After this week’s happy news of the royal newborn Prince to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it was a shame to hear of criticism for the new mum. She appeared on the steps of the hospital with her husband and newborn son, yet many criticised her smartness and choice of clothes. All I saw was the love and pure joy she had, together with her husband, for the birth of their new son.
I thought back to the scene of the birth of our daughter. Was I immaculately turned out and hair freshly done? (No, I wore an old nightie and my hair was tied back in a ponytail). Was I wearing heels? (No, I wore my comfiest slippers). Would it matter if I was? Not at all. My body, my life, my choice. Just like Kate’s. Is this the most important thing to be discussing or even thinking about? No, let’s just think about what the mother and baby both want and need. Let’s concentrate on staying healthy, happy and showing love.
First of all, you probably don’t want to be quaffing champagne right now. At a guess, you will be very pleased to receive a cup of tea and a slice of toast. You’ve just done one of the most strenuous, amazing, rewarding things in your life. High fives and hugs all round, but you probably won’t want to be cracking the flutes out the cupboard just yet.
The first few days will be full of love, wonder and bloody hard work. Mostly filled with cuddling your baby, endless feeding and changing and settling back down to life with another member of the family.
The baby has finally arrived! What next?
As a parent, everyone is keen to give you lots of advice. The one thing to remember is that people can give all the advice they want to give (and it probably will be well-meant) but YOU are the parent. You do what you feel is best for you and your family. The way I try to deal with advice is to take it all in, and just take the tips I feel best adheres to my needs / wants / beliefs and go from there. In this blog, I wanted to share some of those tips with you.
Surviving the newborn days
- Don’t be scared! Motherhood is fab. And hard. And everything else.
- Don’t buy anything but baby-grows for the first 3 months. No matter how cute the little outfits are its just not worth it!
- Breast fed, bottle fed or tube fed. Fed is best.
- You will cry A LOT in the first few weeks after birth! You will think that you have totally lost it on Day 3.
- Remember everyone does things differently it’s not a reflection on if you’re right or wrong.
- If you think you have postnatal depression, then it’s absolutely worth a chat with your health visitor, midwife or GP. There are also charities such as The Pandas Foundation who will listen and support you.
- Just go with the flow. You won’t know what’s hit you. Just go with it.
- Enjoy the sleepy snuggles. They don’t stay small for long. Before you know it, they will be toddlers (who then come with entirely different challenges in the form of tantrums!)
As I say, every parent is different and I asked some other mummy bloggers on their tips for enjoying the first days with their newborns, this is what they said:
What do others say?
- Gail (Yammy Mommy) – Enjoy it, even the night feeds and the bits where you feel clueless. I so miss the newborn stage. For me it was magical.
- Polly (Our Seaside Baby) – Take your time! Take things slow, take time with breastfeeding, limit visitors for the first few days, lower your expectations about getting things done and just enjoy those early days with your newborn.
- Michelle (All things baby and me) – The amazing benefits of skin to skin.
- Becky (Mommy and Rory) – Spend plenty of time at home in your pj’s. Don’t rush to leave the house. When you’re ready, let people come to you.
- Irina (Wave to Mummy) – Don’t be afraid to say no to too eager visitors, try to relax and stay at home as much as possible and use delivery services.
- Alex (Better Together Home) – I would recommend spending some time getting things organised to prepare for the first few weeks – things like preparing meals in advance and freezing them, stocking up on loo roll and household essentials – the kinds of things you really don’t want to run out of when you are stuck home with a newborn!
- Emma Reed – To just enjoy it all. Relax and forget about the housework, chores, washing etc. Take in those lovely first days and soak up the baby newness. Everyone tells you it gets easier but I personally found those first few weeks the easiest because it is bliss holding a newborn. If someone offers help, take it. Let them make you those cuppas and run your errands.
- Sarah (Mummy Cat Notes) – Don’t listen to any unwanted advice people feel the need to share, let yourself learn how to do things and develop your own parenting style.
The most valuable piece of advice, and one which I would tell ANY new mother is:
Take it easy and feel the loveNo matter what ANYONE recommends or tells you, do whatever works for you. No judgement. Just do whatever works for you, even if that changes constantly. Every parent and every child are different. There will be lots of different challenges in every stage of childhood, from babies, toddlers, young children, tweens to teenagers (helping girls navigate their periods and helping boys to start shaving springs to mind!) and lots of things to consider. Cherish every moment and do what you feel is right for you and your family. Most of all, enjoy!
What would be your top tip for new mums? Please share using the comments box below or join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Let’s keep on celebrating new mums and negate the judgement. Every mum has her own story, own attitude and is making her own decisions whilst navigating the crazy world of parenthood. We should celebrate that and support each other along the way. Wouldn’t you agree?