5 Nuggets Of Wisdom For New Mama’s
Coming home with a new baby can be incredibly exciting and……daunting! You’re suddenly on your own. New ‘job titles’, new responsibilities, little or no experience, and a ton of advice being hurled at you from well-meaning people. But so much of that advice is often conflicting, overwhelming and unsolicited. With that in mind, I don’t want to add to your ‘advice pile’, instead, I’d like to share some simple wisdom and hopefully, offer you a little reassurance.
1. You don’t have to listen to all that advice! Well, listen, nod politely and then do what you feel is right. Sure it’s good to have advice from ‘experts’ when you have absolutely no experience, but if that advice does not sit well with you [leave him to cry a while it won’t hurt him/ pick him up as soon as he cries or he will become insecure] then ignore it and do what feels right to you. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.
2. In order to be able to care for your baby, you as a parent, need to take care of yourself, so don’t refuse those offers of help. If you have a relative, or friend who is willing to help with cleaning / shopping / cooking/ feeding baby/ sitting with baby while you grab a nap or a shower, TAKE THAT HELP. If you had a c-section birth, consider this, you just had major abdominal surgery and you’re now expected to care for another human while you recover from that surgery! There’s no other surgery I know of where patients are sent home from hospital with that expectation.
3. Feeding. Hopefully your nurse /midwife will give you advice about how often your baby needs feeding. There is not a hard and fast rule, as a small, or preemie baby will need feeding little and often, and a larger full-term baby can possibly go twice as long between feeds. These feed times can vary between 2-4 hours. Your baby will wake and cry when he is hungry. If there are signs that indicate your baby is not getting enough milk, such as, little weight gain, or wanting to be fed very frequently, then seek some professional help from your Dr /nurse /midwife /lactation consultant or La Leche leader.
4. Sleeping . Again, there is not a hard and fast rule as to how long a baby sleeps between feeds. As a guide, a newborn baby needs around 8 hours sleep during the day and a little more than that through the night. Of course this sleep is not going to happen in one stretch, and your baby may sleep anywhere from 1 to 4 hours at a time. In those first few months as a mother try to grab a nap during the day while your baby is sleeping. The compound effect of a lack of sleep can make sane people crazy. That’s why they use it as a torture technique! I know it can be stressful and difficult to simply relax when you’re looking at floors that need cleaning, clothes that need washing and dinner that needs preparing, but you need to prioritize. Let your standards slip for a while [it’s only temporary after all]. Oh! and get your partner on board with your new strategy, you + rest = sanity.
5. Eat simply, order in, use a grocery delivery service, keep lots of snacks handy, fruit, cheese, nuts, cereals, soups, etc., for those times when you really can’t be bothered to make yourself a meal. It’s ok Mama, you really don’t have to do it all right now.
Remember, any nervousness or anxiety about being a new parent is normal. It just means you want to do the very best job you can. And you will. It will all be ok.
Written by: Juliet McDonald E.C.E