The hard part is over, right? The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to what is no doubt an adorable little boy, and all is right in the world. Rainbows and puppies for everyone, right?
Err, everyone except maybe Kate.
The next two weeks are going to be life-altering for her as she switches gears and becomes a mother. And there are going to be a few things she’ll have to deal with.
Her hair will fall out in clumps
If you can believe it, her hair actually improved with pregnancy – it became fuller and stronger. But now, give it a couple of weeks and it’s going to start coming out by the fistfuls while she’s taking a shower, brushing her hair, pulling her tresses back into a ponytail, walking, sitting – it’s just going to shed like mad.
While I don’t think Kate will ever succumb to the dreaded “mom cut” (where moms cut their hair really short so they don’t really have to deal with it besides putting some product in it), the amount of hair she’s about to lose will be shocking to her.
She’ll have the baby blues
Pretty much every mom gets a touch of the baby blues, whether it’s missing her bump, missing feeling the baby moving inside her, or just feeling kind of down. For the next little while, her hormones will be going nuts. She may be thinking she’s ready for a second go at pregnancy – right now, even.
The baby blues only last about 10 days postpartum – but if she’s having trouble bonding with her petit prince, or doesn’t know how to cope with motherhood at all and just wants to crawl under the blankets to get away from it all, she may be suffering from postpartum depression. Thankfully, she’ll have doctors on hand to help with that.
Some people noted she had tears in her eyes when she and Wills showed off their baby boy to the world on Tuesday. She’s highly emotional (yay hormones!). She may have been overwhelmed by all the cheering and the well wishers. Or she may have just felt overwhelmed, period.
She’s going to become a bit of a zombie
It’s been reported Will and Kate will not employ a nanny, which means for at least the first little bit, Kate will be trying to do it all.
Everyone tells you, “Sleep when the baby is sleeping”, but new moms rarely follow this advice – they want to hold their babies in their arms and coo over them. So she may think she can follow her regular schedule, but that baby will likely be up every two to three hours wanting food. And sleep deprivation really, really messes with your head.
Breastfeeding (if she chooses to do it) may be hard
Everyone seems to think that because it’s the most natural way to feed your child, it must be easy. It’s not. Many, many new moms have problems breastfeeding. And not like, “It took me a couple of days to get the hang of it.” I mean, “It’s been three months – why am I not able to do this?” If she can’t get the hang of it, she may need to pump milk and supplement with formula. And she may feel guilty about that if she really wanted to breastfeed.
She’ll need to learn to deal with the unexpected
Just as you’re about to head out the door, the baby will spit up. Or poop. Or pee. Babies are unpredictable. By the way, she shouldn’t wear new clothes: Spit up can stain.
The bump remains
People on Twitter were questioning why Kate still had a bump if the baby had been born.
Folks, those things don’t just magically disappear.
Because Kate is thin, that bump will stay with her for a while – perhaps forever. There are women I know who did thousands of crunches and they never quite got rid of their bumps.
As well, over the next few weeks her uterus will need to shrink (it doesn’t just bounce back to the normal size once the baby is out), so that’s adding to the bump.
My top tips for those first two weeks:
1. Take lots of photos – Get them professionally done if you want, but definitely take some at home. The time will go by so quickly and suddenly, you’ll have a one-month-old! Be sure to photograph their feet and hands (and if you want to do any imprints in plaster, now is a good time to do it).
2. Don’t expect to be perfect – New parents make mistakes, despite all the well-meaning advice they receive before and right after the baby is born. It’s how we learn.
3. Accept help – They’ve said no nanny for now, and while I doubt any of their friends will volunteer to clean the house, certainly the grandparents will love to come over and hold their grandson while Kate and Will get some sleep, do the dishes or even, gasp, go out for a coffee or maybe to a movie.