10 Realistic Tips for New Mums
Let’s get right to it because time is a) important and b) in high demand. Realistically being a mum is different for everyone. I got given lots of advice (some unsolicited) and what I took from it and made my own is the following:
1. Remember to breathe. Take one day at a time. Feel what you are feeling and process it, get it out by writing, or talking about it; and breathe Mumma!
2. Celebrate the small victories. Seriously, you managed to have a shower, put your clothes on, and have a cuppa, all in one day! Some days you may only nail a swaddle and get on top of the washing. Don't try to do it all, just do what you can.
3. Ask for help. Yeah, yeah, whatever. Please ask for help! Whether it’s asking someone to clean up, watch bub while you have fifteen minutes in the toilet, or give you a big hug and make the bed, you are not a failure if you ask for help; you are smart.
4. Chamomile tea is your friend. It's calming for you and your body, and it passes to through breastmilk (if you are breastfeeding) to benefit bub. It also helps with digestion (and later teething).
5. Remember to move. You may be tired, and sore in places that you didn't know could be sore, or you could be feeling okay; but movement will help to heal, even if it's only pacing up and down the hall with bub, or taking the dog out for a walk.
6. You have to eat too! Making sure you eat frequent, nutritious meals is the key to maintaining your energy and health. Without healthy protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, legumes, etc.), fruit and vegetables, you can start to feel very fatigued, milk production may reduce (if you are breastfeeding), and cravings for sugar and carb-based foods may increase. Foods like pasta and bread, while easy, are best to be avoided.
7. Don't feel obliged, and don't let people force you to do something you don't want to do. Stick to your guns. If you are happy doing what you are doing (co-sleeping, baby wearing, feeding in public, napping, etc.), then go with that. The same applies to health professionals, if it feels wrong for you, don't do it.
8. Educate yourself. Know that you can ask, but make sure you research openly about all things baby to work out what you'd like to do. Be that for medical procedures, sleeping techniques, placenta encapsulation, delayed clamping, feeding, or even simple things like what type of blanket or wrap you'd like to use. Don't rely on just one googled site or one personal or professional opinion either.
9. Sleep when you can. Typical advice is to sleep when bub does, but what happens if bub doesn't sleep? Take advantage of any opportunity to rest that you can. This is why I love co-sleepers, babywearing, learning to breastfeed lying on your side (if you are breastfeeding), and asking for help so you can get some shut-eye, or just a lot of little naps.
10. Talk to your partner openly and honestly about your hopes, plans, and fears. Voice how you are feeling, listen to each other, work things out together, and be direct with what you need and want. It's not selfish or rude; you are in this together, so it's important to have open communication.
I hope these help! Feel free to comment with what you are dealing with at the moment, I will gladly help you by being a your should and ear that won’t judge you.