I have worked with new Mums for more than half of my life and as a Mum of three myself, I wish I had known what I now help new Mums understand.
Life with a newborn tiny human is unpredictable. Let's face it- we leak from many orifices at one time, sleep is staggered, time takes on a whole new meaning, and we occupy a new space. In that new space, we struggle. Here are the top seven topics that we tend to struggle with:
1.) Not getting anything done. Wear your baby in a sling, a wrap, a carrier as you wash dishes, dust, make the bed or do laundry. Including your baby in tasks will allow you to relax (I didn't say sleep!) when your babe does. Then have something to eat or go pee on your own.
2.) Getting enough to eat or finding time to eat it. Have your partner put your lunch together before heading to work, make some overnight oats for the whole week, eat calorie dense foods, make muffins and freeze them. Look into an Instant Pot- game changer for so many families! Cook dinner together with you partner with the baby in a wrap or carrier. Feeding your baby can also be challenging- are they getting enough, are you feeding long enough, how often should you breastfeed? How do you deal with sore nipples and breast pain? We provide in home visits and breastfeeding clinics every Friday from 9:30-11:30 as well as Coffee Talk support every other Monday from 10-11:30. Each is a $10 drop in fee.
3.) Having a shower- Bring your baby into the bathroom with you! Pop them in a bouncy chair, portable swing or bassinet. Then get in the shower and sing! Singing helps calm your nervous system, your baby will love it and combined with the sound of the running water and steam, your babe will probably love it or grow to love it!
4.) Lack of sleep- Sleep is a struggle for so many of us. Napping during the day is something a lot of us are not really good at so at the very least try to rest. Netflix and snuggle on the couch, babe on your chest or close by. If you can nap during the day, consider asking a friend or relative to come and stay with your babe when you nap. Also consider hiring a postpartum doula. We come over and stay with your baby while you nap during the day and will also provide over night care. Sleep is crucial to our mental and emotional health. We have a great sleep foundations class to help you understand sleep from a biological, psychological, sociological perspective- not crying it out at all. You can reach Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about sleep or a postpartum doula.
5.) Not able to share how you are feeling- You need to talk. To process your birth, to share your fears, to normalize your experiences. A safe person, who you can trust and will not offer unsolicited advice is golden. There are many great professionals services available to help you too. Email us here if you would like a referral.
6.) Afraid to ask your partner for help- Again, parenting is new territory! Oftentimes, the territory looks very different than the map! Unpacking helpful expectations will help you navigate this new journey, together with your partner. We have certified Becoming Us Family Professionals and Certified Relationship Coaches on staff to help you. Email us at email@example.com for more information.
7.) Having really high expectations for what life will look like postpartum- Be gentle with yourself. Nothing ever looks like we think it will. With the added pressures of social media we can feel even more isolated. We need each other in the postpartum maybe more than ever. What's really important is to focus on how you are FEELING in postpartum- and being able to share that. We have amazing Mom and Baby groups with Karen that deal with the realities and truths of parenting and our emotional health. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on the classes.
We are here to help you through the whole journey. You are not alone. Reach out.