Last week I started my new series in Small Talk blogs with the focus on information designed to be of help to new moms and about-to-be moms. Today’s blog is the second in the series of Small Talk and is aimed at getting YOU to take good care of YOURSELF so that you can be the best mom to your newborn.
Take care of yourself
Rule number one is to forget about the housework!!A new mom needs to take good care of herself in those first few weeks after the birth of her baby. You need plenty of rest, good nutritional foods and help from anyone willing to give it!
This period of time, just after the birth, whilst being so exciting is also a period of exhaustion and is the time where the new mom must learn to interpret all the cues her little one is giving her regarding feeding, sleeping, nappy changing and so on.
Babies, unfortunately, live by a different set of rules those of an adult. They need feeding frequently (usually every 3 hours or so…but remember, go with your instincts on this – maybe your baby wants feeding sooner or maybe is satisfied for longer!). Babies also need to be comforted and held frequently. Which doesn’t leave much time for the exhausted parents to get much rest!
If someone is willing to come around and give you a hand, don’t be shy about accepting this. Don’t try and do it all yourself! All you should have to do as a new mom in those first few weeks is keep your baby’s tummy full, comfort him/her, play with him/her and take care of yourself! You should try to sleep when your baby sleeps (your previously enjoyed straight 8 hours of night time sleep are but a dim memory!!). Place your baby’s cot or co-sleeper close to your own bed so that you can do the night time feeds without too much effort.
Although you may enjoy visits from family and friends, new mothers should not feel obligated to “entertain” her visitors. Feel free to excuse yourself to go and have a nap or to feed your baby, whilst trying to rest at the same time. Maybe your visitors can make you that much wanted cuppa!
Time for yourself
Remember to make time for yourself and go out for a little walk every day, if you possibly can. Also you can start doing postpartum exercises if approved by your doctor or midwife – this will help you to feel good about yourself.
After the first 2 or 3 weeks, introduce a bottle to your baby if you are breastfeeding – express your milk to put in the bottle and store in the fridge. This way, someone else (like hubby) can do an occasional night time feed and give you a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep. It will also make your partner feel good!
Eat the right foods
Remember, too, that you have to eat properly. You need to heal and recover from the birth so it is important to maintain a healthy way of eating in order to be able to care for your baby. Don’t worry about dieting to regain your pre-pregnancy weight at this stage. Once everything has settled down, usually by the 6 week mark, then you can think more seriously about losing any unwanted kilos, if you really need to! Between exercise and looking after your baby you will probably not have to diet at all!
If you do manage to get a decent amount of rest, having your little one near to you will be such a great joy – one of the biggest of life’s pleasures – and you will enjoy every moment of this newborn stage, which passes by all too quickly. Soon you will be chasing your crawler all around the house!
Take care of yourself and you will be the best mom you can be to your precious child.
Please don’t hesitate to drop me an email if you are struggling with any aspect of your newborn. Or if you are about to become a new mom and are too shy to ask your doctor…..my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Or leave a comment in the space below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
Yours in newborn photography