Embracing Your Battle Scars

We can all agree that stretch marks are one of the ugliest things that can ever happen to a woman’s body during the entire course of a pregnancy. Women are naturally more conscious of their body and will want to prevent stretch marks from ever happening. However, if they’ve already got them due to puberty, they will spend more time covering up these areas. Also known as striae gravidarum, these battle scars form when there is sudden weight gain in the body and the skin has trouble adjusting. Within the skin, these collagen fibers and elastin tear apart and as a result, they form scars or stretch marks. You might find yourself asking if your stretch marks are normal.

It occurs in 50-90% of all women. It’s completely normal to find these stretch marks around the arm, hips, abdomen, thighs, buttocks and breast areas. They appear pinkish among light-skinned women and a shade lighter among dark-skinned women. Although these marks won’t do any harm as they come, they are awfully itchy and you might find yourself tempted to scratch them especially if they occur in one or more areas of the body.

If you want to hinder the growth of stretch marks from forming, you might like to try avoiding sudden weight gain, moisturizing your tummy with lotions and/or oils, drinking plenty of water and sticking to a well-balanced diet.

Before you start loathing about this tiny aspect of your body, just remember that these stretch marks resemble the branches of a tree. The tree is one of nature’s most loved plants because aside from it having a strong foundation, it gives life not just to itself but to everyone else around it. This is just one of nature’s ways of telling you that you are that special tree in your baby’s life.

The Not-So-Smooth Journey to Motherhood

We often hear stories that are sugar coated about how beautiful and inspiring motherhood can be. We can always blame movies for portraying that false sense of motherhood. Okay, that’s one side of the story. However, in reality, that isn’t exactly the case since our lives are very much different from the Hollywood scene. Oh yeah, it can get brutal. Here are probably some things you have not heard about when carrying a little one.

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No one really tells you how often you have to urinate. Yes, that includes making frequent trips to the comfort room. This can be somewhat annoying especially if you’re trying to get something done like the groceries. Oh, and did we mention feeling extra gassy? When you’re pregnant, don’t be surprised if you find yourself breaking wind from time to time because it’s normal or planning your best shoes for pregnancy. Aside from that, you might be sweating a little more than usual in unusual places like around your face, neck and even between your legs. Blame it on the imbalance of hormones as your body adjusts to giving life to that little thing in your belly. Those are minor things compared to getting haemorrhoids. This happens when a bit of swelling occurs among blood vessels located in the rectal area. Can you imagine something growing out of your butt? Well, not exactly, but it’s a bit of discomfort because they can get painful or itchy at times. Sometimes, it even bleeds. Sorry, if we’ve painted a mental picture already! You might also start experiencing leg cramps during pregnancy.

Nevertheless, all of these symptoms of being pregnant are normal and has happened to every single mother in the world. Now that you cannot unread all of this, go ahead and enjoy what motherhood has in store for you. After all, you’ll never go through an experience quite like the first! If you want to avoid future troubles, your pregnancy should be planned. Things will always flow much smoothly if you’re ready.

Taking Care of Yourself Postpartum

For us mommies, our babies become our top priority from day one. We not only give life to our kids but also have to double as their nanny, housekeeper, chef, launderer, nurse, doctor, counsellor, referee, coach, psychologist, tutor, and number one fan. Taking good care of our children is a fulltime job, and to do this well, we must first take good care of ourselves.

Eat Healthy

This is not new information, but you should never disregard this. One of the reasons I was so excited to give birth was because I could finally eat whatever I want, whenever I want without affecting the baby inside me. Boy, was I wrong. After I gave birth, I still had to watch what I ate because I was breastfeeding my kids. When they grew up, I had to keep plenty of fruits and vegetables in my plate because I had to be a good role model to my children. Of course, it goes beyond this. Being a mother to three kids required a lot of energy; I could not afford to get sick. I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables which boosted my immune system and gave me a lot of energy so I could run around, play, and spend a lot of time with my kids.

Rest and Relaxation

When I first brought my eldest child home, I tried to accommodate every visitor who wanted to congratulate me and see the new bundle of joy. I immediately tried to play the perfect host. For your own sanity, please don’t do this. I ended up tired, cranky, and with a very short stick of patience left. When you’re a new mother, rest as much as you can. The baby will already take up a lot of your time and energy. Don’t worry, your visitors will understand if you need some time catching up on your sleep. No one expects you to be on your feet right away. If you need it, ask for help. Your partner or other family members will be very willing to help you care for the baby while you catch up on much deserved time for yourself. Take a few deep breaths a couple of times a day. Remember, no one is judging you for being human so don’t be afraid to admit that you need help in raising your baby into as perfect a person as you could.

Baby Blues

Babies are one of the greatest blessings. Their smiles could brighten your day and their laugh could be the sweetest melody to hit your ears. However, many mothers feel sad, weepy, and overwhelmed after childbirth. Hormonal changes, anxiety about the baby, and the lack of sleep and rest could affect you emotionally. Be patient with yourself and understand that these are all normal. If, however, you feel the sadness for more than two weeks, then it may be time to see a doctor or a psychiatrist and ask about postpartum depression. Remember that there is no reason to be embarrassed or guilty about this. Let the doctors help you enjoy and bond with your new baby.

Motherhood is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Although it has its tough moments, the love between a mother and her children is ineffable. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy 🙂