By Kellie Scott
At 31, new mums and pregnant women fill my inner circle, and phrases like “get cracking” and “you’d make cute babies” are often thrown around.
No-one grabs me by both shoulders and says I have an almost 50 per cent chance of experiencing incontinence and a one in seven chance of postnatal depression.
Or that my post-birth stretched stomach and thinning locks will constantly disappoint next to the unattainable images that flood social media.
GPs would rather remind me “time is ticking” than flag the long list of side-effects, which also include haemorrhoids, birth defects and loss of career.
But they should. Because as several mums and experts shared with the ABC, talking about the difficulties of motherhood can help women not only survive one of life’s most challenging feats, but make an informed decision about whether they want to do it at all.
‘Hair loss was a total surprise.’
Warrnambool mother of twins Jess Griffey said she was totally unprepared for how having kids would impact her self-confidence.
Three months after giving birth her hair began to fall out, a common condition following pregnancy called telogen effluvium (shedding of the hair).
“It was a total surprise. I didn’t realise the extent of it until I saw a photo of myself at a wedding when they [my twins] were four months old. My hairline had receded a good 2 centimetres … I looked hideous,” she said.
“The worst part though is when the hair started to grow back, now I have short hair combined with really long hair.”
Ms Griffey said the look was hard to disguise, but not from a lack of trying.
“I tried to hide my mullet with a clip-in fringe and I ended up looking like a Lego man,” she laughs.
“It does get me down sometimes but I make an effort of telling everyone, even strangers, that I did not intentionally cut a mullet haircut, like they actually care.”
An obsession with poop has also been an eye-opener for Ms Griffey.
“Nobody warned me that there was an age bracket in the human race that enjoyed eating their own faeces. Nobody warned me that no matter how hard I try my house will always look messy and dirty.
“But I wouldn’t change a thing.”
When the baby blues is something more.
At her lowest point, Amanda Palm checked herself into the mental health unit of her local hospital because she was at risk of harming herself.
The Sydney mum of one had been experiencing perinatal depression — which occurs both during and after pregnancy.