Four Hard Truths Of Being A New Mom With CF
Last updated: August 2022
They say motherhood is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. What they don’t divulge about motherhood is how physically and mentally demanding and just plain confusing it can be alongside chronic illness. Motherhood with CF comes with its own set of rules and mountains to climb that frankly most people have very little experience with.
In the very beginning of motherhood with CF, I brutally learned some hard truths about the new season of life I was in. Looking back, I wish someone would have warned me about what was to come and offered their comforting experience. Moms with CF have to stick together--so here are four truths for all those mamas entering the divine in the dirt.
1. You will need help
Between treatments, feeding and caring for the baby, feeding and caring for yourself, and all the other necessary activities, read my lips--you will need help! One of the hardest lessons I learned (and continue to learn) as a new mom was to ask for and accept help when I needed it. Accepting help doesn’t make me any less of a mother, but instead makes me a healthier mother for my babies.
2. Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing
Everyone always says breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and while that may be true, it is also one of the hardest things in the world. Add the caloric and time demands of CF and it really makes it difficult to exclusively breastfeed your baby. Women with CF may have a harder time keeping on weight and deal with the lack of sleep that comes with breastfeeding.
Here’s the truth: breastfeeding does not have to be an all or nothing thing. You can successfully breastfeed for any amount of time and supplement with any amount of formula in a combination that works for you. Do what is best overall!
3. Coughing will hurt postpartum
Although a bit TMI, the postpartum period is one shrouded in taboo mystery. The truth is it is painful down there especially after a vaginal birth with stitches. Even more so, it’s worse when you use your pelvic floor muscles to cough frequently like a lot of women with CF do. Coughing after a c-section is also extremely uncomfortable like any other abdominal surgery.
I wish someone would have warned me before I figured it out myself that coughing postpartum is a whole new level of discomfort. Thankfully, as the weeks pass it does get better as your body heals!
4. Your health is your priority
After having a baby, it is natural to want to attend to every single need your baby has. So natural that a lot of moms ignore their basic needs and put themselves last when it comes to taking care of themselves. For moms with CF, this level of sacrifice most often leads to sickness or CF exacerbations.
As tempting as it is to do everything for your baby, it is best to remember the most important way to care for your baby is to put your health first above all else.
What kind of “hard truths” did you learn as a new parent? Share with us below!
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