New Mum Tips: Navigating the First Weeks of Motherhood with Confidence
As a new mum, the early weeks of motherhood can often feel overwhelming. Balancing your recovery after childbirth with caring for a newborn and getting used to being a parent is no easy feat! But remember that taking care of yourself as well as your baby is the best way to ensure success in your journey into impending motherhood. Here are some tips to help you navigate the first few weeks of being an amazing new mum with confidence!
EMBRACE REST AND CATCH SOME Z'S
We all know sleep is a luxury for new mums, sleepless nights are inevitable but finding ways to sneak in some rest and get decent sleep is crucial. In the early weeks, nap whenever you can, although this can get a little tricky if you have other children to care for as well. Alternatively, take time for a quick lie down without your mobile phone or social media as this can be just as reviving in the short term. Create a comfy sleep zone for yourself, try investing in a quality pillow and if possible lush linen to make your bed as inviting as possible. As new parents, you may not get long periods, but a serene zone will help give you a better quality of sleep (lush does not mean it has to be expensive,). To help improve self-care, establish a bedtime routine, which could be herbal tea and a warm bath or reading a book in a quiet space. Detaching from daily life by avoiding social media and technology at least an hour before bed and trying relaxation techniques could also improve your sleep quality. You may find you need to go to bed earlier in the evening when your baby does just to keep up on sleep, do not try to keep to your old bedtimes by staying up later, especially in the early days. Don't be shy to ask your loved ones or other mums for help with baby duties, it is important to prioritize self-care in the early weeks so you can catch up on some much needed shut eye.
FEED YOUR BODY WITH GOOD STUFF
Tiredness as a new mum can make thinking about food a chore, however, taking care of your body and mental health in the first weeks by eating nutritious food is super important for recovery and stabilise energy levels. In the early days focus on eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Certain nutrients like iron, calcium, and omega-3s can be extra helpful during this time. Your body needs more energy when breastfeeding so eating small amounts, making a snack platter can often be a great way to achieve this. Never turn away the offer of a home cooked meal, an offer to pick up the groceries, or if possible engage a meal service for those early days. If you have any specific dietary concerns, it's always a good idea to get professional medical advice from a dietitian or your healthcare provider.
For new birthing mothers, tiredness, emotions, and your baby's needs can be intense. It's important to protect your energy in those early days. Try to limit stress by making a plan before birth, think about and communicate the following. Your preferred times of the day for visitors, early morning and late afternoon are often the most stressful and unsettled with a newborn, you may also wish to have some visitor-free days. For any out of town family, decide what is a reasonable period for them to visit, a weekend may feel like just the right amount of time, but a week may be way too long. Options of staying at a hotel can also allow you the space you need while still being supported. When setting boundaries with loved ones, be clear and direct so there is no confusion, and everyone knows what to expect. Remember, everyone's needs are different, so if you don't clearly communicate your boundaries, you can't expect others to know what they are. If you have a partner, figure out a way to be on the same team when setting boundaries. When you and your partner agree, you have a united front, you both will feel supported and can encourage each other.
STAY HYDRATED, GIRL!
As a new birthing mother, drinking enough water is essential for your recovery and overall well-being. Remember to chug that H2O throughout the day even if you don’t quite feel like you need to. Set reminders, use cool apps to track your hydration, or make your water more exciting with flavours. Staying hydrated also helps if you're breastfeeding and becomes a great habit in daily life.
GET SOME SUPPORT, MAMA!
You don't have to do it all alone, seriously. Navigating the birth of your first child or even your fifth can feel overwhelming so it's important to reach out to your partner, family members, and other mums for emotional and practical support. Let them lend a hand with chores, meals, or taking care of the baby. Building a community of fellow moms or joining mom groups can also be a game-changer. Share experiences, seek advice, read baby books, and find comfort in knowing you're not the only one going through this crazy life stage.
TREAT YOURSELF, YOU DESERVE IT!
Making time for self-care is a must-do to keep your sanity intact. Schedule time in the calendar just like you would an appointment, creating a regular routine where you prioritise your health and emotions will positively flow onto your baby and family. Don’t feel guilty, find things that make you happy and relaxed. Take a break, take a walk no matter how short, take time for luxurious baths, dive into a captivating book, practice meditation or mindfulness, explore your creative side, or pursue hobbies that make you feel alive. Prioritise these moments of rejuvenation to recharge your batteries, connect with your awesome self, and feel confident in your new role.
GET MOVING, MAMA!
Gentle exercise can do wonders for new mums. Talk to your healthcare provider about safe activities that boost your physical well-being and lift your mood. Now is the perfect time to try new things, try postpartum yoga, take refreshing walks, or do pelvic floor exercises that suit your recovery timeline. It's a chance to reconnect with your body, increase flexibility, build strength, and enjoy some "me" time.
LET GO OF THESE!
These are a few things new mums should NOT worry about
How can I afford to have all the newest best gear for my baby?
As any second time mum will tell you, there will be many luxury and beautiful baby purchases that rarely end up getting. It's easy to get caught up in the Insta world of stunning nurseries and gorgeous outfits, but day to day these just aren't a necessity. Focus on purchasing quality practical and long-use items, giving you value for money and potentially usable for a second child. For items you would like but will probably only be needed for short periods like a bassinet or baby swing try borrowing from other fellow mums or buying secondhand.
Will I bond with my baby?
Bonding with your baby won't always look like a Disney movie. It happens over days, weeks or months. If you had a hard or complicated labour/delivery, feeding is challenging, a high needs baby, or you are struggling with PPD or PPA bonding with your baby may take some time. Reach out to your support network or health professional for more support if you are feeling concerned.
How will I juggle Everything? New baby, partner, work, household?
It will take time and some bumps in the road to figure it out, but you’ll get there. Sticking to the basics in the early days, take care of your baby and yourself physically and emotionally. You don’t need to be camera ready or even out of your PJs those first few weeks. Delegate anything that you can. Have groceries delivered, accept meals from friends and family, and ask for help from your partner and village to get other things done.
My friend’s baby is ….
As a new mum, it is easy to fall into the trap of worrying about doing something wrong when you hear or see other babies sleeping through the night, or feeding well and yours may not be. It's important to remember every baby is different, even siblings, learn to trust your instincts more and worry less about others judgment and advice. Parenting is one of those things that you learn as you go. As you learn your baby’s personality and needs, you’ll develop your skills as a parent. if you are concerned reach out to a professional for reassurance.
And remember, social media is a highlight reel – not real life
YOU’VE GOT THIS MAMA!
As a new mum, taking care of yourself is not selfish—it's necessary. By prioritising rest, nourishing your body, seeking support, indulging in self-care, and incorporating gentle exercise, you'll be better equipped to handle the beautiful chaos of motherhood. Remember, self-care is an ongoing journey that requires kindness, patience, and flexibility. You’ve got this mama!