When I first fell pregnant with Jasper I had all of these preconceived ideas on how I’d be post-birth. I’d always make time for myself and would just know what to do when it came to parenting my son; I mean he was my son, why wouldn’t I know? I never imagined (despite veteran warnings) that I’d ever feel like I wasn’t enough; like I wasn’t enough of a mother, enough of a wife/daughter/friend; or enough of ‘me’. It’s in-comprehendible to imagine how your life will change; how the plates will shift and suddenly your whole perception will be turned upside down and things that you thought you were capable of, you suddenly don’t feel like you are anymore. Things that mattered before don’t even register now and things you’d never even heard of suddenly become your biggest joys, fears and worries all at the same time.
I was recently sent a video to watch by Water Wipes and aside from being in tears 30 seconds in (okay 15 seconds) it really resonated with me. The story follows the journey of three sets of parents meeting their babies for the first time and apart from an abundance of newborn squishiness that made me so excited to meet this little man and took me back to first holding Jasper in my arms, there was a real underlying message I’d love to share with you mumas and that is that WE ARE ENOUGH.
The story has a scientific basis but is told in the most loving and relatable of ways. It’s based on the finding that the percentage of new mumas who start off feeling confident about looking after their bambinos, drops by nearly 10% in the first few days of bringing them home from the hospital. To put this a bit more in detail here are the stats:
*The percentage of expectant mums and dads who feel prepared and confident about the birth of their baby is pretty equal at 58% for men and 57% for women.
*After the birth however, that percentage of confidence in dads rises to 63% whereas the percentage of new mums actually falls to 49% in the first 3-6 days after their baby is born.
*For both new mums and dads, the top three reasons for this dip in confidence are:
1.Tiredness (64 per cent)
2. Unsettled baby (41 per cent)
3. Trying to get baby into a routine (25 per cent)
This is so sad to read but what’s probably sadder is that it doesn’t shock me. I’ll admit getting Jasper into a routine was never a priority of ours until much later on (big mistake) but tiredness and having an unsettled baby really made me doubt myself and often me and Pete would sit there quite frankly at a loss as to what to do.
That lack in confidence didn’t go away, it didn’t disappear as I got more experience being a mother because guess what, every day is knew and as soon as I mastered one stage a whole new one took over. I’m certainly not the mother I thought I would be. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the simplest of things, I beat myself up every day for snapping at Jasper, not spending long enough each day outside with him, not signing him up to enough clubs or making sure he’s drank enough water. I wake up in the night, knowing he’s okay, but for my own peace of mind needing to go in and check that he’s breathing. I doubt myself, hate myself, beat myself up (figuratively of course) over the smallest things because every day of motherhood is new. I regret not breastfeeding for long enough, I KNOW basic first aid but I panic every so often that I’ll forget. What I’m trying to say is, sometimes, more than often, I don’t believe in myself enough and it’s no surprise as it is probably a knock on effect and long standing lack of confidence from day one.
The video goes on to prove that as parents WE ARE ENOUGH; not the purchases we make or the rules we put in places but us – our bodies and minds. World-renowned skin to skin expert Dr Susan Ludington shows the science behind skin to skin contact and the natural power that a muma has to care for her new baby. She analysed the effects of skin to skin contact on a babies heart rate, breathing rate, temperature and oxygen levels in their blood. We see the babies stats while being swaddled compared to during skin to skin and you can just sense the calm. Being on mumas chest stabilised everything and it showed that during skin to skin contact muma and baby will sychronise each others heart rates and breathing rates while regulating each others temperatures – how amazing is that?
With Jasper I wanted skin to skin contact straight away but I never knew why. I’d heard it was best for baby and that it developed a bond but I had no idea of the scientific implications and saw it as more of a cute thing that new mums did. Had I known just how much of an impact it would make I would have certainly done it a lot more frequently and for longer than just those first few days.
Now if that doesn’t show just how us as mothers in our purest of forms, are enough for our babies then I don’t know what does! Please do watch the video, please have tissues at hand and please remember that you are enough!
What was your experience with skin to skin? Did it make you feel closer to your bambino? Do you think it made an impact on your confidence as a new mum? Perhaps your expecting your bambino soon and have been thinking about trying it – has this impacted your decision? I’d love to know your thoughts; I’ll certainly be spending a lot more time with skin to skin contact this time around and wonder how it will affect my confidence second time around.
Do check out #PureLove across social media to find other stories of skin to skin and to share yours!
Thanks for reading!
This blog has been verified by Rise: R38d28811172c8398c937b08885d47534