MUNDE: Aftermaths of giving birth no one tells you about
have been told about mommy brain, baby brain or mental fog that comes with
pregnancy and lasts for a couple of weeks (months, or more) after giving birth.
We’ve heard how you shouldn’t get shocked if you find yourself holding your house keys, but proceeding to spend an entire afternoon looking for where you ‘misplaced’ them.
A fellow mum wrote to me a few weeks ago and told of how bad her mental fog was, that she went for her baby’s peditrician appointment without her baby and only realized so when the nurse asked where the baby was. Yes, motherhood can do some crazy things to you.
I remember forgetting some simple vocabulary during the first couple of weeks after giving birth. I couldn't remember the word ‘fork’ and one time I was at a restaurant and could not seem to remember the word and resorted to telling the waiter to help me with ‘that thing with many sticks for picking meat’.
If you thought mommy brain was the worst thing to expect after giving birth, brace yourself as I let you in on some other aftermaths (which by the way are not standard, so don’t worry, it may not happen to you).
Many mums have heard about Olympus ‘falling’ because of breastfeeding (I hope you get the drift?) but not many people have been told about the possibility of getting uneven breasts.
The thing about babies is that they tend to favour a particular breast (either left or right) and as mums, instead of fighting to get them to feed from both sides as is recommended, fatigue sometimes makes us just go with the flow and give the baby what he/she wants – whether it’s the right or left breast at every feeding.
It’s recommended that you feed your baby evenly from each breast, and if you sometimes feed your baby from one side and he/she gets satisfied, it’s recommended that you feed from the other breast during the next feeding. However, it’s also a fact that one breast tends to produce more milk than the other. So a mum could again just resort to feeding her baby on that breast first for most of the baby’s feedings.
The problem with this is that milk production is a factor of demand and supply; so the more you feed your baby on the right breast for example, the more milk is produced on that side and more milk production means a bigger breast, which can lead to the problem of uneven breasts.
So if you are willing to trade off even breasts for the convenience of not having to make your baby adapt to his/her less favourite breast for suckling, then go ahead and feed on that breast which your baby prefers. Your breasts will usually go back to their symmetrical, usual size once you finally wean your baby.
However, if the asymmetry is a point of concern for you, you will need to start feeding your baby from both sides equally, and even feed more from the smaller breast so that it is stimulated to make more milk and grow to the size of the other breast.
Away from breast matters, another thing people don’t tell you is that you can have serious issues with your bladder if you don’t do Kegel exercises before and after giving birth, especially if you deliver vaginally.
So make it a point of doing the exercises frequently. The good thing about the exercise is that you don’t have to go to a gym to do it or make time away from your schedule to do. You can do them from the comfort of your seat as you work or do other things (yes, there are several women doing Kegels in the office at any one point in time and you can never know).
The importance of Kegels reminds me of a scene from the movie, ‘Fun mom dinner’ where a bunch of moms had finally gotten time to go for a gym date and the instructor had them jumping on trampolins and one mother said something to the effect that that wasn’t the kind of exercise she could do after having four children. You get what she meant, right? Do your Kegels.
There are several other things that no one will really tell you about motherhood and that you just have to experience, but it’s an awesome ride. Do what you can and try not to stress about what you can do nothing about.
As always, keep doing the Johnnie Walker – keep walking the motherhood journey and doing the best you can.
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