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Motherhood in Kenya: Was I Really Prepared for the Experiences I Encountered as a New Mom?


 Hello friends! Today on the blog, I feature the experience of Lydia, a 26-year-old journalist and mom to a two-year old. She shares her experiences as a new mom -a period that made her realize that there was so much she didn’t know about new motherhood. Read on, and see if you can you identify with her experiences… 

“It was at 4am when I was woken up by sharp pains in my belly. The moment had arrived; my baby was finally arriving. And sure enough, six hours later, my baby boy was yelling from the bottom of his lungs as he greeted the world.

Well, while I had thought that the labor and birthing process was the hardest part about being a new mom, I hadn’t encountered the difficulties of the post-natal period.

The Lochia

For starters, I remember having the heaviest blood flow of my life! There were all these strange fluids coming out of my private parts for weeks. No one ever told me about this uncomfortable experience.

Then there were the stitches that I had to clean with warm salty water. Boy, did that hurt! I had to clean the area between my vagina and anus three times a day to avoid infection. But the pain involved was crazy.

Long Calls

Going for a long call was also such a harrowing nightmare! I couldn’t squat because of the stitches so I had to do this halfway-standing halfway-sitting kind of thing.

I was advised by the nurse who attended to me during birth to always go to the loo whenever I felt the need to poop in order to avoid constipation, otherwise it would lead to my stitches rupturing. If that happened, I would then need to return to hospital to be stitched up again. Yikes!

Constant Fatigue

I remember there was this day I was hanging my newborn’s clothes outside when I felt myself starting to stagger like a drunk person. I was so fatigued.

This exhaustion was contributed by sleepless nights as my boy would always wake up whenever I wanted to sleep. I would end up having no sleep at all. It was only later that I learnt that I should have been sleeping when baby slept instead of busying myself with chores around the house.

Baby’s Cries

When growing up, I saw moms breastfeed their babies whenever they cried. When I became one, I tried using this trick to calm my son but sometimes it didn’t work. I came to learn that babies can cry for various reasons such as when they are feeling warm, cold, are wet or their stomach hurts.

My son would scream even more when I tried to breastfeed yet it was because he was wet. After I did some learning, I always checked for anything that would cause him discomfort and not necessarily thinking it was hunger.

Burping Challenges

I also came to learn that you have to learn the art of burping after feeding. My boy really suffered from stomach gas problems before I mastered the art of burping him successfully.

The experiences I faced as a new mom have convinced me that healthcare workers need to always give information to expectant and new moms about how to how to cope with their new roles as mothers. The information also needs to include how they can cope with the stresses that come along with this role. It can really be a difficult period for moms, and it’s much worse when they have no information.

New Moms Should be Adequately Prepared

If it was as emphasized in the same way information about a healthy pregnancy and birth is emphasized, then it would relieve many new mothers a lot of pain and agony. They simply need to be adequately prepared for their new role.

Also Read: The Day I Suffered an Anxiety Attack

I have come to learn that many new mothers suffer from post natal depression (many times which they don’t even know they are suffering from) because they are not well prepared on how to handle the stress that comes with a baby. To be honest, I was going nuts and I never thought I would survive this period. But I’m glad I did.

Are you a pregnant mom? Do you feel adequately prepared about the journey that lies ahead? Talk to your health care provider about it. Also, talk to other moms who know exactly what it feels like. You’ll be surprised about how much information moms are willing to share with you and how this can help you in your journey. Don’t be hesitant to reach out.” -END

So that’s Lydia’s story. Has it been of help to you? If it has, it could be of help to another mom as well, so please share it with your friends, and let’s learn together.

Here at Mummy Tales: Raising a Family in Africa, I share inspirational stories of other women -experiences that we can all learn from. If you have an experience you’d like to share with other women, you can email me on maryanne@mummytales.com and I’ll be in touch with you.

You may also connect with me on FACEBOOK l YOU TUBEINSTAGRAM l TWITTER



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


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