We’ve all been there. And we’ve all asked “is this normal?”
As a first time mum there are times you find yourself sitting with the baby at 3am wondering if this really is what this so-called wonderful life as a parent is all about.
It’s meant to be incredible isn’t it? Joyous? Fun? Why am so damn tired all the time then? Why won’t the baby shut up?
Is this normal?
As more and more of my friends and family become parents themselves, I’ve noticed a pattern in the questions asked by first time mums.
Here is a list of the 20 most common ‘is this normal’ questions I get.
1. Why so much discharge?
Your body is experiencing hormonal changes and there is increased blood flow to the area around your cervix. Discharge is normal and will increase prior to labour.
2. I have both red and white stretch marks, are these normal?
Normal, so normal. Different bodies react differently but all bodies in pregnancy are being stretched and the skin is tightening. Ignore the celebrities; most women get stretch marks
3. Argh! My hair is falling out.
Not as common as other pregnancy issues. Hair normally falls out after the birth but due to new hormones configurations hair falling out isn’t something you need to worry about.
4. I am petrified of giving birth, is this normal?
I think it would be weird if you weren’t worried about birth. Research your options and take a birth class to be prepared.
5. I’ve been having contractions for weeks – why isn’t the baby here yet?
Braxton Hicks contractions are perfectly normal in pregnancy and they are just your body’s sign it is preparing to give birth.
6. Should I really be bleeding this much?
There’s a reason those maternity pads are so freakin’ big. There’s going to be blood and lots of it. Most women bleed for up four-six weeks post-partum.
7. Why is my tummy still flabby and will this ‘flap’ ever go away?
Yes, you may still look six months pregnant after birth and no, that ‘tummy flap’ doesn’t generally just disappear over night.
8. I didn’t fall in love with my baby at first sight – am I a bad parent?
No! Absolutely not. Birth is not like the movies and bonding may take time.
9. It hurts to poo.
Yep, that happens when you push a baby out of your nether regions. Ask the hospital for some medication to help loosen your bowel movements.
10. When does the baby start DOING something?
Spoiler alert: babies are sometimes really boring. Sure they are cute and cuddly but sometimes you'll be asking yourself "is that it? Why doesn't it DO anything?" That's normal.
11. It’s 4 days post birth and I can’t stop crying, what is wrong with me?
It’s called the baby blues, a common occurrence many women experience in the days after the birth when their hormones are running wild. For many it’s short term, but if you feel it continuing it may be the onset of postpartum depression and you need to book an appointment with your GP immediately.
12. My baby feeds CONSTANTLY.
This is normal. I repeat, THIS IS NORMAL. If breastfeeding, your baby may feed every hour. Literally. It’s about establishing your supply. Do not believe baby books; babies cannot count to four hours.
13. I’m bottle-feeding but I still have milk – what’s wrong?
If bottle-feeding, it may take time for your milk to dry up. If it is an issue see your GP for medication that may assist you.
14. I’m leaking milk at weird times.
Heard your friend's baby cry or got emotional at a Kleenex commercial? Normal. Milk will leak when you are experience high level of emotions or when your body is in a maternal state.
15. Why am I so damn hungry all the time?
I wish someone had told me this. So hungry. So thirsty. Feeding another human is hard bloody work. Your body needs more fuel.
First few months
16. My baby poos 10 times a day/doesn’t poo for a week.
Both normal. Just beware of the poo-nami if your baby is in the second group.
17. It’s 6 weeks – why is my baby so unsettled.
This is a common age for a growth spurt when your baby will feed constantly and be unsettled for days on end. Normal.
18. My relationship with my partner has changed.
A baby is a massive life change and will, inevitably, cause changes in your relationship. Talk to your partner about how you are both feeling.
19. Why does my child wake up at 6am every.single.day?
They just do. Maybe it’s a primal thing. The sun is up so they are up. Kids wake up at 6am (sometimes 5.30am) it sucks but we have to deal with it.
And the most common question asked by all first time parents, without doubt, is this:
20. Why isn’t my son/daughter doing *insert milestone here* yet? Is this normal?
YES! All humans develop at different rates. All babies will talk/walk/jump/skip at different times. First babies, in particularly, do not have an older sibling to mimic and may hit milestones later.
What questions did you ask as a first time parent?
Disclaimer: As with all parenting concerns, if you find yourself continually worried we ask you please seek professional advice from your GP or family health nurse.
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