Are you a first-time mom looking for authentic insights on the stages of motherhood and advice on how to navigate through certain situations that you might encounter along the way? If yes, this article on a baby and mother bond will help all new moms and women who are on their way to becoming mothers seeking a real space where they can know what to expect throughout the years.

Becoming Mothers: What To Expect With Your Motherhood Journey?

The stages of motherhood go through numerous phases – all of which are marked by a wide range of feelings, emotions, obstacles and joy. Although each mother is different and so is her parenting experience, most mommies enjoy motherhood and evolve through its stages. After all, parenting brings out both their best and worst throughout the years.

What most women cherish about becoming mothers is how the experience of motherhood gradually moves from being fearful and anxious to getting confident and relaxed. Overall, the joy of raising a tiny little human is immeasurable with some days being difficult while the others being simple.

Some motherhood phases may linger longer in your life than others, but one thing is constant: motherhood, its stages, joys and challenges remains the same. If you are in the initial years of your motherhood journey, you might notice that the stages we have interpreted above are not exactly the same as your experience.

However, when you look back on your entire motherhood experience years later, you’ll be shocked at how similar the stages of motherhood are for most women. Motherhood is life-changing and varies for everyone, yet it remains the same throughout its different stages.

What Are The Stages Of Motherhood?

Becoming mothers is one of the most realistic opportunities for women to open up, get more appreciative of their blessings, learn to be patient like never before, become more responsible & mindful and whatnot.

Although nothing truly prepares you for how much your life will change when you become a mother, especially when everyone has their own ways of doing things; eventually all mums go through similar journeys.

Here are the main stages of early motherhood that a baby and mother encounter with time.

Stage 1: The Pre-Pregnancy Stage

When two partners mutually decide to start a family, this is the phase where some parents test positive before the start of their next menstrual cycle while others may have to wait a long time for the good news.

Stage 2: The Good News

This is the time when a baby and mother meet for the very first time! The joy is incredible! There is a heart beating inside you and you are already excited for your tiny tot to arrive.

Pre-Pregnancy Stage

Stage 3: The Treasure Chest Of Emotions, Mental & Physical Changes

At this stage, a baby and mother are the closest ones on the earth, even when they’ve not really met. This entire nine-month phase can never find enough words to be summarized in a few sentences. From the first ultrasound picture to feeling the baby kick for the first time, nine months seem to drag.

There’s a lot more involved, from morning sickness to acidity, stretch marks, back pain, swelling in the body, and whatnot. Amidst the monumental physical changes are the overwhelming feelings of joy, panic, uncertainty, confusion, and anxiety.

Want to know what you can truly expect in pregnancy trimester by trimester? Here’s a quick breakdown of the major events you are about to experience:

The First Trimester (0 to 13 Weeks)
  • Most crucial to your baby’s development, the first trimester is when your baby’s body majorly develops.
  • This is also the stage where you should be most cautious, as the majority of miscarriages and birth defects are likely to occur during the first trimester.
  • Nausea, headache, mood swings, fatigue, breast tenderness and frequent urination are common during this stage.
The Second Trimester (14 to 26 Weeks)
  • This is the “golden period” of your pregnancy as the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms of the first trimester including morning sickness gradually disappear.
  • With better sleep patterns, increased energy levels, and decreased nausea, the second trimester is the ideal time to design your baby’s nursery.
  • However, with weight gain and the baby’s overall development, some new symptoms might arise such as constipation, abdominal pain, back pain, leg cramps, and heartburn.
  • During the 16 to 20 weeks, you’ll also feel your baby’s first movements and kicks inside the womb.
The Third Trimester (27 to 40 Weeks)
  • By the third trimester, you are likely to be very excited and anxious about the arrival of your baby.
  • You may experience a whole new set of symptoms, such as shortness of breath, urinary incontinence, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and insomnia.

Treasure Chest Of Emotions

Stage 4: Labor & Childbirth

Once the day finally arrives when you start feeling those wave-like contractions from the top of your uterus to the bottom – just like very strong menstrual cramps, there is a lot of physical exhaustion involved. Along with the pressure in your pelvis and discomfort, a lot is going inside you.

Once your little munchkin is out and your midwife finally lays your baby on you, you instantly realise how wonderful, magical and incredible the entire childbirth process was. Although labor might be easy or difficult depending upon your overall health, physical strength and other factors, in the end, all the pain is worth it.

Labor & Childbirth

Stage 5: The Sleepless Nights & Postpartum Depression

The first few days with your baby are going to be exciting and surprising but challenging and exhausting at the same time. Every single day will unfold a new meaning of motherhood for you.

  • From getting strong parent instincts about everything your baby is going through – without any prior experience, you will soon transition into your most responsible self.
  • But this is also the stage of exhaustion where your baby will take time to get their sleep routine fixed.
  • As soon as you close your eyes, your bub will start crying for feedings, cuddles, diaper changes or just to feel your smell.
  • At this stage, a lot of blowouts, poop explosions, colic, cooing and crying will happen.

Sleepless Nights

However, the new mom stage is not just about a baby and mother. Becoming mothers also means a lot of emotional, physical and behavioral changes for many women thus leading to postpartum depression.

Unfortunately, recovering from postpartum depression is a long and difficult process to get through. It’s not like you take some antibiotics and are good to go in a week or so. We don’t want to terrify you but postpartum depression is real and not getting help can make the symptoms worse.

  • If you experience extreme sadness, indifference, anxiety as well as changes in your sleep routine, appetite, and energy, remember that it’s alright to cry for no reason.
  • All you need is to acknowledge the emotional condition you are in, talk to your partner or someone you are very comfortable with, and seek medical advice if you don’t feel like your real self for more than 2 weeks.

Postpartum Depression

Stage 6: Fun, Excitement & Newer Milestones

In the initial days of your motherhood, you’ll feel like days and nights are endlessly long and challenging. Your bub will have an inconsistent sleep routine and you’ll never be able to have deep sleep like you had pre-pregnancy. However, from the second or third month onwards, your baby will start sleeping well throughout the night giving you and your partner good self-time back again.

  • This stage is full of excitement and joy as your baby starts rolling over, raising their head and chest when lying on their stomach, and within the blink of an eye, even learning to crawl.
  • Before you even know it, your bub will transition from milk to semi-solids and solids.
  • From teething to learning to sit or walk, express themselves, and more, they’ll have new milestones every day.
  • And soon will come the day when you first hear your baby call you “mama”.
  • Exciting and awesome, this stage is the first one that lets you enjoy motherhood completely but unfortunately, passes on really quick!

Fun, Excitement

Stage 7: The Schooling Days

From waiting nine whole months to spending each day doing new activities with your toddler and spending all your time with them, your bub will become a preschooler in the snap of a finger. Now, this is the phase where you realize your little bundle of joy is no longer little.

  • Your bub will soon start going to kindergarten, come back exhausted, and gradually get busy with their homework, school projects, new friendships and more.
  • Adjusting to the fact that your baby is becoming independent but spends a big chunk of their day away from you will be happy as well as slightly hard.

This stage will also be a “trying-to-do-it-all” phase for you where you might be planning another baby or might be super-busy with your career. At this stage, you’ll also need to fulfill the ever-demanding roles of a spouse and a caregiver.

Schooling Days

Stage 8: The Tween Mom

You wouldn’t even realize how quickly time will pass, taking your bub from Kindergarten to elementary and middle school.

  • It is at this stage where you need to set the right standards and examples for your child.
  • From a friendly bond to some restrictive rules for their good, this is the stage where your tween will be getting the most of their personality.
  • They’ll be exploring new things in life, discovering new interests, learning new skills, and more.
  • At this stage, you’ve got to be the friendliest and the most supportive you’ve ever been.
  • From your child’s homework to friendships, fights, insecurities, and everything in between, you’ve got to be very attentive and responsible.

Tween Mom

Stage 9: The Awkward Teenager Phase

If you’ve got the tween stage right, the teenager phase won’t be too difficult. Your child will go through countless emotions at this point and you might sound wrong all the time. But things will gradually get better as they grow up!

Awkward Teenager Phase

Stage 10: The Old Mom

Once your teenager is now an adult, they’ll probably move out for studies or will be focused on discovering their passion. By this stage, you will realize how quickly time flew by, with your tiny little human being a grown-up individual. Life will settle down for you and start getting busy for them just like the stage you started with!

The Old Mom

From the stage of hope and concern to seeing your child enter a new phase of their life with their partner to sitting and relaxing in your armchair, probably playing with your grandchildren to the last stage of life, your child will realize your love and role as a mom is eternal.

Challenges Of Motherhood

Thought nine months were enough to see your belly grow, witness bizarre cravings, read countless baby books and attend parenting classes to be fully prepared for motherhood? Well, that’s not usually the case! The joy you get from the coos and cuddles of a new baby blended with the hard work of infant care makes life challenging as well as overwhelming for most new moms.

Let’s take a look at the most common motherhood challenges that you might have to face in your everyday life.

1. The Lack Of Real Advice

On your way to motherhood, you’ll find many people giving you the advice you never asked for. Figuring out whose advice to take is a huge challenge!

2. Socializing Well

With your baby’s never-ending demand to give them all your time, life in the initial years of motherhood can weaken your social circle.

3. Adjusting To Your Professional Life

Whether you join your work right after six weeks of childbirth or get started after 2 to 3 years, your professional life will be a lot more difficult. After all, you’ll need to take care of your bub, their meals and the rest of household chores too.

4. Tantrums and Meltdowns

As your little one grows up, they throw tantrums from time to time. This is a challenging and stressful phase for most mums but can be handled with some trial and error.

5. The Constant Fear Of Being Judged For Your Choices

Moms are quickly called fussy, strict, over-permissive and whatnot for how they treat their kids. Honestly, it’s not important to be a society-approved mom. What’s important is that you work hard to provide your child with a good upbringing with a perfect balance of the right life choices.

What Do Mothers Need To Know About?

From the first feel of the baby inside the womb to holding them in the arms, all those cuddles, middle of the night feedings and everything beyond, a baby and mother bond is all about deepening with time. And that’s how the stages of motherhood evolve! If you are an expectant mother or mom to a newborn, infant, or preschooler, here are a few things you need to know about.

  • On some days, your baby will be frustrated and need you all the time. Sometimes, soothing them might be easy while on other days, it might be difficult. Remember that early motherhood can be a trial and error process as you gradually learn what your bub is most comfortable in.
  • Early motherhood days require the most amount of hard work for mommies. Hence, you need to take care of yourself or ask your partner or another family member to watch your baby while you take some rest.
  • As beautiful as it is, breastfeeding can be difficult especially if you have a low milk supply or your baby doesn’t learn to latch quickly. Remember that it’s okay!
  • If you cannot breastfeed for any reason, formula feed doesn’t make you any less of a good mother.
  • Sleep when your baby sleeps to recharge yourself for the next set of exhausting hours.
  • You’ll never be going out with just lipstick, mascara, sunglasses, and your bunch of keys. After having a baby, you’ll need to carry a lot of stuff even if it’s just to the grocery store. After all, accidents can happen anytime!
  • Once you are a toddler mom, you’d constantly be under pressure to be perfect. Rather than focusing on becoming a perfect mom, just be a good mom.
  • Don’t try to do it all to prove your abilities to the world. Take someone’s help if you can.
  • Although you might feel extremely protective of your little munchkin, teach them to be independent as they grow up.

These were not all! Here are some unexpected things you should know!

  • Even if you are highly career-focused, your priorities completely change once your baby arrives.
  • Once your baby arrives, your relationship with your partner will change. The change doesn’t have to be drastic or negative but it will be there. After all, they’ll not be the only person in your life that you would be loving to the moon and back.
  • Moreover, with added responsibility and workload, some days might be difficult for both you and your partner.
  • Even if you shed all the weight and get fit, your body will never be the same. There might be stretch marks, saggy skin, or scars for life but that’s what defines the feat of pregnancy.

Which Motherhood Stage Are YOU In?

Motherhood is a woman’s ultimate transformation and how she changes from the moment she gets pregnant to the day she watches her children graduate from high school and become working professionals. While there are countless books and how-tos of baby care and development online, there is little advice on the care and development of mothers.

As our children progress through various stages of life, we, as mothers, are also challenged with adjusting to each of their developmental stages with our own alterations. From our sense of time to our sense of responsibility, fashion, and care, practically everything changes when we become a mother.

Instead of looking back at all these years and regretting not being the perfect mom (which no one is), enjoy motherhood and live your life as a parent to the fullest! Don’t blame yourself for some occasionally extra-busy days but don’t forget to take self-care and be the best mom to your baby!