Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Tips for New Mums

Can you tell I didn't have access to straighteners in hospital?

Becoming a mum for the first time can be an exciting and daunting experience. Your pregnancy days fill you with worry from that very moment you take that pregnancy test and gives you that positive result you have been hoping to see. Those first, crucial 12 weeks being the upmost worse whilst you wait for your first scan to tell you your little speck is okay and wiggling about in there. The worry doesn't even stop when you have your baby in your arms, you lean over your baby's crib to check they're still breathing, if they're warm enough etc. You have to learn to adapt to a new sleeping pattern, discover what each of your child's cries means, maintain your house for when guests come round to prove you are coping. It can all get a bit much, especially if you have little or no baby experience. 

Being the eldest of twelve grandchildren on my mum's side of the family means I have always grown up around babies. At the age of 15, my parents had two little surprises in the form of twin boys, meaning I had the opportunity to practice changing nappies and all the fun of cuddling little ones with the pleasure of giving them back when they cried! 

Aren't they fab? (Even if this was taken 3 years ago so they look dead young!)
When people asked me if I was nervous about becoming a mum, my answer was always no. I realised I was very lucky in the fact I had a very big family with a lot of younger siblings and cousins to give me that bit of experience before I became a mum to my own little bundle of joy. Now I'm not saying I'm a baby expert, far from it! I Google like the best of us and always refer to my family for some advice, but I want to share my experience and tips for all your new mums out there.

This is one thing that is hammered into expectant mothers everywhere, yes, breast is best, but if you cannot do it, do no worry. Hospitals are unable to tell you if it is realistic or not for you to breastfeed because they have to promote it. George was a 9lb 14oz baby, with a slight tongue tie and he couldn't latch on. After trying it a few times, I decided it would be best to put him on the bottle. You have to do what is best for you and your baby. 

Whilst getting advice from other people is important and can be beneficial, nobody should EVER tell a new mum what to do. You will soon find your own routine and only you know your baby better than anyone. There is too much pressure on mothers on how to raise their child, nod along to those people and do what you want to do. 

I have a lot of family so we had visitors almost every day when George was born, which didn't bother me at all, even though I was pretty exhausted. I enjoyed the company and the fact people wanted to come and see this little human that I had created, I wanted to show him off because I was proud. Not everyone is that way inclined, some parents just want time to themselves with their newborn and that is okay. If you want time alone, people will understand! 

Okay, this one comes very naturally to me because I hate tidying up, but your house is in no rush for a polish or a vac! Take your time to recover, leave the washing for another day, spend a day on the couch cuddling your baby. It takes a while to adapt to the sleepless nights whilst dealing with the demands of a newborn, so when your baby sleeps, don't feel pressured to tidy up. Have a sleep yourself.

Babies pick up on the atmosphere around them, so remember, if you feel stressed your baby will also be stressed. Go through these steps: is he hungry? is he tired? does he have wind? does he need his nappy changing? These will eliminate most of your baby's needs. If your baby is still crying they may suffer from colic and I highly recommend Infacol. You just give it to your baby before each feed and it helps them bring wind up and reduces the risk of colic. It's great! 

Being a first time mum is a complete learning curve for us all and is the best thing that can happen to a person. It can be stressful at times (especially when it comes to the dreaded teething stage) but it's something to be enjoyed and with these tips, I hope you can reduce some of the new mum stress in your life.

Rachael xo


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