Bringing home a new baby is quite a shock for new moms. Many moms share that life feels upside down for a while until they adjust to their new normal. Today's post is intended to provide some very practical help on the postpartum side of birth. Here, I share some tips to make life at home a little bit easier.
Arrange for help.
It is so important to not only make arrangements for help prior to the baby's arrival but also to accept offers of help when asked what people can do for you. Help with things like meals, laundry, baby care, errand running and cleaning can take a big load off of new moms.
Keep expectations reasonable.
New moms want to do everything perfectly. They are shocked to find out that their newborns don't come with a manual <grin>. Babies are their own little people with unique personalities and it takes some time for families to adjust to the newborn and to the new normal that is now their life. Giving yourself grace during this adjustment period is necessary. You will not be a perfect parent. But you are YOUR baby's perfect parent!
Sleep and rest when you can.
Full disclosure: This was one of my biggest challenges as a new mom. 16 years later, it still is. For some of us, it's really hard to heed this advice, but for the new mom, especially in the first few weeks postpartum, it's so important. In order to care for others, you must care for yourself. It's okay to let the housework go (remember the thing I said about asking for help?) and nurture YOU. You need a break to refresh and rejuvenate so that you can take care of your baby. Sleepless nights and feedings are tiring enough, let alone the emotional, physical, and hormonal changes you are experiencing.
Reach out for support.
I like to remind all my clients at their postpartum visit that my relationship with them doesn't stop after their baby arrives. I want them to always know they have someone to reach out to when and if they need it. It's important to have a few people that you can talk to about motherhood. I remember one mom calling me a couple years ago in tears because she was struggling to help her first child with the transition of having a baby sibling at home. The mom guilt was heavy on her because she felt like she was neglecting her oldest. She needed a listening ear and some encouragement to know she wasn't alone and that her feelings were valid.
And speaking of support.....
I am so excited to announce the formation of a local Mommy and Me group here in McHenry county. I will be partnering with a couple of area doulas to bring this group to fruition. It is our hope that moms will have a safe and non-judgmental place where they can gather to talk, share, learn and encourage each other. We understand motherhood in the trenches is TOUGH, and it is our desire that no one feel alone in their struggles. Each time we meet, we will have a topic to chat about, but it will also be an open forum to bring your concerns and questions so we can learn together. The group will be free of charge and your kids are welcome!! Watch my Facebook page for more details to come!
Happi loves serving families in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago as a labor doula and childbirth educator. When she's not at a birth, she loves spending time her husband and three boys.