Everyone always tells you what motherhood will be like, but you don’t truly know until you become one! It is the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. When you’re pregnant you wait in anticipation for approximately 40 weeks for your baby and to prepare you go to classes, decorate the nursery, read books, etc. However, I don’t think any of those things will ever really prepare you for motherhood, until you actually experience it.
Every baby is different and it’s YOUR baby that you’ll need time to get to know. Yes, it will take time and won’t be an overnight thing either. Then once you think you’ve got baby figured out, they’ll change! Here are a few tips that helped me get through the early weeks of motherhood:
1 – Sleep when Baby Sleeps
Once baby arrives, it’s a rush of emotions and they require a lot of you at all times of the day or night. The first few weeks, sleep as much as you can while baby sleeps. The more sleep you’re able to get the faster your body can heal and the better you’ll feel. In the hospital, we decided to limit our visitors to only immediate family as we wanted to take the time to rest before we brought our son home. At night, we sent our son to the nursery to let us get more rest too! I definitely do not regret it at all.
2 – Ask for Help!
The first couple nights at home, we decided we could handle it and did not ask for help. Well that was a mistake, we could not handle it! Our son was up most the night screaming and we were all so sleep deprived. Don’t learn the hard way, ask for help! Once our parents came, we could both get sleep and they were able to tend to baby. My husband and I were able to enjoy some prepared home cooked meals too!
3 – Attend a Lactation Support Group
The first time I nursed my son, right out of the womb, neither of us knew what we were doing and my nipple cracked. Definitely not the best way to start out, I had the lactation specialist helping out and a friend suggested a nipple shield. That was a life saver and really helped me continue breastfeeding our son until it healed. Breastfeeding is hard work and there are plenty of people that are happy to help. All of my friends said you HAVE to go to a lactation support group, they help so much! I thought his latch was ok and I thought he was getting enough milk… but I really had no clue. I attended a group, all of the women were so nice and going through the same thing as me. The lactation specialist helped with the latch and I was able to weigh our son after feeding him on each side to ensure he was getting filled up! After going, I felt much more confident and met some new mom friends.
4 – Go Easy on Yourself
As new mom I was worried I was going to mess up and wanted everything to be perfect for our son… I was quickly reminded that nothing is perfect. Don’t be so hard on yourself and accept that things won’t always go as planned or as you hoped and that is OK! You’re going to figure out things as you go and it will be what works best for you and your baby.
Congrats on your new little one and hope these tips help. This time will go by before you know it, so try to enjoy it while you can! If you have more tips to share, feel free to add them to the comments below.