Congratulations! You are going to be a mom for the first time and we bet you are beyond excited and maybe also a tad nervous. Don’t worry, your birth doula learned all about helping women make the transition to motherhood when they were becoming a doula. Here are a few more things that first-time moms need to know when they welcome their new bundle of joy into their family.
Don’t Stop Doing the Things You Love
Just because you have a new baby, doesn’t mean that you have to completely give up everything that you did before you had your baby. Although it might be a little more challenging to find the time or the money to pursue your passions, it is still possible. Remember you are more than a mother, you are still a person with needs. Continuing to do your favorite things allows you to take care of yourself and be a better mom for your new child.
Sleep Deprivation is Rough
Chances are the last time you pulled an all-nighter was either in college. With a newborn baby at home, be prepared to pull a few all-nighters. Sleep deprivation is real. Also, as a result of repeated sleepless nights, you may experience an increase in irritation and sadness. If you have a partner to share this responsibility with, determine a sleep schedule. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, your partner can participate in other ways, like bringing you the baby or changing diapers throughout the night. Also, always follow the rule of thumb: nap when the baby’s napping.
Postpartum Depression Doesn’t Always Feel Like Depression
As a new mom, you will experience a wide range of emotions. It is not uncommon for new moms to feel overwhelmed, sad, angry, or panicked when first left alone with their new baby. Don’t be too hard on yourself when everything isn’t sunshine and butterflies during the first few months. If at any point you feel like your emotions are getting in the way of your daily life, it might be time for you to talk to your doctor or midwife.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
As a mom, it is easy to beat yourself up. There’s no manual for bringing a baby home and while you might feel lost at first, you’ll figure it out as you go. Learn to forgive yourself and only fret over the things that matter most. Many first-time moms feel like they are doing everything wrong when they first bring their baby home. If you feel this way, reach out to friends and family members who have been through it before, learn from their experiences. Never forget that you are not alone.
Surround yourself with those who have been through it before and can provide you with valuable advice and support. Although it won’t always be easy, it is totally worth it in the end. Another valuable resource is a postpartum doula, as they are passionate about mothers and babies, and have further developed their passion by becoming a doula. Take a deep breath and remember, you got this.