Tips For New Mothers Part Two
I remember those new baby days so well. You are in your own bubble, swamped with that gorgeous new baby smell, copious amounts of nappies and feeding. The day-to-day routine has to be rapidly altered to give you time to spend looking after your new little bundle of joy.
Emotions are heightened and mixed. One minute you may be overcome with happiness and love, the next of fear and overwhelming. Those early days are such a whirlwind, now I think back, so I decided to write some tips for new mothers.
Concerns over the housework.
You are eat, sleep and breathing nappies and feeding right now. How on earth are you going to get the 2 loads of washing that needs doing? What about the hoovering? How can I take the bins out when every time I put my new baby down, they cry? Here are my tips below;
- Something you can do to give you at least one hand back is go to a sling library before your baby is born and try out a few slings and wraps to see which suits you the best. You can then practice on that teddy bear before your baby comes to make you feel more confident. Skin to skin and kangaroo care are well documented to help both the parents and their baby adjust to the world.
- Before the baby is born, make your requirements for visiting known to family and friends. Do not feel bad about telling people they can only come for cuddles if they bring food or are happy to make their own cup of tea!
- Prioritise jobs in the home and delegate where you can. You may start to see patterns in the day/night where baby is more settled or can be settled with a partner/family member/friend. Use those times to get your priority jobs done.
- You can access my new mother service here.
- If you would like a voucher for a post baby clean- please do get in touch. This can be used at a later date for yourself or be purchased for a new mother in your life.
I’ve been so busy dealing with the baby, that I’m only just managing to grab a pot noodle- sound familiar? Doing the night feeds are going to be very draining on your body, so make sure you are fueling it right. Here are some of my tips:
- The famous ‘nesting’ before your baby comes is the ideal time to get batch cooking. Make up lots of pasta style sauces and freeze in ziplock bags to save room in the freezer as they can be frozen flat. Then you only have to stick some pasta on and you have a lovely hot meal.
- There are lots of companies that make ready meals that do not need to be stored in the fridge or freezer if you are tight for space.
- Go for convenience where you can but try to keep a balanced diet.
- Smoothies are great to keep up with your 5 a day (although cleaning a smoothie maker may be the end of you so sometimes ready-made ones are good!)
- Keep little baskets of snacks around the house in places where you may sit to feed your baby. Plus, have bottles of water/juice to hand.
Your relationship with other children.
The newborn days fly by, and time will evaporate so quickly. You may find it difficult getting quality time with your partner or other children, if this baby is not your first. Here are my tips on what you can do in this situation:
- If you already have other children, on the lead up to giving birth, many couples find that instigating the other parent to become the primary care giver to the children you already have, can work out really well. So your partner takes over bed time, perhaps begins to co-sleep in a different room if that is how your family works, begins to be the parent who kisses away the bumps…by allowing your partner to take care of your other children means that when the baby comes, there may not be as much jealousy. (Although this doesn’t always work!)
- With older children, it’s a good idea to have an age appropriate busy box. When you need to sit and feed your baby and just take a moment to chill out, the box can occupy little one for a small amount of time. Sticker books are a firm favourite and demand little outside attention! Perhaps have a certain playlist for feeding time so that the older ones know this is time to dance/sing/meditate/nap and the baby gets to know that selection of songs too.
- TV is your friend! CBeebies programmes such as Octonauts and Number Blocks are excellent ways to enjoy a 10 minute rest with your baby and the whole family may learn something new!
- Sensory bins are also a useful tool at keeping little hands entertained. You can view some sensory bin ideas on Pinterest.
Your relationship with your partner.
- When it comes to finding time for you and your partner, you may just feel like sleeping! Talk openly and honestly before your baby comes and manage expectations along the way. Intimacy doesn’t mean sex. Intimacy can be making sure you hold hands, making dinner together, a text to say you are thinking of each other. You may be feeling ‘touched out’ – remember to explain to your partner and suggest ways that they can help you. People aren’t mind readers and sometimes it feels easier to just do everything yourself, but by reaching out to your partner, it will make all transitions easier.
Baby blues and Post-natal depression.
Many women feel a degree of PND. The rush of hormones after your baby is born, then the rush when your milk comes in 3-7 days later (even if you aren’t going to breastfeed) can be overwhelming. Suddenly the life you have been carrying safely around inside you, is now out of your body and its immediate protection.
There is the expectation that as soon as you hold your baby, you will have this sudden rush of love and that will be that. Sometimes it can take weeks for that rush to happen and for many women, it doesn’t come at all and creeps in un-noticed.
You may start to have what appear to be irrational fears about things that could happen to your baby. These are usually perfectly normal and are connected to the age-old part of our brains. Here are my tips:
- Be kind to yourself.
- Reach out to support groups both online and in your community.
- Have a trusted friend who will check in on you daily and not ask about the baby – ask about your state of mind.
- Remember that there hasn’t just been a baby born, a mother has been born too.
- You can access help on the NHS website.
- The Mind website also has a wealth of information and resources.
- I would thoroughly recommend following Small Time Mum1 on Facebook.
Any other tips
For probably the first 6 weeks, your baby will hate being anywhere apart from your arms and if you could be standing at all times, that will make baby the happiest! Babies are designed to tell you through crying that something is wrong. They cannot communicate in any other way. You will soon learn to realise what those cries mean and be able to respond appropriately. Here are a few other tips:
- You cannot spoil a baby and you are not making a rod for your own back either.
- Follow guidance on safe sleeping arrangements, safe feeding methods and try to rest when you can.
- Breathe in your baby’s smell as much as possible.
- Remember, your baby is yours and therefore you know him/her the very best.
- Parenthood can be overwhelming, but realise that you are not alone.
I hope that this blog post has given you some guidance and helpful tips for life as a new parent. If you need any other advice or guidance, or to enquire about our services at Dorset Companions and how we can help you in those early baby days, then please do get in touch.