5 New Mom Myths That Just Aren't True
From the moment you announce your pregnancy, you’re bombarded with unsolicited facts about motherhood from family, friends and even total strangers. At first it’s great (who doesn’t want free advice?), but at some point you’re just not sure what and whom to trust. We debunked some of the most egregious new mom myths to help save your time and sanity—and any Google searches related to eating your own placenta.
Myth: You’ll Fall in Love with Your Baby Immediately
Truth: It can take time. Despite all those happy scenes in movies that make it seem like you should be over-the-moon the instant you birth a human, a lot (like, a lot) of moms report a delay between having the baby and emotionally connecting with the baby. This can take hours, days and even weeks, so don’t stress if you’re not BFFs from day one. Keep up the eye contact and skin-to-skin contact. You’ll get there.
Myth: You’ll Get an Iron Boost from Eating Your Placenta
Truth: As trendy as the practice is these days (looking at you, January Jones), a study published in the Archives of Women's Mental Health says there’s no proven health benefits from eating your afterbirth. (Also…yuck.) So stick with your vitamins and balanced diet, and leave the placenta for the fetus.
Myth: Postpartum Depression Will Affect Your Child
Truth: Probably not. Postpartum depression is very real, and if you suspect you have it, absolutely get help. But don’t assume your negative feelings will transfer to your baby. A study conducted by the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort found that prenatal and postpartum maternal depression had very little impact on children's psychological development. Far more detrimental? Maternal depression during a kid’s preschool years.
Myth: You’ll Lose the Baby Weight If You Breastfeed
Truth: Every body is different, and while some women drop the pounds in a few months or even weeks, others can have a much harder time getting back their pre-baby body. (We know: We hate that expression, too.) A study from the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group states a combination of dieting and exercise is the best way to approach postpartum weight loss. But definitely don’t go overboard on the dieting front: During the first few weeks of your newborn’s life, you’ll need extra calories to establish your milk supply.
Myth: You’ll Want Sex Right After the Postpartum Period
Truth: With sleepless nights, constant diaper changes and, um, dryness in full effect, sex is the last thing on many new mothers’ minds. And here’s the proof: A study from the International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology says most women don’t resume vaginal sex until later than six weeks postpartum, and it’s even longer if they had a C-section or perineal tear. So be easy on yourself, and don’t expect to be totally randy right away.