Thursday 24 February 2011

So True So False: Motherhood Myths

One of my favourite things to do is to watch E! News on Starhub Channel 441 and they have a segment on their show called So True So False, which debunks or confirms the rumours that has been circulating in Hollywood.

As a tribute to one of my favourite TV shows, I shall attempt to do the same by tackling the myths about motherhood, E! style.

When I first became a mother, I started hearing people tell me all sorts of stuff about pregnancy, childbirth and screaming babies and let's be honest, all of it is kinda of overwhelming and really scary.

Now that I actually had the baby, I realised, while some of the stuff I hear is true, a lot of it isn't too. Which is why I decided to share my experiences and debunk the myths in this special edition of So True So False.

Warning: Some of the following may contain nightmarish stuff for non-mothers and stuff that can only be classified as too much information (TMI). Should you choose to continue reading, please note that you are doing so at your own risk *devious grin*

1) Do pregnant woman have a glow?
This is, SO FALSE.

Women, please don't believe the Heidi Klums and Jennifer Lopezes of this world who say that being pregnant makes them look more beautiful than ever.

"Oh you have such a pregnancy glow!" people say.
Yeah right! All I see in the mirror when I was pregnant is an elephant balancing on 2-legs with red dots on my face and thinking, "seriously when the heck is this going to be over so that I can carry my baby and get on with it!" Let's face it, not all of us are like Heidi Klum or Gisele Bundchen who looked awesome pregnant. Heck if I look like they did, or had a bunch of makeup artists, hairstylists and stylists at my beck and call, I'd love being pregnant too. Seriously, who wouldn't?

Don't you realise that the pictures we post of ourselves on facebook get significantly less when we are pregnant? I know I did. Granted we are too nauseous to be bothered anyway but I also really didn't want the whole world to see my elephant-self. Pregnancy glow is so overrated!

2) When you have an epidural, do you really feel absolutely nothing at all?

This is, SO FALSE!

And by that I mean, you can still feel it when the doctor touches your you-know-what or your legs but they will not have any sensation of pain. In fact, they usually will test it by putting an ice-cold block on your legs and ask you if you can feel its coldness. I can feel the block, but I cannot feel the coldness. So don't worry, having an epidural doesn't mean you feel like you've lost your legs (which was what I had initially thought too).

Having said that, please don't feel like a failure if you choose to use the epidural! Best money I ever spent and I would use it again in a heart beat. If you need it, you need it, end of story.

3) Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world.

This is SO FALSE!

I know from experience that this is NOT true. I myself thought that when I had the baby I'll magically know how to breastfeed her. I expected it to be hard, but I hadn't realised that it was that hard!

It's certainly no walk in the park. You need to have the knowledege, support and tools to help you be successful at it. It's definitely the most challenging thing I ever had to go through as a new mother. How many days I've cried and cried! Only my hubby knows. Although I make it look easy now, it certainly was not this way 6 months ago.

4) Does pregnancy really lead to painless and crampless menstrual periods?

Every girl who has suffered extreme pain from mentrual cramps can attest that at some point in their life, someone (usually their mother) would tell them that the pain will go away after they've given birth.

For me, this was, SO TRUE.

I mentioned previously that my period has returned and so far, I really don't feel any pain other than some discomfort that less be honest, is nothing compared to labor pains. Some mothers I asked said they still sometimes do feel pain but the intensity is not as bad as before.

So for those of you who still experience cramps every time it's that-time-of-the-month, take heart. Get married and have kids!

5) For mothers who have given birth vaginally, relations in the bedroom can continue 6 weeks after delivery.

This is SO NOT SURE.

Doctors typically give you the go-ahead to have sex officially after 6 weeks of giving birth vaginally but whether you can do the deed without feeling the pain is the big question. It is excruciatingly painful to do the you-know-what after you have pushed a 3-4kg baby out of the you-know-where. It took me 6 months before it didn't hurt and you know what? It was the same for Kourtney Kardashian, as I found out when I watched her on Keeping Up With The Kardashians (also on E!). The sense of comfort that I felt in knowing I wasn't alone was why I decided to share this with you. In our typical conservative Asian culture, 'bedroom' topics are considered squirmish to talk about. But I decided to be bold about it because mothers (and their husbands) need to know that you are not alone.

So there you go.

Now I write all this from my personal experiences and is in no way the absolute truth. Whether they are fact or fiction is still debatable among experts. But the point I'm trying to make is that myths will always be there no matter what and sometimes they could make you feel like you are less than worthy or not like other mothers. I say, don't believe everything you hear. It's always different for everyone and I guess that makes life exciting.

Enjoy every moment of it!
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