40 Days of mistakes of a first time mom

I have always believed that a mother is born with a child and so she needs as much care and attention as the newly arrived child(ren). No matter how much a first time mom prepares herself and tries to imagine how she would feel after holding the baby for the first time, she feels it truly only after hearing the sound of the first cry. Well, that is the moment of utter happiness and realization that a new life has come into this world through her body.


It’s said that first 40 days are very crucial for both, mom and the child and so extra efforts are taken to take care of them and we as a first time mom are clueless of how to hold the baby, why is the baby crying so much, when to breastfeed, how to breastfeed, how to burp the baby and most important of all how to get through so many overwhelming emotions that come along.
Honestly speaking, for me, those first 40 days were all about making new mistakes every day by following the advice coming from all the directions. So here I am writing about my first 40 days of mistakes so that if you are a mom to be, you must know which unsolicited bits of advice need to be ignored and why you are equally important as your baby is.

My journal of mistakes as a first time mom
  1. 40 days of ghee: Well this is the most advised thing in the postpartum diet. My biggest mistake was to not research the facts about ghee consumption postpartum and eat ghee in meals throughout the day because it was advised by relatives and even the maid.
    My day started with seera made with ghee, each roti was made with 3 to 4 spoons of ghee, veggies had ghee in them and even the midnight snack like laddoo was made with ghee. You ask the effect? I gained weight exponentially in those 40 days and even after 2.5 years of delivery, I am still struggling with weight loss and body image issues. I gained weight even more than I had gained throughout the pregnancy. Other bad effects of too much ghee include blood pressure problems, increased cholesterol levels, and low energy levels.
    Another reason why ghee is advised in the postpartum diet is that it is said to strengthen the muscles and joints as they weaken after delivering the baby. The fact is that there is no evidence to prove this fact. Relaxin is a hormone produced by the body while pregnant and it helps to relax muscles while labor, delivery, and postpartum.
    Concluding this point, I would just say that check fact before blindly following those age-old traditions. 3 to 4 spoons of ghee in a day is enough. It is a good source of energy and is good fat, vitamins, and minerals but considering that it is very high in calories, it’s important to limit the quantity.
  2. Postpartum diet: Once you deliver the baby, you will hear a huge list of food items that should not be included in your diet. The postpartum diet is one of the very misguided areas. Most of the advice you will get have no logic behind them or will have no proven evidence behind them.
    A balanced diet is very important even postpartum. Have protein-rich foods, include a lot of fiber and salads, have dry fruits, eat a lot of green vegetables, and hydrate yourself as much as possible. You should include food from all the food groups and don’t rely only on laddoos as snacks. Take frequent and small meals. The most important part of the postpartum diet is cumin as it helps in breastfeeding so add cumin to your veggies and even roti.
  3. Postpartum supplements: This is one big mistake I did. I did not take any postpartum supplements. Multivitamins are important for recovery and calcium is important for breastfeeding mothers. Certain supplements like iron, calcium, B12, omega-3, and others must be prescribed and consumed post-delivery.
  4. Prepare for breastfeeding: Amidst all the preparations I was doing for the arrival of baby, I forgot about breastfeeding. The first time I held Aarav in my arms I was overjoyed but as soon as the nurse told me to breastfeed, I was clueless and unprepared. She taught me how to do it but I was stressed and hence my body did not produce milk (colostrums) for 3 days.
    My breastfeeding journey has been difficult and overwhelming. I was unaware of its importance and as it was painful initially, I became unwilling to do it. Long story short, I had a low supply of breast milk and so I had to introduce formula milk to Aarav and he was combination fed. Although I stopped formula at 6 months and breastfed Aarav for 2 years, the journey has been a rollercoaster ride and I think it would have been different if I was mentally prepared for it during pregnancy.
  5. Sleep when the baby sleeps: Most useless advice ever. I am saying this because when the baby finally sleeps, you finally have time to take a bath or eat your meal. So instead sleep after feeding the baby and outsource his responsibilities to other family members for a while. Take ample rest because that’s the only way of healing hour body completely.

    Lastly, one mistake the first time mom makes is to prioritize baby and forget about herself especially her mental health. Many moms go through postpartum depression and don’t even address it. Most of the first time moms sail through it with time but some need professional help and fail to ask for it. Postpartum depression not only affects the mother but also the bond with her child because she is not in a good space to feel the joys of motherhood.
    I was very fortunate to have the support of my husband who helped me get through postpartum depression but many are not able to gather courage and share the hollowness they are feeling. You need to vent out everything you are feeling and not bottle up the feeling like not being enough for baby, not being a good mom, and any negativity that you feel.

    I hope you get a new perspective about the first 40 days of being a new mom and make more confident decisions on what advice to follow and what advice to ignore.
    If you have anything that you would like to share or any feedback for me, please stop by the comment box, it would mean the world to me.

15 Comments

  1. Ramya

    Your article is amazing especially for the would be mothers. I love your take on ghee and the wrong diet we are often fed after the child birth. A well written and well researched article.

  2. When the tips are coming from experience, they are bound to be good. People understand things better.

  3. Your ‘post comment’ button is not viisble. I discovered it by chance as i moved the cursor. You should get this fixed as it would be difficult to post otherwise.

  4. That was such a straight from the heart write up. And since you have jotted a very honest personal journey of new mommyhood & postpartum life , any new mom reading this will definitely help from this blog post . More power to you

  5. First hats off to you in being so honest while sharing your mistakes. Yes I agree with all the pointers you had mentioned here. During postpartum period new mom get lots of advice by everyone but it is very important to do a proper reasearch from our side to avoid mistakes.

  6. Well said. A cousin just delivered a baby and I am sharing this post with her to help her cope. Most new moms forget to think about themselves and that is detremental in the long run.

  7. Postpartum is definitely a difficult phase for every new mom as we tend to read so many books but the first hand experience is altogether different. Our body is under recovery, lack of sleep and the innumerous advices that one gets make is more tiresome.

  8. I too have faced several such advices which had no base. So many myths are being busted of late but still we get to follow the custom because of the pressure from family too.

  9. So good to read this. I think we all hear some or other advice. Thankfully in my case no one really pushed anything down my throat and as far as ghee was concerned I drew the line! Your best tip was about resting and handing over some responsibility to others.

  10. A first hand experience is the best advice one can pass on. Yes we make lot of mistakes like these and it is important that we know from beforehand.

  11. Ruchi Verma

    New moms have so many new experiences and making mistakes are so common, glad that you shared all honest pointers here which will help all new mommies.

  12. For a first time mom, things can be challenging and recovering from a child birth and at the same tme taking care of a new born is very very tough. I avoided all the ghee n heavy food coz I knew i will just add kilos on me and nothing else.

  13. Bang on, I feel you and agree with all the points you have shared from your experience. Once the baby arrives, the new moms start getting unsolicited advice from all the directions and most of the advice doesn’t make any sense or have any scientific explanation to it. It’s important that new moms prepare well in advance, read and research and be aware of what to expect.

  14. It is so good that you have jotted all these facts here. Most of the times mothers are so scared to even check the facts and listen to the traditions blindly. I remember asking my parents question each time it was guided to have a food item in those 40 days.

  15. Post partum period of a woman is made tough because of tons of advice n traditions. Shes weak, new, tired, depressed, learning and gets no support whatsoever. This post is quite insightful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *