Guest Post – 8 Tips For a New Mom

Motherhood to me is one of life's biggest blessings!  Becoming a parent is a special, life changing time in your life that's filled with unmistakeable joy, nervous anticipation, & an array of parenting styles. Regardless of the temperament of your baby or how you desire to parent, I'd love to share 8 pieces of advice that I learned and found helpful as a new mom, that I believe every new mom can benefit from knowing.

1)Rest when the baby rests. You may find it difficult to take a nap in the middle of the day but do try to at least allow yourself some extra time to lay down and rest even if you don't actually sleep. Excitement and adrenaline will keep you going in the beginning, but will wear off in time as exhaustion kicks in. It's important to take care of yourself too.

2) If you are breast feeding, you may find yourself feeling more hungry and thirsty then usual. This is completely ok and very normal. Pour yourself a big glass of water and grab a protein rich snack before sitting down to nurse. It can be easy to forget to eat and drink as your busy adjusting to your new role as a momma:)

3) You may or may not have heard of the 4th trimester. This is basically the idea that the first 3 months of life are an extension of being in the womb. Your baby has never known hunger, was always rocked and could always hear mom's heartbeat. This is why adjusting to life outside the womb & scheduling a baby can take some time.  Snuggle and love on your little one as you learn from one another. Over time you will learn your baby's cues and your baby will become more comfortable in their new surroundings, helping you both feeling more confident and secure. 

4) Helping to soothe and calm your newborn can be difficult at times.  Think about the songs, music, and voices your baby heard while still in the womb. You may very well find that the same songs or genre of music you played or sang while you were pregnant are the same ones that calm your baby now.

5) Remember, night time is exactly that- night time. When your baby wakes during the night to eat, keep the lights dim, only turning on enough light to see as you change their diaper and feed them. Avoid unneeded stimulation by keeping the bright tv off and avoiding talking and interacting with them. Doing this from day one helps newborns get their days and nights in order much more quickly. There is plenty of time during the day time hours to engage and talk to your baby.

6) Allow extra time to accomplish daily tasks and outings. Babies are notorious for needing a diaper change when you're walking out the door or for spitting up on you as soon as you get to the store. Keep extra diapers, wipes and a clean shirt for yourself in the car, diaper bag, and purse while also giving yourself an extra 20 minute buffer when scheduling to help alleviate extra stress:)

7) Take family members and friends up on their offer to help, but make sure it's the type of assistance that's helpful for you and not more work. A friend coming over to ooooo & ahhhh over the baby while you clean and cook may or may not be the best choice of helping. Consider letting them cook, bring you a meal, unload your dishwasher or vacuuming your floors (if you're comfortable with that).  And if they are loving on your little one maybe consider taking a peaceful hot shower.

8) Don't forget, every baby is unique and special. Some sleep a lot, while others like to be awake. Some babies are fussier then others and some like to be swaddled while others prefer to be free. What works for your friend and her baby, may or may not work for you, and that's perfectly okay! Friends and family will offer a wealth of suggestions and advice, some helpful and some not so helpful. Try different things and be open minded, but ultimately you need to do what works best for YOU and YOUR BABY.

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Hi, my name is Bonnie and I am a happily married momma to 2 children; Keaton (5yrs) & Reese (3yrs). My husband Kevin and I live in western Palm Beach County in Wellington, Fl.  In addition to being a wife & momma, I am also a Birth & Postpartum Doula. Pregnancy, childbirth & newborns have always been a huge passion of mine and I truly love being able to help provide support & knowledge to women during their pregnancies and labor, while helping them have the birth experience they most desire.  Additionally I also am passionate about providing support to families during the transition of bringing their newborn home in those initial weeks after birth.

Bonnie Kelly
Birth Starts With Believing
birth & postpartum doula

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