It’s common to hear that having a baby changes everything, but many women aren’t aware of the degree to which their bodies, lifestyles, habits, and priorities will change. New mothers won’t just get less sleep. They’ll also experience wonderful changes in how they think about the world that influence their entire waking lives. This article will outline eight of the most substantial changes new mothers should expect after giving birth.
Healthier Diet and Lifestyle
For many women, these positive changes begin to occur during pregnancy. Expecting mothers want to do everything they can to make sure not only that they’re staying healthy but that they’re preparing the way as well as possible to bring a new life into the world. Staying in shape and eating well is no longer just a personal priority, but a lifestyle choice with positive consequences for the new baby and everyone else in the family.
One of the best ways to learn about healthy diets (and get plenty of exercise) is to take training courses in prenatal and postnatal fitness. This allows new moms to take what they’ve learned and pass it on to others who want to better themselves. Find information at momsintofitness.com about how to get started.
Most new mothers know to expect changes in their sleep schedules, as they must stay awake to feed and comfort their newborns. Not all expecting mothers realize that they’ll also have less time for themselves during their waking days for years to come. Instead of spending mornings before work drinking coffee and preparing for the day, new moms have to feed, change, and dress their babies, get their little ones ready for their own days, and leave early to drop them off with a nanny.
Expect to have less time for socializing, as well, and to make some changes in organizational strategy. It will be necessary to make plans well in advance since parents have to arrange adequate childcare for even a few hours out on the town. It’s also common for parents of infants and toddlers to spend less time pursuing personal hobbies, but don’t be too concerned because few mothers are anything but ecstatic to spend time with their kids.
Part of the reason that new mothers have few complaints about waking up at all hours of the night and sacrificing a good part of their social lives is that they undergo neurological changes during and immediately after pregnancy. They experience more activity in the regions of their brains that govern empathy, anxiety, and social interaction and even form more gray matter. This, combined with hormonal changes, creates an incredible bond between a mother and her baby.
Change in Priorities
Becoming a parent changes more than habits. It changes priorities. While it’s true that mothers have less time than childless women to devote to socializing, pursuing personal hobbies, and keeping the rest of their lives in order, it’s rare to hear a new mother complain about these changes.
That’s because the neurological and hormonal changes that occur in women’s brains during and after pregnancy also impact how they think about priorities. This can have a dramatic positive impact, making it easier for moms to make positive lifestyle changes like quitting smoking since they’ll be naturally predisposed to prioritizing the health of their little ones.
Changing Romantic Relationships
Women should expect their relationships with their romantic partners to undergo some changes, as well. For one thing, many women experience a loss of libido following childbirth. For another, most women just don’t have the same amount of time and energy to devote tot heir romantic partners.
Don’t be scared. It’s often the case that women’s romantic relationships are actually strengthened by the birth of a child. Raising a child creates a positive bond between parents that cannot be compared to any previous experiences the couple may have had.
Many moms find that their childless friends stay at a distance after they give birth. Try not to be too upset. The flip side is that friends who have children will almost always step up to spend time with new mothers, offer advice, and let their kids play and get to know each other.
Concern for the Future
It’s common for new parents to become more concerned about the future of the world, the environment, and their societies after a child’s birth. That makes sense since the world they’re currently creating will someday be inherited by their children. Just keep in mind that while nobody can save the world, it’s perfectly possible to pave the way for a child to succeed no matter what happens in the future.
Increased Confidence and Sense of Purpose
Many new moms describe finding a part of themselves that they didn’t even know had been missing before the birth of their children. While motherhood confers a ton of new responsibilities and takes up just about all of most women’s free time, it also brings an incredible sense of purpose and an appreciation for the joy that children bring into the world.
A lot of parents also feel stronger and more confident after bringing a new baby into the world. As they meet new challenges and responsibilities headfirst and develop the new skills required to take care of a baby, parents, and especially mothers, have plenty of reasons to feel good about themselves and their choices. Bringing a new child into the world is an incredible thing to do, and new mothers deserve every ounce of that confidence.
The Bottom Line
Motherhood changes everything, but not necessarily in the ways that expecting parents might be predicting. Expect to have less time and to focus almost exclusively on the new baby, but expect it to bring joy, not frustration.
New mothers might lose a few friends and a lot of sleep, but unless they experience true postpartum depression, most of them are more than happy to make those sacrifices for their growing families. New mothers should just make sure to communicate clearly with romantic partners and friends and take advantage of available resources that can help.