What They Don't Tell You Post-Baby | sheerluxe.com

What They Don't Tell You Post-Baby

From what to expect during pregnancy to navigating labour, from the minute a new parent finds out they’re expecting information overload begins. Yet, arguably, it’s postpartum when you really need the help.

Whether it’s feeding your baby or establishing a sleep schedule, The Parenting Chapter aims to lift the taboo on discussing the postnatal challenges parents face, providing courses to empower and guide new parents. We spoke to Founder and mother Lauren Marks-Clee to get her advice on tackling some of the most challenging postnatal hurdles…

Feeding Your Baby

There's a clear bias towards breastfeeding in the UK, which can make the whole experience extremely overwhelming and you might feel pressured. We can’t deny the benefits of breastfeeding, from a scientific and convenience standpoint, but sometimes it just doesn’t work – for Mum, for baby or both.

The mantra ‘fed is best’, whether that is breast milk, formula milk or a combination of the two, got me through this hurdle. Remember, it is the baby who breastfeeds and not the mother, so avoid blaming yourself if you find it tough. Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, it does not shape you as a parent. Finally, look around a school playground, can you tell which children have been breastfed and which have been formula fed? No. 

Getting Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night

If the answer to this question was bottled and sold, it would be permanently out of stock. There isn’t anything that will magically make your child sleep through the night, but what you can do to encourage better-quality sleep is establish a bedtime routine, develop a nap schedule, and keep a diary of sleep patterns, food intake and your child’s mood, so you can spot any obvious pitfalls. In the early days after having my son, I likened the sleep-deprived period to waiting at Ibiza airport to fly home after a weekend of partying – being wired, tired and not fully with it. Don’t harp back to the past when you enjoyed an eight-hour unbroken stretch of sleep as those days are gone and it will only make you feel sad.

On a Similar Note

Postpartum Body

There is no way you can prepare for the postpartum body, and everyone’s experience is different. No amount of massaging or Bio Oil can counteract the aftermath following birth, but it’s important we discuss the changes.

Here are just a few of the uncomfortable things that happened to my body:

An Uncomfortable And Swollen Vagina

Naturally, things are going to change. Personally, I would say don’t take the advice of a midwife and look at it in a mirror, or ask your partner to – some things are best kept hidden. If it really is sore, avoid towel drying, instead using the hairdryer on a cool setting. Be prepared for things to look and feel different, and don’t be afraid to ask a professional if you are unsure.

Anal Fissures

Don’t be mistaken for thinking this is something reserved for men. Anal fissures are tears or sores in the last part of the large intense, and can cause intense discomfort. My fissure plagued me for so long after having my son, I had to go to a doctor on Harley Street to lose even more of my dignity – not that much of it was left. The fix? Drink more water. The unfortunate result of this is that you wee a lot more and, if you still have trouble downstairs, it might sting every time you need the loo. 

Pelvic Floor

I didn’t do any pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy because I thought, “Hey, I’m 30 and it’s all pretty young and bouncy down there”. My top three tips for dealing with your pelvic floor post-baby are:

  1. Don’t go on a trampoline.
  2. When you suffer from a cold, make sure you pack paracetamol, tissues and spare underwear.
  3. Don’t ever leave an office with a long commute ahead of you thinking, “Oh, I’ll be able to hold it in.” Nobody ever wants to use a train loo, but you might just have to.

Night Sweats

These were more than your usual ‘wake up in the night, feel a little clammy and turn the radiator down’ night sweats – it was sheet-drenching sweating. My advice would be to avoid those beautiful silk PJ’s you’ve been longing to wear and forewarn your partner.

Book a course with The Parenting Chapter or, to be in with a chance to win a free course, visit TheParentingChapter.com/Competition
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