Having a Baby: Expectation Vs. Reality

When you’re trying for a baby, or you fall pregnant, you start imagining the wonderful future you and your little one will have together. While it is definitely a wonderful time that you should be excited about, there are a few misconceptions I thought I should clear up. Its not all plain sailing! Here’s having a baby: Expectation vs. Reality:

The Labour

You may have pictured your labour and what you think it will be like. Maybe it’ll be an amusing story, your doing a small shop in your local Tesco, when all of a sudden your water breaks. Maybe it’ll be at the dinner table or just as you’re settling down to relax in front of the TV. Then you’ll get whisked off to hospital, with your labour plan in place, you’ll have your baby and all will be well. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case. Your labour plan hardly ever goes to plan. Mine went completely out of the window! Babies don't follow plans so you need to remain flexible and be OK with whatever happens. The most important thing is getting your baby here safe, so you may need to stray from your plan!

Latching on

When you’ve had your baby, you’ll be informed that breast is best. You may envision your baby latching on just like nature intended and although you feel a little unsure at first you soon get the hang of it. Latching on can actually be quite difficult; and your baby may not get it straight away. Even if they do, it isn’t usually the pain free experience that the adverts make out. It can be painful and you can end up cracked and chapped in all of the wrong places.

Your Body

Do you envision yourself bouncing back to your pre-baby weight in no time at all? Maybe you know you’ll still have a little baby belly but you’ll still be pretty flat and happy with the way you look. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your baby bump doesn’t disappear completely all that quickly. You may need to wear maternity clothes for a while to stay comfortable after the birth - Your baby will look more stylish than you! You may have stretch marks, scars, and other imperfections. You might even get a rash, as many women do after giving birth. There are things you can do to reduce the appearance of these things but it’ll take you a while to go back to ‘normal’, whatever normal is!


Do you imagine watching your baby sleep, tears of joy sliding down your cheeks? The reality is that you’ll probably cry with frustration. A lot. Your baby might not be the kind of baby that likes to sleep much and your hormones will be all over the place. You’ll probably cry more than you think you will.


You will get every visitor imaginable once you’ve had a baby with presents for your little one. Friends and family members that you haven’t seen for months will come out of the woodwork. They’ll want to know the best day and time to visit you and your baby. Sometimes you just won't want to see people or, if you do, you'll want them to stick to your routine. Stick to your instincts and tell people if you don't want to see them or it isn't convenient.  

It isn't all doom and gloom. You have a new baby and your hormones are haywire and whilst they settle, the first few weeks can be hard. Despite all of this, do make the most of them - babies grow so quickly and your newborn will be all grown up before you know it and you'll be missing the chaos!

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