New Mother, New Life!
"Been-there-done-that" tips on how to adapt to life as a new mother
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Are you a new mother?
Congratulations and welcome to your new life of worries, guilt and exhaustion!
And of extraordinary love and happiness...
A friend of mine complained to her midwife about feeling so worried that something would go wrong during her pregnancy.
Her midwife looked at her, smiled and said:
"Well, this is just the beginning of a life-long worry for your child. Get used to it!"
Another friend told me that having a baby was not that great. "It's all about pain", she said. Being pregnant hurts, giving birth is extremely painful, breastfeeding hurts... Everything seems to hurt!
This woman is now the happy not so new mother of two wonderful boys.
Why do I say all this?
Becoming a mom is a huge changeover, particularly the first time. But also getting your second and third child is a big change. Less and less you time!
But... (there's always a but or this website would not exist...:-)
...but there are a lot of things that can be done to make mom feel better!
Check out our new-mommy-feel-a-lot-better tips below!
New Mother Tips - Adapting To Your New Life
Get some sleep (here's how)
Sleep and life is OK. Don't sleep and life feels like a disaster.
A few little darling babies sleep long hours right from the beginning. Most don't. And most new mothers (and fathers) go through periods of feeling completely exhausted.
One way or the other you need to get those sleep hours. Not every day, but at least say twice a week. Make that your number one priority if you feel very tired. Actually, a long period of disturbed sleep can even make you sick.
One way to gain some sleep is to dreamfeed your baby. Yeah, that might improve your sleep.
Remember to EatWith a screaming baby and exhaustion beyond belief, it is very easy to forget to eat properly (or at all).
I'm certainly not saying that you have to cook for long hours every day, but eat vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread and so on and not only coffee and cookies. (Ha, who would eat lots of cookies when trying to loose the baby fat... eehh - I know some moms that would, but don't tell anyone...;-)
Ask for helpIt can be really hard to let go of the impulse to do everything yourself when you are a new mother. Especially with your first baby.
But let dad, grandma, your friends or who ever help you! Or find a professional babysitter. Sittercity has excellent babysitting services if you live in the US.
(And if you do want to try their services, bookmark this page until you are ready to try them out and go through our links. If you then type EBLIFE as your promotion code, you'll get a 10% discount.)
Let the person who helps you carry your child, change diapers, take the baby out in the stroller for 15 minutes (or a few hours if you can handle it), burp him and so on.
Get a haircut
This may sound like a really silly advice for a new mommy struggling to get through the day, but honestly it isn't.
With my first baby, it took me 8 months to get around to schedule a haircut. My hair became unmanageable and I wore a ponytail all the time.
Boring! And it adds to not feeling good and in control, if you're not even prioritising yourself enough to "give" yourself a haircut.
A haircut is a quick way to make you feel a bit better. It is also done quickly enough that you should be able to feed your baby before the haircut and then have an hour for yourself, with someone caring for you instead of the opposite.
Are you not sure what hairstyle you want? I recently tried a very useful hairstyle software, which gave me both suggestions for different haircuts based on my appearance and the possibility to upload an unlimited number of photos. You can read my review of the hairstyle software here. And yes, I also looked like a lunatic before following the guidelines.
(A tip; if you're tired of your husband's hairstyle, you can upload his photo too... ;-D )
Get a pedicureWant to give your self another treat?
Then I suggest you book a pedicure.
If your baby doesn't move around yet, you can even bring him (check that it is allowed). Either he sleeps or you can hold him in your arms cuddling, feeding or whatever.
Better still, of course, let someone else take care of your infant during your treatment. But if that's not possible, a pedicure is still a possibility as compared to a body massage or a facial treatment.
So why do a pedicure? For one reason only - to feel good!
Do things when your baby is awake
I hear over and over again new mothers complaining that they have absolutely no time to do anything but caring for their baby during the first months.
If your baby has colic or hasn't yet learned to sleep without your help, this is probably true.
Otherwise, if this is how you feel, think through your own behavior.
What do you do when your baby is awake?
It wasn't until I was home with our third child that I started taking showers when my baby was awake. Why? I simply didn't think it would work.
But it does! With our third child I suppose a combination of lack of time and experience simply made me put him in the baby bouncer in the bath room and take my shower. When he was slightly older, I let him join me in the shower sometimes. Or I'd put him in his little baby bath tub next to me (when he could sit steadily). Wonderful!
Well, it is my experience that babies can cope with their moms doing almost anything if they are allowed to participate.
If you need to eat, talk to your baby while eating. Sit on the floor next to him if necessary.
Cook with your (old enough) baby sitting close to you in the kitchen sink for a while. (They love that!)
Make your bed with your baby on top of it.
Do you see what I mean?
Also, invest in a good baby carrier or a baby sling and you'll be able to get a lot of things done while your baby is awake. (BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Active is by far the best in my view.
ExerciseHmmm, my everlasting bad conscience...
But it makes you feel better, trust me!
At least take a brisk walk every day. And a few sit ups maybe.
Another nice thing to do is to sign up for a post-partum yoga class if you find one in your neighborhood. But don't start too early. My advice is to wait until your baby is around 8 weeks old. I started too early once, when one of my babies were only 5 weeks old.
I sat through most of the classes breastfeeding...
Another excellent option when it comes to postpartum yoga is to simply buy a good postpartum yoga dvd.
Then you can do your yoga whenever it suits you and your child, rather than on a certain time every week.
Or if you want a few easy-to-do postnatal exercises to get you going, click here.
Get dressed (and some more)No matter how tired you are, brush your teeth, wash yourself, brush your hair and put on clothes every day even if you will just stay at home.
Use a concealer so you don't have to see those dark-circled eyes every time you spot yourself in the mirror.
Actually, did you know that breastfeeding (together with lack of sleep) can make your skin and hair really dry and boring?
If you think that your hair is really boring post pregnancy, try a homemade hair treatment.
You may also enjoy the micro needling experiment we are carrying out, completely uncensored.
Looking miserable because you only concentrate on baby care rather than on some nice new mother care will only make you feel worse.
Sex (say that again...)Have great sex for at least one hour each day...
If you are a new mother and especially if you breastfeed chances are you won't feel like having sex at all. Exhaustion, hormones, lack of you time and maybe pain from giving birth all works in the wrong direction.
I've heard new mothers saying that they almost feel ill - their bodies don't react at all as it used to.
It will pass.
In the mean time, don't ignore sex completely. It is nice to be a woman instead of only a new mother and to be close to your partner.
Lower your ambitionsI guess you've heard it before, but it is worth repeating.
Lower your ambitions!
Don't have a perfect home, cook perfect food, do all the perfect things you planned to. Listen to your heart and prioritize. Skip all musts that aren't that necessary when you think again.
Enjoy being a new mother and have fun with your baby instead.
And don't think you have to show up a perfect life to be able to meet with your friends. Invite them home and ask them to bring a pizza instead of sweating in the kitchen for hours.
There will be plenty of time in the future to excel in all kinds of ways.
Being a new mother, now is the time to excel in being rather than doing!
Everything takes much longer to do when you have a baby. Not to mention if you are the lucky new mother of two or three children.
To get anything at all done on time (if you really have to) plan ahead.
Make shopping lists, shop once a week, cook while your baby is asleep even if it's hours before dinner time, set the breakfast table in the evening if the mornings are stressful and so on.
And count at least an extra half hour just to get out through the front door if you have an important appointment.
Do all you can to reduce your own stress and to realize an easy baby life!
Being a new mother can be overwhelming, whether it is to your first, second or fifth baby. I hope these tips will help you enjoy this short period even more.
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