Way before you saw the two blue lines pop up on the pregnancy test you had an idea of what you imagined parenthood will look like. You’ll fall instantly in love with your beautiful bubba, you’ll snap back into your skinny jeans and you’ll spend maternity leave wafting around the shops while your shiny newborn sleeps like a log. Yeah, you might wanna have a little rethink. Because the reality of new parenthood is often pretty different from the reality…
You will instantly fall in love with your baby
The second you look into the eyes of your shiny newborn, you expect to have an instant connection, but as many as a third of new mothers experience difficulty bonding with their baby according to recent research by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). What’s more the survey also revealed that more than one in ten new mums are embarrassed to speak health professionals about baby bonding issues.
And it’s not just mums who can take a while to form a connection. Dad-of-two Patrick O’Malley recently shared a heartfelt letter to his daughter in a bid to shine a light on the issue of father/baby bonding and encourage other parents to speak up about the issue.
Experts believe the bond between parent and child will naturally grow over time, but Babycentre advises there are some things you can do to help encourage it along including skin-to-skin contact, cuddling, eye contact and smiling and talking to your baby.
‘So when’s the baby due?’ ‘Er last week!’ [Photo: Rex Features]
You will instantly lose your baby bump
A quick Google of celebrity post baby bodies is enough to give you hope that you’ll be back in your skinny jeans mere seconds after giving birth. But science wants to cut you some slack. Because there’s some pretty big changes going on inside your post baby body that means its not at all realistic to assume your baby bump will just magically disappear over night.
According to HelloGiggles it’s all down to the magic of the uterus. It’s no great secret that when you get pregnant, your uterus expands. You know, so the baby will fit. But because your uterus is not made of elastic, it can’t and won’t just snap back to size the second you exit the delivery suite.
HelloGiggles notes that the average woman has to wait around six to eight weeks until their baby bump disappears, and that how long it’ll take can be affected by your age, the size of the baby, how you delivered the baby, and your pre-baby weight.
So yeah, some women may be bump-free after a few days, but for others it can take a while to silence those “when are you due?” comments. But you know, that’s ok, so give your body a break.
Maternity leave will be like a holiday
Maternity leave. It’s a sort of an extended version of annual leave, right? A year of café meets. Of taking it easy. Of finally getting round to penning that novel you’ve never had time to write. Of wandering around the shops while your baby sleeps peacefully in his buggy. Pah ha ha ha! For many new mums, maternity leave is more a year ON. Not a year OFF.
Not only will you not have time to go to the loo, let alone start that novel, those cafe meets will involve wailing babies and chugging cold coffee because it’s literally only the only thing keeping you awake. Oh and you’ll probably be skint too, so the only aisle you’ll be perusing is that of baby essentials.
But it’s not all bad. Holiday it may not be, but a Norwegian study revealed that new mums general satisfaction with life increased in the first months after their baby was born and peaked when the child reached 6 months old. So maternity leave could really be the happiest time of your life. Awwww.
[Photo: Rex Features]
Parenting will just come naturally
Of course you’ll know what to do, she’s your baby after all. Except, you’ve never changed a nappy before, you don’t know how to put together the breast pump and how the hell do you do up the press studs on the frigging babygrow? But at least you’re not alone. A recent survey of 2000 new mums revealed that nearly a third said they felt ashamed that they were failing to live up to the demands of their new role. And half admitted to lying to friends and family about how they were coping with new motherhood. On the plus side you just need to hang on in there for four months and 23 days. That’s the average time researchers have found it takes for a new mum to get to grips with motherhood. By then new mums might have managed to nail a routine and feel more confident about how to deal with their baby’s ever changing needs.
[Photo: Rex Features]
You’ll never want to do it again
“You’re never coming near me again!” you scream at your other half in the throws of labour. And at the time you blooming well mean it. But science says these negative feelings about going through it all again are quickly overruled by those positive emotions experienced by a new mum when she holds the baby for the first time. Known as the ‘halo effect’, in that moment a rush of feel-good chemicals such as oxytocin is likely to mean the mum has a more positive view of the birth experience than she did ten minutes earlier. But then that could just be because it’s all over!
What do you think are the biggest new parent myths? Let us know @YahooStyleUK