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Postpartum Expectations | Mother Rising

I tell everybody that when Gabriel was born he was such an easy baby. G was a beautiful joy to be around and anything he did was glorious. I nursed him whenever he wanted, held him whenever he wanted and I had the best baby moon I could have hoped for. My oxytocin was pumping, baby, and I fell in love head over heels. I had very low postpartum expectations.

Ironically, my mother has since told me that G was a high(er) needs baby.

Low Postpartum Expectations

I was shocked to hear my mother tell me this because I thought he was so easy! Gabriel hardly cried, but when I look back yes, he nursed around the clock and yes, he was held almost 24-7… but Matt and I had the expectation that babies wanted to be held and nursed all the time.

Also, we had pretty low expectations as far as how much sleep we were going to get, and how much individual free time we would have. We just were prepared to do whatever, whenever and put our “normal lives” on hold.

A Schedule?

I am convinced that our baby moon was so lovely and that I have a positive memory of G’s temperament because I had no expectations. I didn’t expect G to only nurse a certain number of times. In fact, I knew that if I let him nurse on demand my milk supply would increase.

I didn’t expect him to be happy if we put him to sleep in his room by himself but had him in our room instead. In fact, there were many nights that we (safely) co-slept which made everybody happier and sleep better.

There was nothing to keep track of, our stress was low(er) and our baby was a very happy baby.

Because we had no expectations the only place we could go was up!

Low Expectations of “Normal”

My desire is to see the new mother simplify their postpartum experience by lowering their expectations and broadening their perceptions of normal. Seriously, my kiddo never had a reliable schedule until he was 7 months old or so.

G’s needs were being met, I was happier, and by golly my husband was happier too. By letting go of the expectations that our babies need to nap a certain number of times and hours each day AND sleep through the night (whatever) we will have happier babies and in turn we will be happier mamas.

We all want to feel peace and by letting go and going with the flow we will allow peace to flow into our lives (or at least more peace than if you were trying to put your newborn baby on a schedule).

Your Postpartum Expectations

What were your postpartum expectations? Did they serve you well? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Joy weller

Monday 11th of February 2013

AMEN!!!!!!!!!! I am on number 4 and totally in love with her because I have no expectations. Just the joy of a healthy little baby to love. She is not a burden but a great blessing!!! Our memories of our first baby's first year were very stressful because of expectations and what we "should" be doing. Thanks for your wonderful views.

Sarah

Friday 23rd of March 2012

I wish someone could have gotten thru to me during my post partum time. I stayed stressed out, anxious, worried, and did nothing but second guess every decision I made. I obsessed over schedules, housework and routines, and pretty much never left the house. Granted I did have what everyone around me agreed was a "difficult" baby, but I know my expectations made it even worse. I basically just closed my eyes and waited for it all to be over. Now I have a 14 month old and I feel sad that that she's growing up so fast. I pray that my next post partum experience will be more enjoyable. I plan to try my hardest to enjoy every minute, go with the flow and most of all...RELAX!!!!

Lindsey Morrow

Friday 23rd of March 2012

Jenny, that sounds perfect. :)

Jenny

Friday 23rd of March 2012

This is a nice reminder as I am about to head into the newborn season. I am excited... and planning to play everything by ear. I plan on lots of baby-wearing, lots of nursing, some sleep when possible, and just a general time that revolves around becoming a family of three.

Alicia @ Alicia's Homemaking

Friday 23rd of March 2012

My philosophy on this is pretty well captured in these two posts:

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2012/03/infant-routines-at-our-home-part-1.html

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2012/03/infant-routines-at-our-home-part-2.html

I do things VERY similarly to her!

Routine helps me, in particular, to function better and it seems to work with our whole family. The routine (with a newborn) is always changing, but there's definitely a flow to our day.

Getting stressed out about the schedule/routine defeats the purpose, though, for sure. I think it takes time for moms of newborns to adjust to their baby/figure out their personality and figure out what works for them.