You see your pregnant friend with that belly, and you feel bad for her as she walks with such difficulty.
You see how much trouble and pain she has to go through in doing even the simplest tasks like sitting, standing up, and getting tasks as fast as she used to.
So, you tend to help her whenever you can. You’ll offer to carry her luggage, you’ll fetch stuff she needs to her bed, you’ll offer her your seat when traveling.
Then, you think you did your best in making her journey of pregnancy even a little easier. And once the baby comes, you think it’s the normal life for her back again.
But, is it, really?
The moment you get to hear that she was hospitalized to give birth, you can’t contain your excitement to see the baby. So you ask, can I come see the baby”?
Even before the mom gets to have a good sleep after those exhausting hours.
Even before she leaves the hospital with the baby.
Even before she has washed off the blood or had a soothing bath.
You say I wanna come see the baby!
She has no other choice than letting all friends and relatives come enjoy the cuteness of the baby.
Her hormones are taking her on a roller-coaster ride, making her both happy this second and sad the next second, hot and cold at same time, all these things happening to her body out of her control.
Still, she cannot tell that she is tired, come to see the baby later.
Because she doesn’t have a say in what concerns her.
Society might be understanding when it comes to pregnant moms, but not so much about moms who just had babies. The reason is, society isn’t as aware as it SHOULD BE about the whole journey of pregnancy. This journey does not end the moment she goes into the labor room, as most would think. Actually, it never ends!
But, the first few days and months are the hardest.
Did you know that it continues to bleed for more than a month post-delivery?
That despite how she gave birth, her uterus is gonna keep contracting for weeks almost as if she was still going through labor.
That it is painful as hell trying to go to the bathroom.
That she is continuously starving.
That sleep is limited to one or two hours.
That hair loss and blurry vision and dry eyes are worrying her.
That when she stands in front of the mirror, what she sees is a stranger.
A stranger who has lost her freedom to go out when she wishes, to eat what she craves, to sleep as much as she wants, to go to work without worrying, and more than anything, to be what she wants to be! To live her extra life!
You don’t get to see the ugly part. You don’t see the hard part. You only see the cuteness of the baby. Enjoy the baby’s cuteness, but make sure you check the mom too. Everyone is there to worry about the baby doing burps and falling down the bed.
BUT, NOT THE MOM. Check if she wants sleep and rest if anything worries her. More than anything, see whether she has the space that she requires for herself. This is not something to take lightly. The mom needs as much attention as the baby. Not getting the social, physical, and psychological needs fulfilled, as mentioned above, can even lead to postpartum depression which 50% to 75% of moms suffer from.
So, next time, make sure you don’t forget the mom. She went through a lot giving birth, she has to go through more taking care of the baby. Be the one who reminds her to take care of herself, who gives her time and space to take care of herself.
I have been a passionate reader, writer and language learner since a child, and I ended up graduating from University of Peradeniya with a BA (Hons) in English. I am also a JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level N2 holder. I have 5+ years experience in content writing/editing, and also 5+ months experience in official/business translation in Sinhala Japanese and English Japanese.
Anyway, the boring stuff aside, during my free time, I sing, play a little bit of guitar, read, draw/paint, bake and play video games.