15 changes I’ve noticed, both in mind and body, since becoming a mom for the first time.
Now that our daughter Sage is one year old, I’ve been reflecting a lot on all the ways I’ve changed since becoming a mom. Of course, there’s the usual things like getting into a new routine and figuring out new ways to still be productive, but there’s a ton of more subtle changes that people don’t really talk about that much. You really will never be the same again and that’s okay! So here are 15 changes you might experience when you become a mom or at least I did. Apologies in advance for any TMI!
I’ve never been a sweaty person, and then Sage came into the picture. I noticed pretty early on in the newborn phase that I’d wake up drenched in night sweats, and it honestly felt like I was going through puberty all over again! I think it’s something to do with your hormones, especially if you’re breastfeeding, but even now a year later I’m a sweatier, smellier person. The body really does work in smart ways as I’ve been told this can happen so your baby can easily smell you and if you’re breastfeeding, find the nipple! Even if I’m not working out I definitely have to apply my natural deodorant every single morning without fail but most importantly it’s safe and non toxic so I feel good about applying it everyday.
This one just sticks with you. When you’re pregnant, you’re emotional. When you have the baby, you’re still emotional. And guess what? I’m still emotional a year later, and I feel like that’s just never going to change.
I got my period back about three months after having Sage, and it wasn’t too bad to begin with. I had minimal cramping and bleeding, but that did not last! They just got heavier and heavier until I honestly thought I was having postpartum bleeding again. Apparently this is totally normal! Who knew? They’ve settled down a little bit again now, and the cramping isn’t so bad, but they’re definitely still heavier than before I had a baby.
Once you go through the experience of growing and birthing a child, and then watching them grow up, you’ll probably find yourself with a newfound appreciation for life. It’s almost like having Sage allowed me to really understand what life is all about. The whole journey so far at times has felt like an unexplained dream and the miracle of life really does hit you!
This also kind of happened when we got Cashew, our dog. Once you have to look after someone other than yourself, you naturally become a less selfish person. You could be in the middle of typing an email and then your baby will need their diaper changed, and obviously in that situation their needs take priority. If your baby is sick, waking up throughout the night, etc. you need to find a way to work around their schedule and yes it can be tough but it also reminds you to pause and get out of your own head and to do lists. Sage reminds us to be more present and really enjoy the moment instead of constantly looking to the future.
During my first trimester I was super anxious and my mental health wasn’t great. Since having Sage though, I’ve been a much calmer, less stressed person. Don’t get me wrong, being a parent is stressful sometimes, especially when they need you 24/7! But she really does remind me to not take life so seriously, and she’s a great distraction from any of the usual stuff that would make me feel anxious. Oxytocin also probably plays a part!
Things that support my mental health like meditation and going for walks are very important to me, so I’ve ensured to keep those practices up since becoming a mom. When I’m a calm mom, I’m a good mom.
When you birth a child, you feel like a superwoman. It’s that moment of thinking ‘Wow – I did that!’ I was so proud of myself and my body, and what I’d accomplished. Because of dealing with anxiety I often doubted what I was capable of, but after going through pregnancy (which definitely wasn’t always easy!) and birth, I know I’m capable of so much more than I thought! Looking at Sage everyday is a reminder of my mental and physical strength and she will always be my greatest accomplishment.
Weirdly, I’m better with numbers in my head than I used to be, but pregnancy brain has definitely evolved into major mom brain! If I don’t have something on my to-do list or calendar, I will totally forget about it. I don’t forget Sage-related things. I know exactly what her schedule is, what’s in the fridge for lunch today, when her doctors appointments are. But ask me about anything else and it’s hit or miss whether I’ll be able to answer you or not!
I feel like my abdomen is more sensitive than it was before. I don’t know if it’s a nerve memory related thing or if it’s just the muscles still repairing themselves, but if Sage kicks me, or even just pokes me in the stomach, it hurts way more.
A lot of postpartum symptoms are similar to menopause symptoms, and this is no different. I will randomly get really flustered and have to sip on a cold drink or even stick my head in the fridge!
There are some obvious skin changes you’ll probably experience. My skin is much thinner and stretchier, especially around my stomach and breasts, which is to be expected. But I’ve also experienced some less obvious skin changes. Compared to when I was pregnant and glowing, I’ve been getting more blackheads and pimples. In general, my skin feels more congested and dry. It just means I have to work a little harder to get that hydration and glow. You can check out my current skincare routine right here.
I had a lot of digestion issues in the second trimester, which was pretty unusual for me. I’ve always eaten a pretty high fiber low gluten diet, but I’d always feel so full and uncomfortable after eating a meal. The digestion issues lasted throughout my pregnancy, and then after I had Sage I’ve still been dealing with them. I’ve been going to an osteopath to work on my body alignment and diaphragm (which apparently has been super tight and could be a culprit) which has been helping, but it’s still not where it was pre-baby.
I started to lose my hair about four months postpartum. It lasted 2-3 months and the initial instinct is definitely to panic. What I found out though is that it’s not that your hair is falling out more. It’s because when you’re pregnant it falls out way less than usual, so after birth you’re basically losing all that extra hair. Your head is basically just playing catch up! I used a few hair oils, a silicone scalp massager and my prenatal vitamins to help encourage growth, and it settled down after a few months, just with a few extra fly-aways!
I don’t know if this will go away eventually, but breastfeeding makes your nipples hard ALL OF THE TIME. There I said it! It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or not, they’ll be hard and alert! I used to be able to get away with not wearing a bra with certain tops, but I have to be much more careful these days if I don’t want a nipple party!
When you’re in the newborn stage you’re obviously prone to getting up every couple of hours to feed your baby. But even when they start sleeping through the night our bodies do this wonderful thing where they wake us up just so that we can panic about how long baby has slept for and wondering if they’re okay! I feel like I’m just a very light sleeper now. The slightest noise will wake me up not to mention I still have to pee a lot so sleep just isn’t as solid as it use to be.
What have you noticed since becoming a mom? Can you relate to anything I mentioned above? Leave them in the comments below to help out other moms-to-be!