7 Vital Things First Time Moms Should Remember
Let’s all take a moment to say: welcome aboard new mommy, join the club, and congratulations! You know all these things people say when you start a new job? Motherhood is no different. Think of it this way, it’s actually a club of a zillion members and you’re their newest member.
You probably spent plenty of time doing your research, and you prepared yourself for this job in every way possible. It’s true, every mom took her time to read her way through the pregnancy. “Your baby is now the size of a peanut, his neurons are multiplying. At your next doctor visit, you will be hearing his heartbeat.” Does that sound familiar? Seems easy, right? But after having a baby, you might feel lost in the storm thinking that everything you read didn’t prepare you enough for this. There’s no such thing as being prepared enough. However, there are a few things that you must remember all the time in order to recharge yourself with the positive energy that you need to handle motherhood.
Motherhood Changes Everything
The labor or operation experience alone is enough to make you a different person, but it’s been proven that your body goes through some drastic changes. I am not just talking about the belly that probably doesn’t look much different (it takes time, so don’t worry if you didn’t lose it right away). I am talking about the crazy hormonal roller coaster that you don’t realize happening but only feel the aftermath.
Let me explain, when your estrogen and progesterone levels drop, your eligibility for depression rises. The lower your normal hormones get, the higher your chances are you’ll go through baby blues or postpartum depression. Plus, your oxytocin (the hormone that makes you bond with your child and see the danger in their world) increases after birth. Although this might be beneficial, very high oxytocin levels tend to trigger anxiety. So in the end, you’re not just clueless, sad, and irritable, you’re also anxious. What you need to do is just embrace it and know that it’s completely normal. Cry and have your moments. Always remember, this too shall pass.
You Are Not Alone
Like I said, we are in a club of a zillion members. We have all been there. Feeling isolated is one of the worst things you can go through, and it’s the main cause of postpartum depression and even postpartum anxiety. If you are able to find your own little support group of nearby moms, great. Meet regularly, talk on the phone, or chat; whatever works for you in those moments when you have a lot of questions. If not, just know that everything you are going through is normal. Some moms have gone through it too, and probably felt the same way you do. Always remember, this happens all the time.
I don’t mean hiring help. You just need to know how to accept help if it gets offered. As the African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Find your village and embrace it. This is your support system, and what will get you by in the days when you didn’t sleep nor shower. Your husband, mom, sister, friends, work colleagues, a neighbor, anyone you love or trust is a part of your village. If they offer their time, take it. Also, never hesitate to ask for it when you need. Always remember, all your loved ones want to help you.
Get Some Sun
Oh yes, vitamin D. As if you need someone to tell you that already, going out with your baby will do you and the baby good. According to My Traveling Baby, going out of the house after months of being cooped up will be an excellent experience for the baby, and mommy too. Just make sure that you prepared a baby bag with all the essentials. Try to keep one ready at all times; the contents never change anyway as long as you refill. Also, avoid crowded places to protect your baby’s developing immune system. Always remember to keep it simple; a midday walk around the block, or just going to a nearby park will give you the sun and fresh air that you both really need.
Remember Who You Are
Remember exactly who you were pre-baby days and try not to lose that person. Having a baby is a great change and you can easily lose yourself in the process. Even though it’s easier said than done, but keep trying to do the things you like. If you like to go out, by all means, get the help you need and try to take a breather. If you like to read, then hold your baby, and read when they fall asleep in your arms. If you like to watch movies while eating in bed, then plan a bed-movie night with your husband and take turns attending to the baby while watching your favorite movie. If you like hanging out with friends, call them or invite them over; you never know, they could be important members in your village. Always remember, to hold on to what you love.
Talk to Your Baby
No, it’s not silly at all. Talk to your baby whenever you’re sad or happy. Just tell your baby about your experiences, what you’re going through at the moment, or just simply tell them about your day. Your voice provides the baby with safety and happiness, it’s no surprise they are pretty good listeners. Always remember, your voice makes your baby happy.
Go Easy on Yourself
We all tend to be our worst critics. Stop the self -grilling and try to actually enjoy motherhood when it’s not so crazy hard. Always remember, that you are doing great even if you feel like you are not.
When you’re a new mom, you’ll find out that the most rewarding experience is also the most difficult. It is more or less a never-ending job that pays in hugs and kisses. However, always know that you’re not alone and every new mom faced what you’re facing. You can do it!