This article on the myths of motherhood continues the list started in my previous submission. It is written with the help of pediatrician Dr. Diana Cutts, and focuses more on the physical and physiological changes a woman should expect to confront after having her first baby.
Myth #6: Your body will quickly go back to its pre-pregnancy state.
Rebuttal: Despite celebrities who boast enviable shapes only minutes after giving birth, this is not normal. It took your body 9 months to prepare itself to have a baby – complete with hormonal changes, organ movements, skin stretching, etc. – so you should allow it at least 9 months to return. Furthermore, you will never again experience the mental and emotional status of a woman who has not had a child – and you wouldn’t want to! – so you certainly shouldn’t expect to host physical attributes of pre-motherhood any time soon either.
This said, you will feel better mentally and physically if you are making efforts to care for your body. Choose healthy foods and go for walks, sleep when possible and remember to ask for help if you need a break.
Myth #7: Your baby will get sick if you take him/her outside.
Rebuttal: Babies get sick by being exposed to germs, not temperature change. As long as you take the necessary precautions to prepare your infant for the weather, fresh air and walks outside are can be a great and healthy experience for both your child and you, and sunshine can even provide you each with a dose of vitamin D. If you are nervous about your baby getting sick, you will want limit his/her exposure to other people (especially other young children) who may carry germs.
Myth #8: Nursing is a neat and tidy endeavor.
Rebuttal: If you are breastfeeding, you should expect to leak breast milk all the time, potentially soaking your clothes “literally down to your knees.”
Additionally, no matter how careful you are, you will get spit-up on your clothes. And it is likely that your infant will poop and pee on a regular basis during nursing time. If you and/or your partner are not used to bodily functions, now is the time to get comfortable!