Becoming a mother for the first time is a wonderful experience, but it also comes with many responsibilities. It is common for new moms to worry about how they are going to raise their child. Luckily, there are a few hacks that can help new parents find some much-needed relief.
One of the most common tips for new moms is to not feel bad about being intimidated. Many new moms are overly harsh on themselves, worrying that their fears mean they are not fit to be parents.
This is not the case. Almost all mothers, first-time or otherwise, naturally worry about their newborns.
The first few weeks are often the most challenging for first-time moms because it involves the most adjusting. It may seem like a basic tip, but it is important to remember every mother has a unique experience.
If your first few days are different from another mother’s, this does not mean you are doing something wrong. Fortunately, there are a few common tips that are applicable no matter the situation.
Lean on your Support Network
Many first-time moms feel ashamed whenever they need to ask for help. The last thing you want to do is push away your friends and family that want to help.
Becoming a new parent is difficult, especially when you are fresh from the hospital and still recovering from giving birth. It is important to remind yourself you are not a burden.
In fact, you’re probably doing yourself a favor by letting your friends and family help! Not only will they feel good about helping during a tough time, but it also gives them an opportunity to see your child for the first time.
Even if you are not comfortable letting your friends and family take care of your newborn directly, there are other ways they can help. Do not be afraid to ask for basic household assistance, such as cleaning and cooking.
It is also perfectly acceptable to call a friend or family member to take over so you can catch up on sleep. Remember, your health is as important as your newborn’s.
Do Not Overlook Professionals
Asking for help does not only extend to your support network. Many first-time mothers need help from a lactation consultant when they are trying to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding does not come naturally to most moms. It commonly takes several days, or even weeks, to get used to.
Some newborns are also fussy and may not latch. A lactation consultant can provide advice to help you guide your newborn to make him or her more comfortable.
If you are struggling to provide for your newborn, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice. Even if your doctor cannot help directly, he or she can usually recommend state resources, programs and nonprofit groups.
Develop a Visitor Policy
Letting others help you is an important tip, but it is important to structure your visitors. During the first few weeks, new moms are commonly bombarded by requests to see the baby.
While the excitement is understandable, it is perfectly okay to turn down potential visitors. It is important both you and your newborn have a chance to rest and get used to your routines.
If you constantly have visitors coming and going, this can create a chaotic atmosphere, especially when you are trying to learn the needs of your newborn. Try to make a schedule, but also make it clear that you might have to cancel unexpectedly based on how you and your newborn are feeling.
Get Used to Crying
It may sound callous, but there will be plenty of moments where your newborn cries and there is nothing you can do to stop them. Infants are completely new to the world and have almost no way to express themselves outside of crying.
Sometimes, infants cry because they want something. It is important to go through the usual lists, such as checking if they are hungry, gassy or need to be changed.
Even if all their needs are met, infants may cry because it is the only way they know to express themselves. Do not feel bad or assume something is wrong if you cannot identify why your newborn is crying.
If the crying feels like it is going on for too long, check his or her temperature. If the temperature is a little higher than average, do not panic. Call your doctor and ask if an appointment is necessary.
Many mothers are very aware that newborns have chaotic sleep schedules, but it can still be easy to be surprised by erratic sleep schedules. Sleeping through the night is something newborns need to learn.
Some infants have an easy time falling asleep for long stretches, while others wake up every few hours, typically because they are hungry. This can also change on a day-to-day basis depending on the infant.
Do not overlook your own sleep schedule. Being a first-time mother is exhausting.
You need to make time for yourself to sleep. Even if there is another parent in the picture, mothers commonly wake up the most because of feeding schedules.
It is not recommended to co-sleep with your newborn. Even if you are planning to nap for an hour or two, it is not safe to bring your newborn into bed with you. Instead, call someone from your support network to keep an eye on your infant while you nap.
A common issue among first-time mothers is postpartum stress. Many mothers feel ashamed when they experience postpartum stress, believing they are doing something wrong or do not love their newborn enough.
Both depression and anxiety are common after giving birth. Your body is going through many changes, which can greatly impact your mood. You may snap over the smallest of issues that normally would not bother you.
You are also likely sleeping less than normal and adjusting to no longer having a child inside of you. According to a study from the March of Dimes, almost 80 percent of mothers experience some form of postpartum stress, which lasts on average between two to six weeks.
When you bring your newborn in for doctor visits, the doctor will frequently check in to see how you are feeling. Be honest and do not be afraid to talk about your stress and anxiety.