New Mum Tips: Navigating the First Weeks of Motherhood with Confidence
Motherhood can often feel overwhelming. Balancing your recovery after childbirth with caring for a newborn and getting used to being a parent is no easy feat! But remember that taking care of yourself as well as your baby is the best way to ensure success in your journey into impending motherhood. Here are some tips to help you confidently navigate the first few weeks of being an amazing new mum!
Embrace rest in any form We all know sleep is a luxury for new mums, sleepless nights are inevitable but finding ways to sneak in some rest and get decent sleep is crucial. In the early weeks, nap whenever you can, create a comfy sleep zone for yourself, and invest in a quality pillow and lush linen, you may not get long periods of rest, but a serene zone will help give you a better quality of sleep (lush does not mean it has to be expensive,). To help improve self-care, establish a bedtime routine, which could be herbal tea and a warm bath or reading a book in a quiet space. You may need to go to bed earlier in the evening when your baby does just to keep up on sleep.
Nourish your body Tiredness as a new mum can make thinking about food a chore, however, taking care of your body and mental health in the first weeks by eating nutritious food is important for recovery and energy levels Your body needs more energy when breastfeeding so regularly eating is essential, making a snack platter can often be a great way to achieve this. Never turn away a home-cooked meal or offer to pick up the groceries.
Set Boundaries For new birthing mothers, tiredness, emotions, and your baby's needs can be intense. It's important to protect your energy in those early days. Try to limit stress, make a plan before birth, and think about and communicate the following. Your preferred times of the day for visitors, you may also wish to have some visitor-free days. When setting boundaries with loved ones, be clear and direct so there is no confusion, and everyone knows what to expect. Remember, everyone's needs are different, so if you don't communicate your boundaries, you can't expect others to know what they are.
Stay Hydrated As a new birthing mother, drinking enough water is essential for your recovery and overall well-being. Remember to chug that H2O throughout the day even if you don’t quite feel like you need to. Set reminders, use cool apps to track your hydration, or make your water more exciting with flavours. Staying hydrated also helps if you're breastfeeding and becomes a great habit in daily life.
Get Support You don't have to do it all alone, seriously. Navigating the birth of your first child or even your fifth can feel overwhelming building a community of fellow moms or joining mom groups can also be a game-changer. Share experiences, seek advice, read baby books, and find comfort in knowing you're not the only one going through this crazy life stage.
Treat yourself! Making time for self-care is a must-do to keep your sanity intact. Schedule time in the calendar just like you would an appointment, creating a routine where you prioritise your health and emotions will positively flow onto your baby and family. Don’t feel guilty, find things that make you happy and relaxed. Take a break, take a walk no matter how short, take time for luxurious baths, dive into a captivating book, practice meditation or mindfulness, explore your creative side, or pursue hobbies that make you feel alive.
Get Moving Mama! Gentle exercise can do wonders for new mums. Talk to your healthcare provider about safe activities that boost your physical well-being and lift your mood. Now is the perfect time to try new things, try postpartum yoga, take refreshing walks, or do pelvic floor exercises that suit your recovery timeline. It's a chance to reconnect with your body, increase flexibility, build strength, and enjoy some "me" time.
LET GO OF THESE!
These are a few things new mums should NOT worry about:
Will I bond with my baby? Bonding with your baby won't always look like a Disney movie. It happens over days, weeks, or months. If you had a hard or complicated labour/delivery, feeding is challenging, a high needs baby, or you are struggling with PPD or PPA bonding with your baby may take some time. Reach out to your support network or health professional for more support if you are feeling concerned.
How will I juggle Everything? It will take time and some bumps in the road to figure it out, but you’ll get there. Sticking to the basics in the early days, take care of your baby and yourself physically and emotionally. You don’t need to be camera ready or even out of your PJs those first few weeks. Delegate anything that you can. Have groceries delivered, accept meals from friends and family, and ask for help from your partner and village to get other things done.
My friend’s baby is …. As a new mum, it is easy to fall into the trap of worrying about doing something wrong when you hear or see other babies sleeping through the night, or feeding well and yours may not be. It's important to remember every baby is different, even siblings, learn to trust your instincts more and worry less about other's judgment and advice. Parenting is one of those things that you learn as you go. As you learn your baby’s personality and needs, you’ll develop your skills as a parent. if you are concerned reach out to a professional for reassurance.
And remember, social media is a highlight reel – not real life
YOU’VE GOT THIS MAMA!
- Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Banking Basics
- 7 Things You Can Do To Speed Up C-Section Recovery
- The facts about fertility and pre-pregnancy health
- Advice and Resources for Disabled Parents
- Having a planned birth? Every extra week counts.
- Your natural birth choices
- Understanding the Needs of Your Newborn: A Doulas Perspective
- Bringing Baby Home