That large bump in your stomach that you have looked at for so many months has gone. You may look around the room and wonder how the baby sleeping and breathing next to you was still inside your belly.
In this article, we pause to consider the moments straight after childbirth. Being mentally aware for this moment can help to minimise any potential for shock and instead, increase the opportunity for joy.
The idea of losing the baby bump can have different outcomes for different mums.
Anecdotally, mums have told me how excited they are about going back to “normal”, albeit with baby in tow. They are bursting with enthusiasm to return to activities like exercise, wearing clothes that stopped fitting and, eating certain foods and drinks they had to avoid during pregnancy.
This is not the experience for all women after birth. Postnatal depression is feeling emotionally down after birth and it is common. It is understandable given the almost instantaneous change that occurs after nine months of fundamentally personal change. It is important to see our healthcare team for advice if you experience these feelings (or contact the Baby Helpline on 1800 882 436). Help is available and you don’t need to suffer alone.
My personal experience was one of relief. I could stop looking at my belly and wondering what was going on inside for my son. Now I could now see in the hospital. My body was back to being my own, and I started to revive a sense of self again that was missing.
There can be a lot of “now what?” experiences after birth. The day of delivery, the hospital stay, to feeding your baby, and finally going home. That moment after birth when the baby has gone from your belly out into the world can be incredibly special but also confronting. Being aware will help you to be prepared.
Written by Chelsea D.
Chelsea is a mum of one and pregnant with another. She writes about pregnancy, parenting, and body positivity.
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.