Hi Sarah! This is such an interesting topic! I think in Germany you get
paid leave 8 weeks before and 8 weeks after childbirth (longer in case of
complications, c-section etc). There are even penalties if you let a woman
work during that time… at the same time, my mom is a business owner as
well and she went back to “normal” right away, taking us with her to work,
taking nursing breaks etc. so I think women here might have similar
I am from Scotland, I had my baby boy 11 months ago. I felt pressure to
jump right back in to doing everything as soon as he was born. Partly this
was on my part because I felt like I was being lazy and like you wanted to
he supermum ! I wish now that I had taken time to recover more and just
enjoy being a new mommy. I definitely feel there are expectations on new
mums, thanks for raising the issue. X
My first babies were twins and I didn’t take any downtime. My mom stayed
with me for two months but I still felt like it was my job to do it all.
When my twins were 2 weeks old I got a really bad UTI and was so sick that
I had to take a break. With my second pregnancy I was a little better about
taking it easy but I still had trouble resting when the baby rested. With 2
older kids it was hard to rest a lot but I probably wouldn’t have even if I
With my first I was 18 so I felt like getting back into things right away
and my whole family including my husband went back to work. With my second
I had a 2 yr old and had to get back into it. But fortunately with my 3rd I
had my (new) husband and a 8yr old and a 10yr old who helped me
tremendously cause they were on summer break from school. Great topic!
We ARE pressured to get back up and do it all. I wish I had done things
differently after my first birth too but I did get a ton of help. I had a
traumatic birth and ended up back in the hospital a week after I delivered
and then I spent two weeks at my parents house with them helping me.
I felt and did the same as you the first time around and I always look back
and “kick myself” for not resting and enjoying it. This next time around
will be more tough with a 3 year old home with me, but I also hope to have
more help this time around with all of that and take more time to rest,
heal, and enjoy those first tiny days. Great topic! Thanks for sharing!
I can definitely relate to your experience. I have always been extremely
independent so even though I’d moved in with my mom to make things “easier”
on me after birth, I immediately went back to trying to do everything for
myself, to the point where I sometimes felt like I couldn’t be a mom
because i felt like it was too much to handle. Looking back, I wish I had
taken it easier and enjoyed that precious time with
My daughter. This time around, I won’t get to rest as easy because I’ll
have a 4 year old to watch but I know that I will be more open to asking
for help from my husband when needed.
I was definitely expected to jump right back into things, if I was sleeping
during the day I was being lazy, if I wasn’t cleaning and doing laundry I
was being neglectful according to my in laws. They essentially robbed the
first four weeks or so of bonding time with my baby 🙁
My story is different. I developed HELLP Syndrome and had to deliver at 27
weeks. I was really sick and my baby was in the hospital for 5 months. I
almost got rehospitalized because they thought the pre-e was coming back. I
spent 5 months sitting in my sons hospital room and living at the RMH. We
have now been home a month and being active again has kicked my booty. My
c-section may be healed, but my energy level is drained.
I wish we would tell mothers to treasure & protect that time with the new
baby, because you can’t get it back like you said! This is a great reminder
to tell my pregnant friends to rest during that time while they can. I read
a book about a midwife to Amish women & those women are “allowed” ONE DAY –
just the rest of the birth day – to rest!! The next day they are up and
cooking and cleaning and doing everything they normally do. How hard, huh?!
Good topic. 🙂
Same here in Spain, we are supposed to deal with a major surgery (csection
in my case), house full of guests and visitors and a breastfed baby who
doesn’t sleep more than 2 hours straight. I asked my hubby to say to the
people to wait at least 2 weeks before visits and forbidden at the
hospital. My mom and MIL helped a lot too. Now, I realised that I had to
rest much more and to have been ready only for my baby. Next time, it’ll be
my prioritie. Thanks for sharing
I have not yet had the postpartum experience, we are expecting our first in
October. However, I am so blessed that for at least the two weeks after
baby is born, we will be living at my moms house. This forces me to relax –
since it’s not my house I don’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning,
guests, etc. I really think I will look back and appreciate that!
After the birth of my daughter, I felt my in laws wanted to come and “help”
but that meant they wanted to have time with the baby. Loud tv, bickering
and unsolicited baby advice just didn’t seem helpful to me. My husband and
I simply completed what we could around the house and even ate off paper
plates for awhile just to take ONE chore off our hands. I just wanted to
bond with our little family for awhile before the “help” came.
It wasn’t an issue with my first baby since I didn’t work, but it was very
hard with my 2nd and 3rd babies. I find it impossible to ask for help with
Great video. I pushed myself after baby 2 and 3. I felt like I had
something to prove.
I had a week of help from first my mother and then my mother in law. It was
sooo nice. And off and on help for about a week after that, but by two
weeks pp, I was ready to go and get back into the new swing of things. At
one point I remember feeling like all I did was sit in the rocking chair
all day long. I can remember complaining, but now I definitely miss my
In my community, in the US, the women bring dinner very night to a new mom
for at least the first two weeks. I felt guilty accepting the and pushed
myself to do too much because I had an easy delivery and an easy newborn.
However, it ended up taking me 10iish weeks to stop bleeding, because I
pushed myself too hard. Next time, I hope to be better about taking it easy.
Lol, I bled for 12 weeks after my births. I would have loved to have taken
it easy but there were jobs to be done. Yes, social pressures but its not
realistic to rest for 3 months.
Also, there’s not a hope in hell of doing that when the second one arrives
so don’t let this be one more guilt trip. I’m in Australia and the norm is
to jump right back in.
I have so much trouble relaxing too! A therapist friend calls in ‘Stay at
home Mum Syndrome’. She said a lot of women who had high pressure jobs
before becoming SAHMs end up unsure where to focus their attention (apart
from bubba of course!) & end up anxious about things like cleaning and
feeling that they cant relax when their baby does. I have two under three
and find that if I do happen to get them both to nap at the same time
during the day, I cant rest like everybody tells me to!
This is such a hard hitting topic for me. I jut jumped back into life after
my first and again with my second. I had c-sections with both and at 5 days
PP with my first I made an entire Easter brunch for us and our families and
then with my second I was up unloading the dishwasher and making my older
son breakfast at 3 days PP. I’m American, but the dynamics of my family are
influenced to a degree by my Mexican culture where the women are just
supposed to take care of things.
I’m from Australia and here it is pretty much like it is in the US. I felt
enormous pressure to just continue with life like nothing ever happened and
enormous pressure to lose the baby weight. People kept telling me like a
month after birth shouldn’t u have lost the baby weight by now which I
think has a lot to do with celebrities losing it straight away. I did
however have help from my mum when baby was first born and she would come
over every day for the first couple of weeks
I took it easy with my first and found that my blues were associated with
just staying at home, staring at the same wall while nursing and being home
alone. So when my sister had her second, I made sure to visit often and
just accompany her while she’s nursing and helped her with her older one
(her first an my only child are very close in age). Also, getting out of
the house early on made me feel better, like the world does go on when a
baby is born! 🙂
Thank you so much for this! I just gave birth to my first two weeks ago and
am still trying to figure out how much I can handle right now…
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