If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve officially become a mum. Or maybe it’s not your first time around the block and you’re already feeling like you need some new mums advice. Either way, welcome to parenthood!
I remember when I was a new mum and felt like I was in over my head. There were so many things to think about, but with the right advice from someone who has been there before it can make all the difference. That’s why I’ve compiled some of the best advice for new mums in the first few weeks postpartum – the key is to be proactive and informed!
Prepare as much as you can
The best advice I can give you to be a happy new mum is to be prepared. Do as much research as you can before the baby arrives and get all new mum essentials ready. There are a lot of things that people won’t tell you just because it’s easy for them to miss the little details.
For example, after I had my daughter I did not expect to find out just how hard breastfeeding is. Having said that, everyone’s experience is different and some women don’t have any problem in this area. Each mother’s experience will be different and while you can’t plan every single thing to a tee you can at least grasp the basics.
I highly advise you to get some contact numbers for local services and professionals. These can include your midwife, health visitor or specialist services.
An example of a specialist service is the website called Breastfeeding Support that use evidence based tactics to help mother’s who are struggling to breastfeed.
Related Post: Stay At Home Mum Schedule Planning
What to expect the few days after delivery
After giving birth you will be in pain from the delivery. It is also normal to have stomach cramps in the first few days as your uterus is contracting to shrink back to its normal size. You will also have heavy bleeding for a number of weeks.
As stated on the website March of Dimes your body will be going through a number of changes in these early weeks and it’s normal for hormones to cause your mood to fluctuate.
There are also some practical ways you can manage getting through the first few weeks such as pre-planning or getting quick and easy meals. Also, make sure you prioritise your need to rest in the early stages after having your baby.
Rest and look after your physical needs
In order to feel happy as a new mum and in general, you should make sure that your physical needs are met. This means getting enough sleep, eating and drinking well and washing etc.
It can be hard in the first few months to get enough sleep so some advice I can give you is to schedule sleep – this can either be planning naps when your baby sleeps in the daytime or going to bed earlier at night when your baby goes.
You and your partner should help each other
New parents can prevent overwhelming stress by helping each other and caring for your baby together. Learn about raising a baby together from reading books and articles or attending parenting groups. This can help you to bond as a family.
Also, spend some time talking to each other about how you feel and go for walks. If family or friends offer to look after your baby for a short period, then take up their offer while spending some one to one time together with your partner.
During the first year of having my baby I found Emma’s Diary a very useful app which provides information to help parents in the early stages of raising children.
10 Ways to self care for new mums
As a new mum, it’s important to look after yourself. Here are 10 tips on how you can make that happen whilst caring for a new born baby.
- Look after yourself by resting when your baby rests and leave the housework
- Eat well (even if it’s just quick meals or regular snacks)
- Connect with family and friends
- Go easy on yourself because having a baby is a big change
- Be realistic with what you can achieve each day
- Do things you enjoy
- Make lists of things to do to help you stay focused
- Talk to your partner and try not to isolate yourself
- Speak to your health visitor about local mummy baby groups
- Practice relaxation methods on a daily basis. An example could be using guided meditation (following videos on Youtube) or with mobile apps.
For more self care ideas, check out this post: 12 Easy Self Care Ideas For Mums.
Talking to supportive people about your emotions can also help or becoming more active with light exercise or hobbies. Exercise releases endorphins which according to Healthline are “feel-good brain chemicals”. Just be careful with exercising in the first few weeks as your body is still recovering from the labour.
Finding “me time” as a mother
One of the most significant reasons why motherhood is so stressful is because we are constantly rushing to get things done. Caring for little babies takes a lot of time! As a result of lack of time we place our interests, hobbies and even relationships as a lesser priority.
A tip for finding “me time” is to make a list of exercises and activities which you enjoy and do these sporadically throughout the day when you have a few minutes spare.
To be a happy new mum, as well as spending time with your baby and your partner you also should make time for yourself. Whenever you are able to, do something that helps you to relax. You can even schedule it and don’t be embarrassed to ask for help from others to give yourself a break.
How to enjoy spending time with your baby
Make it a mission everyday to step away from the mundane tasks and do something fun with your baby and something you can enjoy too. When your baby is a few months old you can start doing sensory activities.
Babies are very sensory and love things that they can touch or listen to such as nursery rhymes. Play with things like bubbles or jelly (also known as jell-o) or enjoy a bath together – Lansinoh have a useful guide on how to safely bath with a baby.
Make use of local resources that are either free or low costing, such as parent and baby groups or you can even just go out and get some fresh air.
One great way to stay positive and be a happy new mother is to meet other mothers and you can share your individual experiences and learn from each other. We are social beings and keeping in contact with others will help to break the daily mundane routines.
There is evidence to show that having an active social life is great for your physical and mental well-being. According to an article written by Maria Cohut in Medical News Today there are 4 health benefits from being social which are:
- Release of neurotransmitters that regulate stress and anxiety
- Improves brain power and makes us better at remembering things
- Instils better healthy habits
- Reduces the likelihood of suffering from anxiety and depression
If you’re unsure of how and where to meet other mother’s consider asking your health visitor or just simply join parenting groups on social media (your partner can be part of these groups too).
Re-think negative thoughts
Try to be self aware by thinking about your thoughts when you’re not feeling positive. If you can become aware of your thoughts then you can work on changing these.
Often when people are feeling low their thoughts can become irrational and only focusing on the negative aspects of a situation. Instead, think of the positive aspects and make a list of these to remind you whenever you find yourself feeling down.
So, how do I be a happy new Mum?
So these are my tips on how to be a happy new mother. It’s not easy being a new mum but the most important piece of advice is to do some research in the early stages and utilise people and resources to help you.