Being a new mother, and bringing your baby home is a blissful experience. The joy of your little one smiling at you and calling you ‘mama’ is probably one of the most special human experiences.
But nurturing this new life is a 24-hour job that can leave parents, especially new moms, exhausted. Ensuring that you and your little bundle of joy are well fed and well slept is a bigger challenge than it sounds. At times, you can feel lost in this unfamiliar land of motherhood but with each step, you become a more equipped mom. Eventually, all the chaos and I-don’t-know-what-to-do moments will pass away and your journey will be worth it. Here’s an outline of some of the challenges that every new mother faces and a few tips to cope with them.
Your Mental Health Matters
When it gets to taking care of your newborn, self-care often takes a backseat. Your entire life becomes centred around your child, but along with that, you also need to look after your own emotional wellbeing. Remember:
- Your baby can sense your worries. So, the healthier you are mentally, the better it will be for your child.
- You need to be patient with the process and let your mind adapt to these changes of being a new parent. All this positive energy will automatically reflect in your little one.
- During the initial weeks, if you don’t instantly bond with the baby, do know that it is completely okay. You just need to give yourself time to get accustomed and comfortable in your new role. The process of bonding is different for every mother and baby, and it doesn't come with a time limit.
Apart from the above said emotional issues, if you experience bouts of sadness, prolonged irritable mood, difficulty in concentrating, or lack of interest in your hobbies, it’s best to consult a doctor. It may be a sign of postpartum blues, a very common condition, observed in up to 75% of new moms globally. However, with the right medical guidance, you can easily overcome it.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
A long string of sleepless nights and the confusion of not knowing what to do is how parenthood looks like during the initial couple of years. But it is important that you and your partner look after each other through this. It is imperative that you catch up on your sleep at any chance you get. Share work between the two of you: when you’re tending to the baby, your partner can help clean up and organize the house, or prepare a meal. It is the little things that will put you at ease. Create a system so that both of you can enjoy the process of being parents.
The Biggest Challenge
One thing all moms will agree with is that nursing a baby is not an easy task. It is something that requires tremendous amounts of patience, planning and perseverance. Remember that you are not used to this new role and if you think about it, neither is your baby. With breastfeeding, a host of complications come into the picture, such as latching issues, low lactation, and all sorts of pain.
However, using a breast pump can help you overcome these and be your true breastfeeding ally. Today’s moms love using these, especially working moms who need to strike a balance between parenting and work. If you are one of them, you will definitely agree that breastfeeding can sometimes get tiring and difficult to manage, especially when you’re not in the privacy of your own home. This new-age Breast Pump is so convenient to carry around, owing to its small size. On top of it, it barely makes any sound. You don’t even have to worry about the mess of wires as it comes with rechargeable batteries. You can consider storing breast milk for later so that your partner or helper can feed the baby.
If you have breastfeeding troubles that you can’t solve yourself, we recommend you to see a lactation consultant or a more experienced fellow mother who might also have gone through the same issues as you. You must talk it out with the one(s) you trust so that you can identify the problems and work towards solving them. Tackling the breastfeeding issues early on is vital because WHO recommends that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Breast milk is the safest and healthiest food for your baby. It gives them all the nutrients they need and protects them against a host of childhood illnesses.
Knowing Your Little One
One thing that doesn’t get talked about a lot is the challenge of figuring out what your baby wants. Obviously, your newborn will never validate you in words for cleaning their face or giving them a toy. Neither will they tell you whether they want food from you or some warmth. They will only cry and you’re supposed to figure intuitively what they might need. But trust us when we say this: Your intuition with respect to your baby’s needs will keep getting better with time. Gradually, you’ll identify patterns, consciously as well as subconsciously, and get acquainted with your baby’s unique expressions. And this is no less than a superpower!
The Me-Time Hack
Another common question moms find themselves asking is: What about my ‘Me time’? Well, there is no need to be disappointed! You can still have your Me-time with a baby next to you.
- One advice towards finding your Me-Time is to make the most out of the time when the baby is asleep. This is the best time for you to get the stuff done which you had been putting off.
- Do what makes you feel the most relaxed. Read a book, give yourself a manicure, or catch up on your favourite TV show.
- Don’t overburden yourself and remember that your partner is equally with you in this journey.
- Take turns to watch the baby and don’t forget to spend some time with each other and plan your date nights.
- Find a babysitter or someone you trust, like a family member or a friend who will agree to watch the baby for the time you’ll be away.
- Another step towards achieving the desired Me-time is to do the Venn diagram exercise. Here’s how you can do it yourself:
- Make 2 overlapping circles of the same size.
- On the left circle, list down the activities, traits and feelings that you loved about your pre-mom-self.
- On the right, list out the activities, traits and feelings that you recognize in yourself as a new mom.
- Now, look for the areas where you see an overlap. Or more importantly, figure out where you can create overlap and jot those down in the middle.
Putting out your thoughts on paper is an excellent way to bring them to the surface and commit to taking action. These are small steps to find yourself and rewire your thoughts into positive ones. Soon enough, the person you will find will be even better than the one you so fondly remember.
Being a mother is an inexplicable feeling. It comes with its challenges, but nothing compares to seeing a healthy and happy baby next to you. At Vkaire, we aim to be your true helping hand in this journey by providing you nothing but the best in baby care. With research from leading paediatricians and insights by real moms, we craft thoughtfully designed products with modern aesthetics. We are built on the belief that organic fabrics nurture the sensitive skin of the babies with super soft purity while caring for mother earth too at the same time.
We hope that reading this guide made you feel somewhat relieved and a lot less alienated in this new journey of motherhood. In no time, you will see yourself being a pro at this, with a blessing in your arms. Send this to your friends who are also new mothers and might find it useful. Let them know that they are not alone!