13 Pieces of Meaningful Advice For New Mommy’s
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” – Jill Churchill.
Wow! You are a mother; a new mom, with a baby or two or even more (merrier). It’s okay to be scared, confused, excited and it is even okay not to be. Yes, your mumbo jumbo feelings can be anything right now, it’s natural. Just like it’s natural for you to be here right now reading this. It’s all because you have been fortunate enough to partake in one of life’s most beautiful ceremonies; life birthing life. Congratulations!!!
You’ve just completed your first nine-month phase as a woman and you’re all sore and stretched in many places than one, with many wonderings than one and more questions than answers. It’s also likely that you do not like all the answers you’re getting and you want more. This is totally understandable; the thought of being responsible for a new life, right from the very beginning can be overwhelming.
This isn’t the time to panic my dear sisters, you’ve gotten over the hardest part and so you have nothing to worry about. Many have walked this amazing path and many more will. Take a breath and soak in these pieces of advice that totally rock. They will surely help you in the short and long run. In the nearest future, you can cross your legs, grab a cup of hot chocolate and say these same words too.
1. Ask Questions
This is a new road that you’ve not travelled before and so you are bound to have more doubts than certainties and more questions than answers. Ask your questions. If the answers do not seem to satisfy your curiosity or assuage your fears, ask again. As a new mom, you can never have too many questions. It’s also normal to want to get second opinions especially when you are in doubt or your new motherly instincts tell you otherwise. Got questions? Ask them.
2. Have the Must-Haves
They are must haves for a reason, to make your life as a new mom easier for you and also make life with your bay roll along smoothly. The must haves range from diapers to diaper bags, from nursing pillows to cribs, to car seats and the likes. It is not a problem if you don’t have it all, or you are not comfortable using some of them. Just be sure to get excellent alternatives in this case.
3. Sleep, While You Can
There will be plenty of time to stay awake as a new mom, so, for now, get all the snoozes you can. You can take advantage of the overnight nursery option for your baby’s first night if your hospital provides it. Enjoy every bit of your sleep while it lasts, you’ll understand later. Also, anytime you feel sleepy but cannot sleep or your lack of adequate sleep bothers you, console yourself with the fact that you will sleep again, not so soon, but sooner than you think.
4. Let the Tears Flow
It’s okay to cry, so let it flow! Don’t be surprised if the tears flow at odd hours of the day or in odd places or even at comments on how cute your baby is. Don’t be ashamed to cry as the joy in motherhood comes in moments. Just see it as trying to get a grip on yourself so that you can take care of your baby. Remember your hormones are still all over the place too!
5. Your Recovery Kit
As much as being a new mom is all about the baby, it’s about you too, as you have to be in top shape to take care of your baby. If you are not careful, you and others may forget to take care of you; don’t let this happen. To be on the safe side, you should organize an after birth recovery kit that will contain some intimate items to keep you comfy as you readjust to your new life and heal in the first few days and weeks. You should get some comfy underwear, especially panties; a little bigger than your “usuals” to rock your giant maxi pads. Your list of items should also include stool softener pills, flushable wipes, a squirt bottle and other recommended basics. You can have your kit to include a separate kit for the baby, to save you several trips to the store especially for the first year. It can be stocked with easy first aid medical supplies like thermometer, nose suction, antibiotics, ointment, etc. Be sure to check this list with your doctor first.
6. Take it Easy on Your Body
You’ve just had a baby. Your body reminds you of this fact every time you look into the mirror or try to wear certain clothes. Don’t feel bad about what your body looks or feels like right now. Instead, be proud of its capability and achievement. As the day’s go by, your body will gradually try to ease back into what it used to be. This change might not be a whole 100 percent reversal. Get your hopes high, but be realistic too. Accept that you’re a mom and hope for the best. This is where your mentor mom comes into play and your question and answer skills, especially for moms who have been able to adjust back into their “former” bodies. You can also get excellent results with a certified fitness trainer as soon as your body is ready. Your diet is important too. While adjusting though, you can make use of body shapers to keep it all together and literally too. Don’t spend unnecessary or ridiculous amounts on creams and ointments that will not do anything to fade those stretch marks or firm your sagging skin. A dermatologist, dietician and physiotherapist will do you good in this matter. And yes, not forgetting the good old women that surround you. They are likely to have perfect, though not avant grade solutions. Take it easy on your body; don’t stretch yourself beyond sensible limits in an attempt to bounce back. Just package yourself well and proudly so. You just delivered a bundle of happiness and that matters a lot.
The fact that nursing hurts doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong! Your breasts may feel all full and funny but it’s okay too. Babies like to suck and they have to feed frequently. You cannot over feed a baby, especially a new born, who is likely to feed at two to three hours interval. This is like eight to twelve times per day for starters. It can be overwhelming at first but you will get used to it. The whole newborn latching on to your breast is a whole new experience right now .You are not expected to feel totally normal but it does get better over time, usually after a couple of weeks or months at best. For the pain, there are nipple creams/butters/balms that can soothe cracked nipples (you will need a prescription though). Coconut oil can also do the trick. Whatever you do, make sure it’s baby safe. Mild heat also works; a heating pad will take the sting away and provide some good comfort. Likewise, a warm saline bath for your breasts can do the trick too. You can also make do with boob-shaped comfort pads, nipple shields and a pump “vacation” if need be. Be sure to consult your doctor for advisable options in case you don’t want to breastfeed, as this is totally normal too.
8. Diapers Leak
Do not be surprised if you find some stuffs oozing or trying to ooze out of the top or sides of your baby’s diapered bum. No matter how perfectly fitted the diaper is, it can leak and no, this is not because you did not do a good job, (sometimes it can be!) This is just the way diapers are. When this happens, just change the diapers and move on. It’s that simple.
9. Have an Extra
It is amazing how easily you can exhaust basic baby stuffs. In many cases, it is not always easy to dash out to replace your supplies. Just imagine you wanting to change diapers in the night just to discover there is no more! Solution? Make sure you have an idea of what’s available and what’s not and that there is always an extra at hand in your baby bag, diaper bag, baby kit and even in the house. Having a reserve of essentials like diapers and wipes will make you more at ease. If you think this is too much, remember it’s better to be safe than sorry.
10. Get a Mentor Mom
You can get a mentor mom that is just a little ahead of you, for this occasion. The perfect mentor mom will be one who is six to eight months ahead of you in “mothering”. She’ll still have fresh memories to guide you with. She can help you figure out stuffs and provide answers to your never ending questions. She can give you tips on the mistakes to avoid, the places to shop, the crappy public places to stay out of and even the schools to plan for. Babyhood is fresh in her mind and she’ll totally get your perspective. And if there’s anything she doesn’t know, someone else would know it. Get a mentor mom today!
11. Get all the Help You Can Get
From the health workers, to your family members and even neighbors, accept all the help and assistance they have to offer. If not for any reason, do this because you will not always have them around to help. For as many people that want to come over, allow them only if they are ready to do a bit to help you out. This is not selfishness. As a new mom, you should not be up and about seeing to guests but attending to your new baby and getting all the rest that you can get. If people ask to help out, allow them, maximize their presence. And if all they want to do is to ooh and aah over the baby, subtly let them know that there is a lot more they can do for the baby. In short, you can subtly reply by saying “you‘ll love to have them help” and not “you’ll love to have them around”.
12. Drink Up
You are most likely to feel thirstier than you have ever been in a very long time. It is because you are breastfeeding and letting out other fluids too. To keep up your strength and a stable milk supply you have to drink up. From water to warm broths and soups to fresh fruit juices, you need all the liquid you can get. Of all your options, water is your best bet and alcohol is a no no! You know why. You will also gradually shed whatever water weight you put on during pregnancy. Keep a bottle or cup of water nearby at all times so that you can reach out for it anytime. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty before you drink up; do so at regular intervals.
13. More Time
With a new baby, especially as a first timer, your usual 24 hours will seem unending and yet never enough to do the needful especially in the days to come. Don’t despair, there’s a simple way out: Always plan ahead of time. You will need all the extra time that you can get and as much as time counts, your baby’s best interests also count. Don’t be fooled by your little one’s size, your normal 30 minutes rush and preparatory routine will not work, at least not for now. You will need to plan and prepare ahead of each day or outing. If you want to go out for example, you can start your preparations at least two hours before departure time to avoid forgetting vital stuffs or making rush hour mistakes.
Every child appreciates a good mother.