A new mother is flooded with tips, advice and suggestions from well-wishers. Which ones to put in use and which ones to ignore?
Here are 10 things that I would pick up from this sea of well-meant tips and suggestions and like to tell a new mommy:
It gets easier – That’s the first and foremost thing I would tell a new sleep deprived mommy. It only gets easier from here on. With each passing day, you will notice your baby is slowly falling into a pattern – feeding, pooping and sleeping pattern, which makes it easier for you to arrange your time around it. A newborn who is unable to latch learns to latch, doesn’t poop every time he takes a feed and sleeps on fixed timings. Life only gets wonderful!
Eat well – These post pregnancies foods are your tradition, and they are fed for a reason – to help recover your body and make it stronger. So, don’t shy away from eating gaund or methi ka ladoo, ghee parantha, makhana, jeera, ajwain, til ki chikki. They are super foods and will repair your body from the wear and tear it has undergone in the previous 9 months.
Exercise – You may feel exhausted or you may not be allowed to step out of the house due to confinement, but at least you can walk in your room. A little bit of walking post meals doesn’t harm anyone, even with all your stitches, it’s very safe to walk. After 15-20 days, ask your doctor if you can indulge in light exercises or stretches.
Put that phone away – You want to click your baby’s little pink toes and fingers, his bub of a nose and his pink lips and share it with your friends and God knows who on Facebook, what’s app, Instagram, but give it a rest. Also, you don’t necessarily have to go through each and every tweet or post that appears on your social media feed. These times will never come back. Enjoy your little one. Talk to him or sing to him. I still can’t get over the fact that my once tiny daughter has grown up so fast. Time flies quickly, truly!
Cheer up – Many women feel depressed sitting in the house all alone with a new born baby who only sucks on her breasts, poops and sleeps all day. It makes them feel inadequate. My advice to them is read, listen to music or meditate. It will make you feel good about yourself and your surroundings. If you like, invite your mother or a few friends, which is bound to cheer you up. Remember, positivity attracts positivity.
Ask for help – Don’t be a superwoman and try to do all things yourself. If you feel overwhelmed with work, call for help. Ask your parents, in laws, friends or neighbors and request them to take over some responsibility. That should give you some time to sleep, relax, take a shower or step out. Remember, a happy mommy translates to a happy baby.
Involve your partner – Once when my husband was carrying my month-old daughter, his father commented, “Good you can do this now. In our time, a father who carried his child or expressed his love for his baby, was considered a pansy, and hence he avoided doing it.” Just imagine, not getting the opportunity to get close to your little one just because the society didn’t feel that was right. Thank goodness, the times have changed!
A father more or less feels like a third wheel in the first month of delivery, especially if you have help around. But, don’t make him feel so. Even if you have plenty of help, ask him to get involved. He can change the diaper once in a while, feed or burp the baby. If your fella is scared, as I have seen many men scared of these extremely delicate tiny newborns, just ask him to pat your little one. Also, sneak off some time with your man to talk or watch a movie (even if you get to watch only 15 mins before the little one cries his heart out) or ask him to massage your legs or back. And absolutely kiss him – a long sweet kiss! That will make up for the time you are showering only your baby.
Share your baby – As a new mother, I was very hesitant when relatives and friends took my new born in their lap. I would constantly fret over my baby catching some infection or the other. Relax, let them enjoy the baby too. Just make sure they have cleaned their hands before they pick your baby.
Ignore unsolicited advice – Remember, many women will come over and give you advice on how you should raise your baby. They mean well, but they sometimes forget that the times have changed. And that you are not them. Just smile and ignore them. Or feign sleep. Sometimes when people visited my room and told me about covering my head or why I wasn’t wearing socks when the temperature was 35 degrees, I would plead exhaustion or tell them I needed to visit the washroom. It worked 6 out of 10 times.
Relax – A new mother can be very protective towards her new born. Sometimes, over protective too. Feeding your baby on a schedule, massaging him with various powders and condiments, making him listen to rhymes and Mozart is fine, but try not to overdo it. He is just a tiny baby, he won’t notice the absence of rhymes or Audiobooks. So, if you are exhausted and not feeling up to it, just relax and give it a miss, your baby will understand.
Hope I have covered them all! Would you like to add a few??