You’ve gone through your pregnancy and despite whether it was a difficult pregnancy or not, you made it out the other side with your precious baby in hand.
Walking through the threshold of your home, you realize that things have changed and that you’re about to embark on a new life and one that, while exciting, is also uncertain. If this is your first baby, this is even more the case, though many of us who have had more than one child can vouch for the fact that it’s always life-changing when your newest family member enters our lives. We know that change is upon us but in what permutation, we’re not sure. It’s anyone’s guess, really.
As this is a common feeling for many moms as they start their new lives with their babies, it can indeed feel daunting, if not stressful, to say the least. Being responsible for another life completely is not something that most parents take lightly. Is it any wonder then, that we stress about how we’re going to manage at home to the best of our abilities? Add to this the realities of day-to-day life, including spending time with our spouses, housework and our other kids who also need our support, and there’s the potential for mom to feel overloaded.
Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case, as there are a few simple things that can be done to make the transition to new mom as easy as it can be.
Here are 5 Simple Tips For Managing The First Few Weeks After Baby:
1) Accept help – Once you’ve had the baby, don’t be surprised by the deluge of offers of help from caring family and friends. Your first instinct may be to decline, after all, this is your time alone with your baby and you wouldn’t want your focus to be taken away from your new addition. The reality is that even in those first few days and weeks when your feeling is to spend every waking hour with your child, the reality is that sleep is required in order for you to be at your best. Ditto for being able to do anything else around the house. When a loved one offers to come over and watch the baby while you sleep, shower, take some time alone or otherwise, accept it graciously and be thankful that you’ve got such wonderful people in your life to help.
2) Don’t worry about the house – Adding to point #1, you may worry about the state of the house, since people are coming over to help you out. Don’t worry about the house. Your friends and family will understand if you haven’t gotten around to vacuuming or washing the floor lately. What’s important is your child, your bonding time with your child and your sleep, so focus on those and worry about the cleaning when the baby’s a bit bigger. And if your friends want to help clean the house, let them!
3) Take care of yourself – It’s really important to address any health or body concerns that may have come up after your child’s birth. Following the advice of accepting help, make sure that you’re doing something for yourself during this very demanding time. Make sure to follow up with your doctor regarding any body changes or updates since giving birth. If you’re breastfeeding and having some difficulty, it’s okay seek out assistance and ask for help
4) Carve out some “me” time – As impossible as it may seem with a new baby, this doesn’t have to mean an extended break alone. “Me” time could be 15 minutes alone, away from the baby, while you steal away to a quiet room to read, close your eyes or meditate. It could mean a quick walk around the block
5) Don’t stand on ceremony – What this means is that while a daily schedule may be good in theory, it doesn’t always translate in reality. Sometimes the baby will fuss longer than planned, other times he’ll sleep beyond the prescribed nap times. In either instance, don’t worry or stress. Unless he’s feverish or clearly ill, variations on daily behavior is normal and on the positive side, a good opportunity for you to get that very well-deserved break.
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