When you are creating your birth plan, you can become so focused on the run-up to the birth, you may overlook some key aspects of what happens afterward. It’s important to remember that it’s completely natural to struggle in your new role as a mother, and this is why you need to think about the idea of comfort, in a literal and figurative sense. Comfort is key to flying high as a new mother, but this is not so easy when you are embarking on the most unfamiliar parts of your life. How can you bring comfort to every aspect of your life from here on out?
Recognize the Importance of Help
Help will come in many different forms. Whether it’s those breast pads, the must own postpartum essentials that make life easier or the support of a friend or family member, help is something that we shouldn’t turn down. Those first few months involve you finding your feet, but also recognizing your limits. When we get help, whether this is just someone offering to do the dishes, or bringing us a meal, it will make all the difference. In order to make sure that you are operating with a confident and comfortable mindset, you shouldn’t necessarily take yourself out of your comfort zone, because after all, you are already out of it! Babies will throw up many different concerns, and to cap it all off, they won’t sleep! If someone offers you help, don’t be too proud to say “no.”
Focus on Bringing Love Into the Household
When we go through those first two months after birth, the surge of hormones gives way to the inevitable rise and fall in terms of our emotions. Some mothers feel they cannot connect with their babies at all. But during those first few months, while you may not feel a sense of connection to your baby, that doesn’t mean you cannot give the baby love in other ways. There’s a lot of information out there about oxytocin which is the love hormone. And one of the best ways to create this hormone is to, very simply, cuddle your child. Skin-on-skin contact is crucial for developing that love hormone, and you may think that, because the baby’s crying so much, and you are at the end of your tether, you need to step away. Naturally, a break can do you good, but also, recognize that parenting is about playing the long game, and if you can focus on giving your child that base level of love and support now, this will help throughout their lives because you are creating a comforting and loving environment.
Health Is an Essential Foundation (for You!)
No doubt you’re more than aware of the importance of folic acid throughout pregnancy, but just because you have given birth doesn’t mean that you can go back to old habits. For the sake of you and the baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding, having a solid base level of health will make a massive difference. This is especially true if your baby is not sleeping, and therefore, you are not. Nutrition is simple, but hard to achieve during those first few months of being a mother. You shouldn’t throw out those baby vitamins right away, you need to keep taking them, especially if you are breastfeeding. Also, consider the impact of the right foods on your body. It’s so easy to say that you will have take-out instead of a home-cooked meal, but this is where cooking becomes invaluable. Take the opportunities where you can to batch cook meals, portion them up, and freeze them. That way, you get a quick and easy, but most importantly, healthy meal! Preferably, try to find meals that you can eat with one hand! Because no doubt the baby will want comfort when you’re trying to eat!
Be Caring and Compassionate for Yourself
It’s difficult to be compassionate for yourself when you are trying to lose the baby weight, and you are so tired that any form of bright light makes it incredibly difficult to see, but you’ve got to be compassionate for yourself. Sometimes, making a little effort to put some make-up on helps you regain a sense of perspective and confidence in yourself. We’ve got to think about these little mood lifters, and how they can give us those tiny notions of confidence. Because it’s so important to remember that every little thing will add up to a lot. So if you can put on some make-up, do your hair, and wear something that flatters you, it will make a massive difference in your frame of mind.
The Importance of Socializing
Whether it’s new mom and baby classes or meeting with other mothers in the park, the notion of a problem shared is a problem halved makes for a great sense of perspective. Sometimes, we just need to air our concerns, and only to find that other mothers are experiencing the same worries, can be enough to help you realize you are doing great. This is especially true with lack of sleep, and other common concerns that some people do not want to speak about so openly, for example, postpartum depression. If you ever feel you are not able to cope and you are not able to get the right advice from healthcare professionals, sometimes talking to others can give you a very crucial sense of perspective and make you realize you are not on your own!
Having a baby immediately takes you out of your comfort zone, and the importance of comfort will help you and the baby throughout both of your lives. When we feel like this whole new part of life is thrust upon us, we feel we need to be 100% ready, but the truth is that nobody is completely prepared. This is why we all get thrust out of our comfort zones. But having those moments of comfort and calm creates a cumulative effect. It all adds up, and whether you are of the belief you are struggling as a new mother, you are doing great, for the simple reason that you are doing your best!