Being a new mom is extremely exciting and rewarding, but it also comes with its challenges.
It can be confusing figuring out how to add the responsibility of caring for your child into your life, and you’re going to ask a million times over, “Am I doing this right?” Here are some postpartum tips for helping new moms ease into the whirlwind of motherhood.
Respect that this is a time for healing. Your body has just been and is going through so much, from birth to making milk, and you simply cannot resume your normal pace in those early weeks home with baby.
Give yourself permission to let the laundry go or leave the house a mess and simply be with your baby. Better yet, assign those tasks to a willing helper.
It’s all about the baby.
A wise doula once told us your baby is completely unaware that you don’t know what you are doing. They need to be fed, sleep, kept clean, and held. That is it.
Prepare in advance.
Make and freeze meals, load up online grocery delivery orders with easy to prepare foods, staples, and grab and go, protein-rich snacks (Some good ones are nuts, cheese sticks, veggies and hummus, rolled up cold cuts, etc).
Also, arrange to have help either from family or through hiring. Postpartum doulas are an amazing support for new moms and surprisingly affordable.
Trust your instinct.
You are connected to this baby in a way no one else is. If something feels right but a well-meaning passerby tells you otherwise, trust your instinct not their advice… unless it’s your doctor.
Be kind to yourself.
You are new to this and you will only be able to do so much. Put away the guilt about what you feel you should be doing to achieve super-mom status and just focus on loving your baby and keeping yourself in a positive place. Your baby is going to be more settled if you are content. It’s a virtuous cycle!
Lean on your friends.
Your friends – whether they live near or far, exist in online communities or live in your neighborhood – will be a crucial support in these early weeks and months. Friends provide a sanity check on everything from illness, loneliness, marital problems, and the run of the mill baby drama.
And if they live locally, they can also provide companionship during those sometimes endless and monotonous days with a newborn. Seek them out and make those connections. It will make life so much easier!
Jessica Hill is a co-founder of The Parent Collective, a prenatal class series in NYC and Fairfield County, CT, which offers expectant parents both education and support in an open, social and judgment-free setting. By attending this class series, parents will build friendships with families living in close proximity and delivering babies at around the same time, to help them through those first few months with baby and beyond. Classes are currently running at NY Kids Club TriBeCa and in multiple locations in CT. Like them on Facebook or follow on Instagram.
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