Moms offering advice to new moms – Earlier this year I asked moms to share with me one tip of advice to new moms on my Facebook page. They all had some great pieces of advice to offer. I have been meaning for some time now to write this blog but the days seem to just get away from me between being a mom myself and running my photography business.
When I became a mom for the first time, the one thing I experienced that I didn’t know much about at the time, was baby blues. We took home our beautiful baby, we were so filled with emotions, and happiness. But in just a few short days I felt overwhelmed with sadness. Something I would later determine was baby blues, or perhaps postpartum depression. My Dr. asked me if I was having feelings of hurting my baby. Gosh no! What kind of question is that. I wish she had rephrased it and asked me more about my emotional state. We spent a week in the hospital and by time we got to bring our baby home my husband had two days before he had to return to work. When he left for work that day, I cried non-stop for hours. On and off tears throughout the day led to really uncomfortable feelings. Why was I experiencing this. I am supposed to be happy yet I am left feeling unfit and unsure if I can raise this baby and provide him a good life. I felt so alone and trapped in sadness. Eventually these feelings drifted away on their own, fortunately. But I wish I had known that this wasn’t uncommon, that I wasn’t alone, and that it was ok to ask for help. Instead I would hide in my room and turned away visitors, holding that precious baby as tears fell down my face.
Which leads me to the very next comment from a local mom. Here is what she wrote in response to my question “Please tell me in comments, one piece of advice you’d offer to a new mom that you wish you knew when you were expecting your first baby!”
“Postpartum depression is real. And Postpartum anxiety is a thing too. Just because you’re not feeling depressed, doesn’t mean you’re not experiencing perinatal mood disorders. And that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Tell someone!
You are not alone!
It’s okay to ask for help.
Print the pictures! Whether they’re professionally done or you’re sending your iPhone album to the corner store, print the pictures.
You were given this baby because you were meant to be their Mama. You are exactly what they need and you can do this.
Self care matters. Take care of YOU! Shower, eat breakfast, brush your hair (or don’t) and remember that a well cared for Mama is going to be much more helpful to her family and herself than one who doesn’t make herself a priority.
This too shall pass. All of it. So enjoy it, hate it, cry, laugh, feel all the feels and know that whether good or bad, it will always pass.
I’m sorry…this area is heavy on my heart always so I could go on for days!”
Yes to all of this! YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
More comments with excellent pieces of advice:
- Validation is for parking. You don’t need to explain yourself or put others opinions before your own. Trust yourself and do what works for YOU
- Breastfeeding is a learning experience for you and your baby. Be easy on yourself if it doesn’t come easy to you.
- Breast feeding is hard and it will hurt, likely for weeks. Both you and baby are learning. It’s okay to stop, but never quit on a bad day.
- With my first my daughter was up every hour or 2 for a year so sleep when you can
- Trust yourself.
- Stock your fridge and cabinets with food you can eat with one hand.
- You are enough
- It’s ok if breast feeding doesnt work out. I struggled for 2 months trying to breast feed my baby and it was making it hard for me to bond with my baby. I had to tell myself that it was ok and that as long as my baby is fed, happy and healthy it shouldn’t matter if it comes from the breast or a bottle.
- Whatever gets you sleep, do it! Co-sleep, use a bassinet or rock-n-play, sleep on the couch, whatever you gotta do to get some shut eye!
- That it is ok to take a shower. LOL. I was so scared to take my eyes off my first baby that I didn’t shower until hubby got home from work every evening for the first 4 months!
- YOU do what YOU feel is best for you and baby. Dont let others opinions and comments tell you how you should care for your child. You know whats best for them since you will be the only one to know them inside and out.
- It’s ok to not be ok and ask for help you can’t do it all!
We all struggle, especially after having our first child. It is such a huge change in our lives that we feel like we are living alone. Please don’t feel that way! If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend or family member, there are amazing Facebook groups out there that bring moms together, safe places where moms can ask for help and tips without judgement. I recently joined a group that I have witnessed such support for one another in. If you are local and would like to join that group here is the link: Real Moms of 978
If you ever find yourself feeling alone, I am here. And I am sure many moms on my Facebook page are also there for you. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. Thank you to all the local mommas out there that helped with these tips. I appreciate you all so much!