- Drink A LOT of water. This has been crucial for me. Water helps your brain to work, helps to keep you hydrated after all of that nursing and helps you to have normal bodily functions – -which can be a bit tricky post baby. I have multiple water bottles around the house and put one in our room and the nursery before going to bed. I always bring one with me as we run errands and keep one by my side if I’m blogging or hanging out with Garr. You should ideally be drink 64 ounces of water AT LEAST – more because you are nursing. I aim to drink at least 100 ounces of water every day.
- Try to sleep when your baby is sleeping. Jax doesn’t sleep a lot during the day but even if I can sneak in small 15 minute naps next to him while he’s in his bassinet it makes a world of a difference.
- Do one small thing for yourself every day. Or more if you get the chance! For me my me time includes a shower, throwing in my extensions and putting a little makeup on. Sometimes this happens at 8 am and sometimes it happens at 2 pm. This makes me feel so much better! Find something in your day whether it’s having a cup of tea, browsing online shops, reading a book etc.
- Get some fresh air every single day. This is monumental! Fresh air helps me to focus and reset my brain. I started with just walking our block and now Jax and I take a walk every single day to breath in some fresh air while getting exercise. We run errands in short bursts and getting out of the house and seeing other adults helps me to feel less isolated.
- Find some music that speaks to you. This is especially important when I’m tired and frustrated!! I play my relax music, motivation music and just fun music while I nurse, clean and hang out with Jax. I sing along and we both benefit from the magical therapeutic properties of music.
- Ask for help when you need it. I was so worried about everything when I came home including falling down the stairs and other outlandish things. I talked to my mom, Garrett’s mom, my OBGYN, other mommas including my sister in laws and friends who were new moms. Knowing I wasn’t the only one and recognizing whether or not it was serious was crucial. Jax also had difficulty latching on one side for breastfeeding and I scheduled 2 lactation consultations which saved me. You can also have a lactation specialist come to your home to help you in your own environment. Ask for help when you need it!! There are so many good and incredible people there to help.
- Know that some anxiety is normal. Every momma, doctor and friend I’ve spoken to admits that their new mom anxiety is real and worrisome. A small amount is normal especially for us first time mommas, however if your anxiety is overwhelming you and making it hard to leave the house, feel happy or care for your baby reach out to a professional for more help.
- Realize that your partner or those around you may parent differently than you. Garrett is much more easy going with Jax but is still a terrific parent. I worry about everything so he jokes that he doesn’t need to worry about anything. I know Jax is always safe with him and so I try to give him space and not insist he do everything the way I would do it. It’s hard sometimes, but I see how their bond is different than ours in such a good way and I’m learning from Garrett to relax and enjoy more!
- Laugh at least once a day. If we didn’t laugh we’d cry!! We have a lot of laughter around here and it is healing. Learn to laugh about the crying, changes, blowouts and lack of sleep. Crying is good too – but that laughter is so incredibly healing and important as a new momma!
- Love on that baby as much as you can. A friend offered me this advice – the days are long but the years are short. It could not be more true. Jax is only 6 weeks but the time feels like it’s flying. He already seems so much bigger and more infant-like than newborn-like. I already miss his early stages!!! I’ve put down my phone, let a lot of things go by the wayside and have just focused on snuggling that little angel. We read books and I talk to him constantly. As a speech pathologist I believe this is incredibly important. We have tummy time together and spend lots of time cooing and smiling. Our bond has grown day in and day out and I’m so grateful I have this time to just enjoy Jaxon.
- Don’t worry so much about losing all the weight and stretch marks and snapping back! It takes time. Recovery from any type of birth ranges from 6-12 weeks. You need to allow your body time to heal and be cleared by your doctor in order to fully work out again. You also need to realize that it took you 9 months to grow that little babe or babes and that it may take some time to get back into shape. Stretch marks fade and so does the weight and hyper focusing on it as a new momma will only make you feel discouraged and overwhelmed. I focus on the fact that I’ve created a new life and take longer walks each day in order to pace myself and slowly regain my strength. Every one of us is different but I only tolerated walking during my pregnancy and so I know that an intense cardio or yoga session is something I need to build back up to doing.
- Trust your instincts and march to the beat of your own mom drum! I ask people to wash their hands and put hand sanitizer on constantly if they are going to hold Jax. I’m altering his shot schedule because he’s so tiny and because I have such adverse reactions to immunizations and worry he may too. I don’t cover him with blankets because it can be dangerous. I run errands with him even though he’s little. I’m choosing to put his crib in our room until he’s 1 but I don’t believe in co sleeping. I want to nurse him until he’s 1 and then I’ll assess how I feel then. These are all just examples of how I’m choosing to parent him. This is what I feel is best after years of watching others parent, being a preschool teacher, reading a zillion parenting articles, taking endless child development classes (I was in college for 7 years, lol) and working at a hospital for 4 years. Trust your gut, do your research and be your own kind of mom!
Friends, I hope this was helpful. I spent a lot of time writing this and thinking about what I wanted to share. I am not a doctor, just a momma who wanted to share her thoughts and insights!