Tips and Advice for New Moms
Becoming a new mother is an exciting experience that comes with quite a learning curve. Many new mothers turn to other mothers for tips and advice on raising their babies. Every mother’s experience is unique, and together they all offer a wealth of knowledge to help others adjust to motherhood.
When first starting to breastfeed, many new moms find that they’re nervous. You may worry that your baby isn’t latching on well or they aren’t getting enough to eat. Your body is also going through a lot of change during this time which can add additional stress.
Breastfeeding should be comfortable for both you and your baby. Try to find a position that works well for you, such as lying down or reclining in a chair. Being comfortable and relaxed can help breastfeeding go more smoothly.
It’s easy focus on your baby but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Your nipples and the surrounding skin can become irritated or dry, so keep the skin clean and moisturize often. Make sure to take a few minutes before and after breastfeeding as well to check in with yourself and decompress. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many women ask the nurses and the lactation consultant in the hospital for breastfeeding advice.
Newborn babies need between 14 to 17 hours of sleep every day, and some may sleep even more1. In the beginning, it’s difficult to establish a set sleep schedule, especially when breastfeeding.
Keeping a bedtime routine can help your baby develop a feeding and sleeping schedule. It usually takes a few weeks to a few months for them to settle in. Jennifer, a mother of 3, shares her nighttime routine: “I established a routine with a warm bath, bottle, and snuggles, and then put them down to sleep each night.”
Keeping your baby away from television screens can also help prevent overstimulation that interferes with their sleep2. When waking up for late-night feedings, try to keep the lights low or off and stay quiet to let them know it’s still nighttime.
Dealing With the Postpartum Blues
If you find yourself experiencing the postpartum blues or the “baby blues,” you’re not alone. In fact, these feelings affect almost 80 percent of new moms3. You may find yourself feeling more grumpy or impatient than usual, or you may feel sad or cry for what feels like no reason. These feelings are caused by hormonal changes after pregnancy, along with the stress of having a new baby.
If you find yourself dealing with the baby blues, be sure to get as much sleep as possible. Marianne, a long-time mother suggests, “Sleep when the baby sleeps, especially in the afternoon. Housework can wait!” If you feel comfortable, ask your partner, friends, or family to watch the baby so you can take a walk outside or a drive for some alone time. New mother groups are also a great way to talk with other women going through the same experiences.
If you notice you’re still experiencing the blues a few weeks after your baby is born, talk to your doctor. You may be experiencing a more serious condition known as postpartum depression4.
- Nemours KidsHealth. Sleep and Your Newborn. July 2022. Accessed on October 11, 2022. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleepnewborn.html
- Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. Should Your Baby Have a Bedtime Routine? August 23, 2022. Accessed on October 11, 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/bedtime-routine-for-babies/
- March of Dimes. Baby Blues After Pregnancy. May 2021. Accessed on October 11, 2022. https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/baby-blues-after-pregnancy.aspx#
- Office on Women’s Health. Postpartum depression. February 17, 2021. Accessed on October 11, 2022. https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/postpartum-depression