I am not quite sure where the time has gone but our little guy is ONE WEEK OLD. Today I woke up and looked and him and he just looks bigger. Which I love because it means he is growing and healthy and a reminder that time flies and to soak up every moment with him because there will be a day he doesn’t wanna be with mama 12 hours a day.
I have loved the transition to being a momma but there are definitely some key things that have helped me transition to the role of momma that I wanted to share with you.
Give yourself grace: There will be minutes, hours, days that seem effortless other times they will seem almost impossible and the tears will flow. That is okay. What you’re doing is incredible. The life that you are giving to this little one is so commendable. Baby may be crying like the world is ending but I can assure you mama it’s not. You’ve got this. Take a deep breath and keep going.
Breastfeeding will be uncomfortable at first: IT GETS BETTER. This is the main phrase that mamas would tell me. It’s what I hold onto when little guy is cluster feeding. While I was fortunate enough to have our little guy latch right away I can tell you a bad latch DOES HURT! So watch for their latch. Take time to get a good latch so feedings are easier. Now a week in, breastfeeding does not hurt. Remember, breastfeeding should not hurt. Good latch is everything. I owe a good latch mainly due to our nursing pillow. It puts him at the perfect height and he is able to get that latch himself without any nudging from me and I am completely hands free. Please do take time to read up on good vs. bad latches. You will feel the difference! I personally took a breastfeeding class and it helped me so much cause lets be real the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding book is so insanely huge. I think I got a couple pages it and gave up. haha.
DON’T compare your newborn to another one: Yes, there is a general rule of thumb of how newborns will be. However your little baby is not your friends baby.
Listen to your baby: He/she will tell you what they need. Just listen. Now that he is a week old I have down his three basic need cries. Hunger: This one is fairly straight forward for us- look for his mouth rummaging for your breast, turning his head looking for breast, opening his mouth almost licking his lips 😉 Gassy: Back arched and fussy. Just burp them. They will get it out. And yes, they will probably spit up so have a burp cloth ready. Diaper Change: Our little guy kicks his legs around and gets fussy, not crying like he may for being gassy just an uncomfortable fussiness.
Get outside: This has been key for me so I don’t feel like I am completely missing out on summer. I try and sit outside 5-10 minutes a day. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it helps me get my dose of Vitamin D which in turn helps with my mood.
Sleep when baby sleeps: It’s true. For the first couple days I couldn’t sleep without knowing someone was watching him for fear of him spitting up. So I would hand him off to daddy or whoever was there and take a nap. There WILL be sleep deprevation its just apart of the newborn phase there is no way around it. However you have the ability to make it somewhat do-able (I did not say easy!) by napping when the baby naps. If anything just rest. Yes, dishes need to be done. Laundry needs to be folded but your body just did the most incredible thing by creating this little one and delivering them. Give your body and self a break and rest mama.
You WILL cry. Possibly everyday: Know that you will be tired, there will be days that are EXHAUSTING that you are pushed to the brink of tears. Its okay mama. Let those tears flow. Holding them in will only create a massive breakdown later down the line. It is normal to cry, what you’re going through is a lot. When he was first born I would cry anytime he got fussy it broke my heart to see this little guy cry and not be able to fix it instantly. Again, give yourself grace. This baby is not expecting perfection- he is expecting love.
Ask for help: Whether it be a meal delivered, or someone to hold baby. I learned I needed my sleep (duh!) so when family came over I would hand baby off and go take a nap. Keeping yourself ‘charged’ is so important.
Use the resources available to you: I am so thankful for the amazing breastfeeding Facebook group I am apart of. They women on there are so encouraging and quick to build up other women (this is a local group- so sorry I cannot add you). Take a look around though. Search for mommy groups that are in your area, look on Facebook, read books. There are SO MANY ways to find the information you need whether it be from books, small groups, or online.
Take a shower: Seriously though, its so easy to put the little one first but mama unless you’re feeling good no one is going to feel good. Take five minutes to take a shower, wash your hair and take a deep breath. I try and do this in the morning when little man is taking his first morning nap.
Put on some makeup/do your hair: Doesn’t matter if you’re going out or not. Put on some makeup and/or do your hair. It can get mundane at home, but thats no reason to not put yourself first and keep feeling good. I find I do one or the other. Curling wands are perfect for this. Curls hair so quick and the heat is so hot my hair will stay curled for days to come. What more could a busy mama ask for?