Reality Checking Your Body
The first shocking realization comes when new mothers realize that they still look six months pregnant after being wheeled out of the delivery room! I remained quite plump for the first two months, and only started to regain my figure in the seventh month.
According to doctor research explains that the amount a mother loses immediately after delivery would depend on the weight of the baby (usually 3 to 3.2kg), placenta (1/7th of the baby’s weight) and amniotic fluid (1 to 1.54); on average, 7kg in all.
“How long she takes to lose all the weight from pregnancy will depend on how much she has gained. So, don’t put on too much weight; 10 to 12kg is just perfect,” says doctor, who recommends total breastfeeding, dieting and exercise after the first six weeks of birth as good ways to regain your svelte pre-birth figure.
Reality Checking Your Emotions
If you are a first-time mum, don’t be surprised if you feel “sad” when bringing your baby home. “Baby blues” is a common syndrome that affects 50 to 70 per cent of postnatal women.
“It usually lasts a few days, in which new mothers experience spells of irritability and gloominess, as well as episodes of crying. More commonly, this afflicts first-time mothers and those who previously had significant premenstrual fluctuations of mood associated with PMS. This is attributed to hormonal changes after delivery,” says doctor.
Some mother even found herself “weepy” during the first month. They worried constantly if their baby was drinking sufficiently or sleeping well, and also felt especially useless when they could not breastfeed their son directly.
Doctor explains that the hormonal changes, coupled with the need to cope with a newborn baby, problems with breastfeeding, and a change in lifestyle, can be very challenging to any new mother, especially if she does not have any support.
“The clash in ideas on how to bring up the baby, the husband going to work, a crying child, and simple issues such as whether to use the supplements that are encouraged by some confinement ladies and grandmothers – all add to the depression,” says doctor, who advises new mothers to read, attend antenatal classes, and seek support from breastfeeding advisers or other mothers from the same generation. However, she cautions that “nothing really prepares you for the real thing”.