Navigating The Early Days: Tips for New Mums!


When you find out that you are expecting, you’ll often find that everyone has opinions, suggestions, ingenious ideas and nuggets of wisdom to share. The problem is that every pregnancy and motherhood journey is different and unique. It’s impossible to write an instruction manual for new parents, but there are some steps you can take to make navigating those early days slightly easier. Here are some top tips for new mums. 

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Prepare as much as you can.

It’s virtually impossible to ever be 100% ready for a new arrival, but preparing in advance can be hugely beneficial. Taking practical steps like making sure you have a hospital bag packed and ready and you have all the essentials you need to bring your new baby home can help to minimise stress and make you feel calmer and more relaxed after the birth. Get your bedroom and the nursery ready, have family members on standby if you have pets that need looking after and take some time to rest and recharge your batteries. It's important to note however that no matter how much you plan or prepare, things may not always go as expected so be ready to adapt.

Understand that nobody is perfect.

Perhaps the most important lesson to learn when you have a newborn is that nobody’s experience is perfect. Social media and Hollywood films can make life as a family with a tiny bundle look like utter bliss when in reality, it’s a hugely emotional time for everyone involved. There are likely to be highs and lows and the early days of sleep deprivation and adjusting to parenthood can be something of a roller coaster ride. Every parent goes through the same struggles. Even if it seems as though others are sailing through with no metaphorical icebergs to contend with, know that you’re not alone if you have a bad day or you’re so exhausted that you can barely function. Talking to your partner or friend openly can really help if you're struggling and may open you eyes to how amazing you are actually coping. Your mind can play tricks on you, this paired with hormones and being a new mum can really leave you feeling down. But just know you are amazing.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Taking care of a baby is hard work and there is absolutely no shame in asking for help or calling in favours from friends and family. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or accept offers if your mum and dad are keen to sort the washing or clean the house, or you have friends and siblings queuing up to look after the baby while you grab a shower or have a nap. Use your support system to lighten the load. This is beneficial for you and it’s also a great way to encourage bonding between members of your family and close friends and your new addition. People can often want to at like superman and show they don't need help but this is the one time in your life where you don't need to act strong. Take all the help you can get.

Ask for expert advice if you’re worried.

Taking responsibility for a newborn can be incredibly daunting, especially if you’re worried that something is wrong. If you are concerned about your health, or your baby has started crying more than usual, or they seem unsettled or won’t feed, ask for advice. There are simple solutions you can try like colic tea for tummy troubles and adjusting breastfeeding positions for more comfortable, productive feeds, but in some cases, you may need additional help or treatment. It’s always best to get checked out or consult a midwife or your GP if you are worried. No matter how small the concern it always better to be safe than sorry.

Rest as much as you can.

Almost every parent will regale tales of sleepless nights when they talk about the first few weeks or months with their baby. As a new mum, it’s important to be prepared for sleep deprivation and disrupted nights and to rest as much as possible when you get the chance. Try to nap while your baby sleeps, ask others to help out so that you can rest in the knowledge that your baby is safe and don’t try to do too much too soon. Take it steady and let yourself recover from the birth mentally and physically. Be prepared to completely change your routine to suit the baby's.

Try to avoid putting pressure on yourself

Many of us approach parenthood with a rose-tinted vision, which makes us put pressure on ourselves and our partners. We have a perception, and if life doesn’t live up to that ideal, we can get frustrated and upset. Try to avoid putting pressure on yourself when you have a baby. Give yourself time to adjust, be kind to yourself, recognise that you can only do your best and go with the flow. Some people have amazingly positive experiences during the first few weeks, while others really struggle. Everyone is different. If you are finding it tough, try to identify and avoid triggers. You may want to stay off social media or minimise social contact for a while if seeing people makes you anxious or going on social apps makes you feel like you’re failing. You can only do your best and if you need help, advice or support, there are people there to make life easier. 

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The early days as a new mum can be confusing, daunting, nerve-racking and amazing all at once. If you are expecting, or you’ve recently given birth, hopefully, this guide will help you navigate your way.

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