There’s nothing more exciting or powerful than welcoming a little one into the world. If you’re an expectant mother, you’ve likely read all sorts of books and signed up for classes.
There’s so much to do to get ready for your newborn!
And if you ask any mom, she’ll tell you that becoming a first-time mom changes your whole world.
Suddenly you’ve got a whole other person to worry about and you may feel overwhelmed.
Not to worry, we’re here to help. Here are nine pieces of advice that every first-time mom needs to hear.
1) Enjoy Your Pregnancy
We know, it can sometimes be hard to enjoy pregnancy, especially if you’re experiencing side-effects like heartburn or bloating. You may feel like you’ll never get your body back as your feet swell up.
Take a deep breath.
Becoming a first-time mom can involve a lot of nerve-wracking changes, but what you’re experiencing is a miracle. You’re growing an entire human being inside of your body.
Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses throughout your pregnancy.
Take all the quiet time you can, and do plenty of research before your due date. It’ll be here before you know it.
2) Expect Sleepless Nights
It’s a bit of a cliche, but once your newborn arrives, don’t expect to get much rest for the first few months.
Typically, newborns sleep up to 18 and 20 hours per day. Once they’re a few months old, this decreases to around 12 or 13 hours per day. So how exactly does that translate to sleepless nights?
Every newborn’s sleep pattern is different. For some, they may sleep for hours on end. Others may wake up every hour or so fussing.
Having a partner to balance baby duties can ensure that you both get as much rest as possible. Take turns tending to your baby’s needs is a fantastic way to give you both some time off while still making sure your baby is taken care of.
3) How to Comfort Your Baby
During those times where your baby just won’t stop crying, even if they’ve just been fed and changed, you may feel like there’s nothing else you can do to help.
But before you give up, give this a shot:
First, hold your baby as if you’re burping him or her. Now pat their back in a way that mirrors your heartbeat.
It may sound silly, but it simulates a sound they associate with your womb, and therefore, safety.
4) Speed up Feeding Time
Feeding time offers a great chance for you and your baby to bond, whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
We’ve found that some newborns have a tendency to fall asleep during feeding or take a long time to eat.
You can speed up the feeding process by gently rubbing your child’s cheek as they eat.
Not only will it ensure that your child stays awake (and that you avoid chaffing) but circling their tiny cheek helps them swallow.
5) Check Your Emotions
Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, you’ve likely experienced a massive rush of hormones. While this is natural, it won’t necessarily stop after you’ve given birth.
You’ll be tired, and understandably, a little cranky.
To avoid lashing out at those around you, try to keep your emotions in check. That isn’t to say your feelings aren’t valid — they certainly are.
However, not everything needs to be said.
Before speaking and saying something hurtful to your partner or loved one, ask yourself, does it really need to be said? Is this really how you feel or is it the hormones talking?
Distinguishing between the two can lessen the strain on your relationship and even improve your communication skills.
6) What to Know About Postpartum Depression
While we’re talking about rushing hormones, it’s important to understand the significance of postpartum depression.
It’s believed that between 10 and 15 percent of moms will experience PPD, so it’s more common than you may believe. In fact, 50 to 75 percent of all moms reported negative feelings after birth.
PPD can prove extremely disruptive to your everyday life, so know what to look for.
Symptoms include extreme mood swings, changes in appetite, insomnia, and a lack of interest in your baby.
If you’re feeling any (or all) of these, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad first-time mom. This is an extremely normal phenomenon that many women experience.
Talk to your doctor and consider medication or therapy to lessen the effects of PPD.
7) Don’t Expect Perfection
As a first-time mom, you’re going to make mistakes.
Whether you overfed your baby, fall asleep while feeding them, or simply feel like running away, every mom makes her share of mistakes.
While we all strive to be Supermom, it’s simply impossible.
Just strive to do the best you can for yourself and your child. Be forgiving of yourself, you deserve it.
8) Be Patient
As a mom, you’re going to need patience…and a lot of it. The earlier you begin to practice, the better.
That means having patience with yourself, your partner, your family, and even your little one.
9) Ask for Help
Every first-time mom could use a bit of help. Whether that means using a doula during the birthing process or enlisting some help to teach breastfeeding techniques, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
As a first-time mom, there’s a lot to learn and not a lot of time to learn it. Sometimes an extra pair of hands can make all the difference.
Advice for a First-Time Mom
These nine tips will go a long way to keep you happy, healthy, and sane. Don’t forget to enjoy the experience, even when it seems difficult. Raising a little one is a wonderful opportunity.
If you’re looking for some help during your pregnancy, don’t forget that we can help. We offer doula packages that can include 24/7 help, as well as prenatal consultations.
Congratulations on your little bundle of joy!