Hello there! Today I will go back in time and reflect on my first few days as a mum on a friend’s request.
Having a baby is wonderful, it changes your life and will bring joy into it. Sometimes though, being a first time mum can be overwhelming and the lack of experience is frightening for many of us. I was one of these mums, panicky and insecure, until I discovered few tricks that worked really well for me.
Being a first time mum, and not only, you can receive a lot of help if you only ask for it. From midwives, lactation specialists, health visitors, GP, children’s centre, to family and friends, you can get the most, if you ask. As when I gave birth to Ari, it was only me and my husband to look after her, and both of us were clueless, so I asked all the daft questions I had to anyone I thought can help.
I preferred to be sure than insecure when it came down to her well being. Not even one health professional made me feel stupid for asking, they even encouraged me to seek further help if my maternal instinct is saying something is wrong. If you have friends and family nearby ask them to help you looking after baby or with the house chores. As me and Andrei were alone and not really having friends checking on us at that time, I relied on him and he relied on me. We made a plan that worked for the both of us and shared tasks and responsibilities equally to get on top of things.
Remember though, nothing is more important than you and baby. Get plenty of rest and don’t force yourself to do everything on your own as this will only make you more tired and angry. House chores can wait, any visitors will understand if you haven’t hovered that morning and a tower of dishes are still in the sink.
Get to know your baby
Bonding with your baby is so important for the both of you, even for the three of you. Spending as much time as possible with your baby will help you understand her needs and how to satisfy them, will make baby happy and your household harmonious. Your partner needs to do the effort as well, although most dads prefer to get involved more when baby is a bit stronger, around 3-4 months, under the excuse “you spend more time with her and you know what to do”, “she’s so delicate, don’t want to break her”. Skin-to-skin contact is one of the most important things you have to do, as it reassures the baby and makes her feel safe. Babies also like to be talked with, singed to. A cuddle or a massage before bedtime is also a great way of connecting and bonding.
Crying is a way of communicating
Babies cry a lot, but what I noticed with Arianna is that she always had a reason for her cry. Usually it meant that she is hungry, tired, needing changing or unwell. First few days at home have been marvellous, but horrific in the same time. Baby was crying a lot, not getting enough to eat as my milk didn’t come until after few days, she was hungry and grumpy. As a result, she cried a lot. It was terrifying and I felt as the worst mum, not being able to figure out what I need to do and what she needs. But you learn, and soon everything will be so much easier.
As first time parents, cut yourself some slack. You’ll figure the whole parenting stuff in no time, but don’t forget to take one day at a time and enjoy the little moments.
Share any of your advice in the comments area and let’s help the first time parents not to feel alone!