Pregnancy and childbirth are often the main focus when someone announces that they're going to become a parent. Both are important, to be sure, but as a result the whole post-pregnancy time in a new mom's life is largely overlooked. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there are things I wish I'd known about my first six months postpartum; things no one talked about, warned me about, or simply acknowledged. That's not how it should be, though, especially since postpartum is when moms need the most support.
I was an optimistic soon-to-be mom, and have to admit that I viewed postpartum life with a glass-half-full mentality. Then I left the hospital with this tiny little person I was completely responsible for, and suddenly I felt terrified and overwhelmed. I had no idea what to do, or how to do it, and with a baby who refused to sleep I barely had enough energy to survive let alone find my bearings. Before I knew it, I felt like an alien living on a new planet with a strange person I just met.
So, no, those first six postpartum months were nothing like I had imagined. And since people often overlook mom the moment that newborn comes into the picture, it was difficult for me to articulate what I needed or how I felt. As a society we need to care for moms long after their babies leave their bodies, people. So with that in mind, here's what I wish I had known about those first six postpartum months: