will them to succeed with our mind. Where are your teeth, baby? Why aren’t you walking yet? Will you be bald forever?
7. The temperature.
Is it too cold in here? Is that sleeper enough? Do clammy hands mean he’s too warm? His cheeks are rosy but the back of his neck is tepid…? Is this blanket too thick? Is she allowed to wear a hat to bed? I don’t know what I’m doing.
8. Whether their kid is even alive or not.
Whether our child’s been sleeping for even ten minutes longer than usual, or there’s been an odd noise followed by total silence, we become absolutely positive that the worst has happened. I’ll be checking to make sure my daughter’s chest is steadily rising and falling as she sleeps until the day I die — or at least until she changes the locks on her doors.
9. Their boobs.
Next to the massive changes in development that we watch take place in our children, there’s possibly nothing that undergoes greater transformation than our boobs. Over the course of pregnancy and breastfeeding, those ladies go from being the biggest and most rock-solid tatas to ever grace our bodies to being the slouchiest and most underwhelming banana boobs we’ve ever seen. We’re either trying to stuff them into nursing bras or we’re trying to bolster their presence and make them look even one tiny bit the way they used to. They can be leaky, they can be sore, and they’re certainly not as low-maintenance as they used to be.
10. Their hair.
Not only does it fall out by the fistful after birth, but lo-and-behold, it serves as a safety hazard for infants! What strands are no longer on new mothers’ heads are suddenly and brazenly threatening at any moment to wind around their baby’s toes, acting as a hair tourniquet that could threaten to obliterate those little piggies altogether. Isn’t being a new mum fun?
This article first appeared on Ravishly.com, your first stop for feminist hugs.
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