10 Tips For New Mothers

New Mothers

As soon as you enter the realm of parenthood and start showing your pregnancy, it seems like everyone has something to say about it. Hopefully it’s well-meant advice, but people can be very forceful about their opinions, or all-to-comfortable crossing the line from curious bystander to touchy nag.

Not every mom gives birth to their child. Some new moms adopt or foster, some new moms take on the children of their siblings or extended family. However, you come by the title, there’s no hard-and-fast rule that applies to all new mothers, no tips that will work for everyone, but there are some good ideas listed here for those assuming the mantle of mother for the first time.

If at all possible, set up your support group ahead of time: laundry, meals, errands. Having friends and family around to help you through the initial days, weeks, and months of being a new mother will be an indescribable help. It’s also a good way to have a chance to interact with other adults and give yourself a break from constant monitoring of the child.

New mothers need to learn to set their boundaries, monitor their energy levels, care for themselves first, and know when to ask for help. It takes a village, but never forget that mom runs the show! That said, here’s 10 tips for New Mothers:

  1. Trust Your Self – instincts have evolved over thousands of years. Trust them.
  2. Speak Up – you know yourself and your baby best.
  3. Skin to Skin Contact – as much as you can! Especially in the early days.
  4. Eat whatever you want, but make it nutrient dense.
  5. This too shall pass – your baby will change as they grow and so will the parenting challenges.
  6. Sleep whenever you can.
  7. You probably shouldn’t forget to drink water either.
  8. Take your time – everyone wants to meet the baby, they can wait until you’re ready.
  9. Breathe – don’t forget to pause and take a breath.
  10. You’re not alone – being a new mom can be exhilarating, scary, exhausting, and more. Never forget that you are not alone, and there are support groups, forums, chat rooms and more ways to connect with other new moms and old moms to feel supported through your journey.

Becoming a new mom is a birth of its own. You say goodbye to one kind of adulthood and enter into another. Your identity changes. Part of your old life dies to make room for the new one. This can be a difficult transition: friends can fall by the wayside, hobbies collect dust, and the physical, emotional, and mental changes that come with this journey can sometimes feel insurmountable.

Remember to breathe and reach out for help. Everyone knows a new kid needs a lot, but what about their parents? New parents can drown in the needs of their new children, and it’s okay to say that you need help. Or a break. Or a nanny.

If you’re lucky and have a baby that sleeps through the night, latches on right away and laughs more than they cry, congratulations on winning the jackpot and best of luck with raising your golden child. Here’s to smooth sailing!

A trap a lot of new parents fall into is comparing themselves to others, comparing their kid to others, and comparing their family to others. Don’t feel like you’re failing because your family doesn’t look like the one on Instagram. Yours is real, and all you can do is make assumptions about other people. There’s no way to know the truth. We know so little of what others are really going through. Focus on the here and now and ask yourself if what you’re doing fills your heart and makes you and your kid happy and healthy. That’s the big goal.

The best tip for any new mom is to first trust your intuition, then do research. Find the facts and read those, read other mother’s stories, hear others’ points of view and their experiences. Knowledge is power, and the more you know the better off you’ll be, and so will your baby. People have been having kids for a long time and you can plumb these depths to find what works best for you. Also, remember and trust that you know what is best for you and your baby.

It’s okay to be your own type of mom. Maybe you eat while nursing and brush crumbs off the baby. Maybe you wear sweatpants all week – and all weekend. Maybe you’ve been eating frozen TV dinners because they’re easy. It’s all fine. Pump the brakes on any judgment because you’re doing your best in a crazy time.

  • By Lauren Jones