Nine Things I’d Tell a New Mom

Advice for a New Mother

Advice for a New MotherI can't believe that in about two weeks, Nate will be 6 months old. What the hell?! I'm finding my own groove and am at place (most of the time) where I feel confident in what I'm doing. As we approach half a year of new motherhood, I wanted to share a few things I've learned along the way.

1. Meet new moms: 

I joined a few mom groups (via Facebook) in my neighborhood and it was one of the best things I could have done. With this group, there was a place to get advice and seek out opinions on anything from nanny prices to diaper rash cream. More importantly, with this group I was able to meet mothers, who have now turned into friends, going through the very same thing. If you don't live in a neighborhood where a group exists, maybe you could be the one who starts it?

2. Get your baby used to noise:

Living in Brooklyn, some sort of noise pretty much comes with the territory, but even when we put Nate to sleep, we go about our usual business. We don't necessarily lower our voices and don't tiptoe around our home. We put the white noise machine on and he sleeps nice and soundly.

3. Get your baby used to being put down awake: 

When Nate hit 3.5 months, we transitioned him from a bassinet in our room to a crib in his room. Once we all got comfortable with the change, we would complete our night routine and then put him down when he was sleepy, but awake. In the beginning, he would cry and we'd come back in, rub his belly and tell him to go to sleep. After a few days, he started to fall asleep on his own. This has made our night routine significantly quicker and easier.

Advice for a New Mom

4. Don't forget about yourself. 

New motherhood is incredibly magical, but intense. With this new role, it's so easy to forget about yourself. A wise woman (and a mother of four) once told me "don't forget that you are still a person outside of motherhood and never feed bad for it." Hold on to your hobbies, have a parent or sitter come over so you can go out with your husband or friends. I've realized, nurturing yourself is just as important as nurturing your baby. In turn, it really does make you a better parent.

5. If you're planning on breastfeeding, you might gain weight.

I promise, I am NOT saying this to scare you, I just wish I was warned. Despite eating well, I gained around 5 pounds and couldn't figure out why. After doing a ton of research and speaking to my doctor, I  learned that when your body is establishing its milk supply, weight gain is extremely common. In simple terms, our body will store fat in order to produce milk for our babies. Some women will lose the magical breastfeeding weight a few months in and some will lose it once they wean. I know it seems frightening at first, but I promise, it's such a short time. It might seem like an eternity, but it goes by in a flash.

6. Don't Judge

A few years back (way before I was even thinking of kids), I had a friend who left her career to be a stay at home mom. During lunch one day, I remember her telling us that she hired a babysitter to help her 2x a week so she could get stuff done without the kids. I didn't say anything but in my head I thought "I don't get it. Why would you need help when you're not working." I am actually mortified that these ridiculous thoughts went through my head. Of course at the time, I didn't know any better, but still.  I've had many jobs in my day, but there is nothing that is harder than raising a tiny little human. Getting things done while you're at home with them is almost impossible, so now, I get it more than ever.

Advice for a New Mom

7. It's normal to feel sad:

Having a new baby is one of the most wonderful moments of your life, but it's also the biggest life transition you'll ever go through. On top of this enormous life transition, there are a damn thing called hormones. I once thought that period hormones were rough, but ha! They are nothing compared to post pregnancy hormones. And if you're breastfeeding or weaning on top of all this, then there are more hormones. It's all very intense.

I'm generally a happy person, but there have been times where I would just start to cry. I love our baby more than I ever thought possible, but something would just overcome me and I would get incredibly emotional. I thought something was wrong with me, but after talking to a dozen moms, I realized that it was completely normal.

I am NOT a doctor, but I know there is a difference from the above and Postpartum Depression (PPD). Just please know if you're experience overwhelming sadness that doesn't go away, this is more common than you think. Please speak to a doctor and know, this does not make you a bad person or mother. Hormones can do some crazy things and hit you when you least expect it! Conversations like this need to be normalized because there is so much guilt associated with new motherhood, so please know, we're all in this together.

8. It gets easier: 

To kind of continue from the above, it most certainly gets easier with each passing day. You've probably heard this a lot by now, but it's true. Your hormones start to even out, you find your own parenting groove, you find your new norm and as your baby exits the crazy intense newborn stage, with each passing day, you realize "I got this!"

9. You will love like you've never loved before.

As crazy as it all is, the love is all encompassing it makes all the crazy so worth it.

The post Nine Things I'd Tell a New Mom appeared first on Brooklyn Blonde.

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