Becoming a new Mother is one of the most rewarding and exhausting experiences you will have in your lifetime. It is literally the best job in the world, but comes with some very trying times. There is no guidebook to raising this little bundle, and you have to do the best you can with what you know. The most important thing to remember, is that you are not alone. All new Moms feel inadequate at some point in their journey, and this is totally normal. If you are feeling overwhelmed be sure to talk to someone, and not keep it inside. Postpartum depression and anxiety can happen at any time, and is very real.
Join a Moms group
Have someone you can call on
Do one thing for yourself every day
Know that you are ENOUGH
The first thing you need to do is nap when baby naps. I know everyone says this, but it’s true. All the housework can wait. Babies sleep a lot, but often times not when we actually want them to. Napping a few times per day will help you cope with the lack of nighttime sleep. Mom brain is real, and becomes even worse when you are not able to catch a few hours of sleep. The newborn phase is a very short period of time in relation to your child’s growth, but it feels like an eternity when you aren’t sleeping. Try getting baby on a sleep routine right away. Keep it bright and loud in your home during the day, and calm and dark in the evenings to show the difference between day and night.
Family and friends always want to know what they can do to help. Don’t deny this help. Be up front with them in what you need, whether it be a meal, or help with a load of laundry. Many people just want to hold your baby, but this is NOT what you need help with (unless you’re going to take a nap or shower). If you are a new Mom, chances are you don’t mind snuggling with your baby all day, but you might not look forward to preparing a meal. Family and friends will be happy to help you any way they can! It is easy to think that you can manage everything on your own, but is so nice to get a break every now and again as a new Mama.
It is so easy for the days and nights to run together that you may not even know what day it is. Having a newborn is a constant circle of feedings, diaper changes, and naps about every two to three hours over and over. Break up this monotony by joining a Moms group, or attending a Mommy and Me class of some sort. It is great to find some comradery amongst other Moms going through the same things. Libraries are a great source for story time, and often have times broken up for different ages of children. Even though your newborn has no idea what is going on, it’s good for you to connect with other adults where bring your baby is acceptable.
Again, it is very easy to forget about yourself and just care for your baby day in and day out. Make a list of things that make you happy, and do one of those things each day. Whether it be as simple as taking a shower, or putting on make-up, make a point to do it. It will make you feel better about yourself, and give you a refresher to remind yourself that you are still a person!
With the craziness of the newborn phase it is easy to forget about yourself. Think of someone that you can confide in, whether it be your partner, a family member, or friend that you can call at any time day or night, and can trust to come over and watch your baby for a short time. Let this person know that you are making them that person to call upon if need be. Newborns cry a lot, and some even more than others. This can be very frustrating, because if you have tried everything, and they are still crying it can wear you down. When you feel like this call on that person to give you a break so you can go for a walk, or just get a breath. Even if it is just a conversation over the phone it can help. Take care of your mental health so you can be the best for your baby.
Lastly, understand that you are doing the best you can. You are enough for your baby. You are making the best decisions you know how to, and you are the most important person to your baby. The sound of your heartbeat, the smell of your skin, and the warmth of your body is what your baby craves. Newborns don’t need much more than love and snuggles, diaper changes, and to be fed. Enjoy every moment, because it really does go by fast!
Welcome! I’m Brittany. I’m a mom of two toddlers living in Northwest Ohio with my husband, Chris, and our two cats, Simon and Oliver. I’m a labor and delivery nurse, and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I love finding new ways that make parenting easier, while providing a fun learning atmosphere for my girls at the same time. In my blog you will find tips and tricks for dealing with pregnancy, labor, and parenthood. My favorite part about being a nurse (besides getting to welcome little miracles into the world, obviously) is being able to educate new Moms (and Dads) on how to care for their little ones at the very start. Parenthood is such a complex and exhausting journey that we need to have support from others who make us feel like we’re not alone. You are not alone here!