First time mothers can all agree, there were things they were told and other things they simply had to learn. For Black Maternity Health Week (April 11-17), we spoke to seven Black mothers who opened up about their experience with motherhood.
Jasmine Ramnarine, 30, Vlogger
Once you deliver your baby, your body and mood can completely change. Your hormones do a complete 180. My legs and feet became extremely swollen to the point it hurt to walk. I also still looked and felt 10 months pregnant after birth. It took about a week and half for all the swelling to go down.
My tummy took several months to return to its normal complexion and shrink down. My postpartum stage was so much worse than actually carrying my child. I suffered from postpartum depression for several weeks constantly crying, blaming myself for everything and worrying about my baby.
But with the help from my husband and family I was able to get back to feeling like myself again. Becoming a mother is a huge adjustment for your mind, body and spirit but I am so proud to be a mother to my daughters, I wouldn’t change my experiences for anything in the world!
Ty Alexander, 42, Best Selling Author/ Founder Of Destination Heal
No one tells you how bad it hurts for obviously reasons. After 24 years, I think about how if I were educated about childbirth back then it wouldn’t have been so painful. I wouldn’t have declined that big needle in my spine. My doctor saw a 19-year-old kid, not a woman giving birth. So I wasn’t given options. I think generations behind me who are blessed with the Internet have an abundance of information. Research how you’d like your child birthing experience to be. It will make all the difference.
And lastly, you are a mom forever. It doesn’t stop at 18. This is a precious human being that you’re responsible for. Know that as humans we fail. You will fail your child. But all know that the love you give is what they will remember (and need) the most.
Christina Brown, Speaker & Digital Marketing Consultant
Until I became pregnant, it didn’t occur to me that pregnancy is the ultimate 9-month preparation course for motherhood. The moment your child takes over your body, you are no longer living for just you. Every single decision you make from the food you eat, to the mood you’re in, has an effect on the child. And once the baby is born, those same decisions affect your baby
Chevonne Tingle, 38, Motivational Speaker
I had my first child at 19, a baby boy. I didn’t know much then about pregnancy and birth but I’ve learned so much in 19 years. I learned about the benefits of having a Lotus birth which is where you leave your child placenta and umbilical cord attached and allow it to naturally separate from the baby. I’ve also learned that standing while giving birth is the best and most natural position to be in. If you lying down, you’re going against gravity.
Ravelle Worthington, 32, Founder of Mommy Brain
I was 27 when I became pregnant with our first child and while I had done the usual research on pregnancy and delivery, it never really occurred to me that I could question what my doctor was telling me during our check-ups. My son ended up being delivered at 34-weeks by emergency c-section when the ultrasound tech noticed what looked like a blockage in the umbilical cord. It all happened so fast.
I now have a doctor who is on board with me trying (I’ll be monitored the whole time) and I’ve hired a doula to be there with my husband and I through the process. It’s so important to have a supportive team on hand.
Arielle Ryan, 26, co-host of The MillenniHER Podcast
One thing I discovered as a new mother, one of twins at that, is how to really be conscious of the signs for postpartum depression and how to navigate through it. Being depressed for up to a year after giving birth was hard and being a young mother with very few friends that were mothers as well, I felt alone. I was moody, agitated, would have episodes of non-stop crying, panic attacks and found myself using other forms of soothing tactics to relieve the pain.
If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have waited over a year to seek professional help, or see a physician for a diagnosis. I would have trusted that my friends and family would have supported me in my struggle as opposed to assuming that they’d pass judgment.
Destiny Rodriguez, Forever 21 aka … 30
Have a baby for you and nobody else. Not to fix anything, and not to make someone happy, nope. Won’t work. Having a child is a lifelong, bittersweet commitment. Make sure that’s the core/ foundation. Mental health is so important. So many people may say things like “Forget about you, it’s not about you, you can’t have a life “ etc… but please remember, it’s definitely about you. You can not give your child the best and you are not mentally at your best. Make time for you, buy yourself things, go out, do regular errands without kids or just be alone with yourself. Just because you have a kid, your life shouldn’t stop.
Black Maternal Health week (April 11-17), founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
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7 Black Women Share What No One Told Them About Motherhood was originally published on hellobeautiful.com