I visited my hometown, Tallahassee, last year for the first time in many years. I was visiting for an old friend from high school’s baby shower. While I was there I took photos of another friend and her new baby...
February 21, 2023
Welcoming a newborn into the world can be one of the most exciting times for new parents. However, the first few weeks with a newborn can also be challenging and overwhelming, especially for new mothers. When preparing for a newborn, it is crucial for the mother to have adequate support to ensure a smooth transition into parenthood. Here are some tips on preparing for a newborn and make sure the mother is supported.
Sleep deprivation can take a toll on new mothers. As much as it is tempting to catch up on housework or check emails during the baby’s nap time, it is important for the mother to prioritize rest. As Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, authors of “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk,” advise, “Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”
Many friends and family members are eager to help new parents, but they may not know how to offer support. As Maya Angelou once said, “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” Accepting help can make a world of difference in the mother’s well-being and the family’s adjustment to a newborn.
Taking care of a newborn can make it easy for new mothers to forget about their own self-care. However, it is important for mothers to prioritize their well-being as well. As Eleanor Brown said, “Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Simple acts of self-care such as taking a warm bath or reading a book can go a long way in supporting the mother’s physical and emotional health.
Establishing a routine can help new parents feel more in control during a time of adjustment. As Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project,” advises, “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” A routine can help the mother and the family get into a rhythm and feel more comfortable with the new addition.
New mothers often have high expectations of themselves, but it is important to remember that parenting is a learning process. As author Anne Lamott wisely noted, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” Giving oneself grace and allowing room for mistakes can help alleviate some of the pressure.
When preparing for a newborn, having a plan for connection is a must. Connecting with other new mothers can provide a sense of community and support. As the African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Joining a parenting group or attending a new mother support group can help the mother feel less alone in her experiences.
Taking breaks from caring for the baby can help the mother recharge. As Anne Morrow Lindbergh once said, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d druther not.” Taking a walk outside or having a cup of tea with a friend can help the mother take a step back from parenting responsibilities.
The first few weeks with a newborn can put a strain on a couple’s relationship. As John Gottman, author of “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” suggests, “In a stable relationship, each partner is responsive to the other’s needs in a way that fosters closeness and emotional connection.” Communicating openly and respectfully with one’s partner can help alleviate some of the stress of parenthood.
Postpartum depression affects many new mothers, and it is important to seek professional help if the mother is struggling with her mental health. As author and activist Glennon Doyle said, “Asking for help is not giving up. It is refusing to give up.” Seeking professional help can help the mother address any mental health concerns and ensure her well-being.
In conclusion, preparing for a newborn can be daunting, but with the right support and mindset, new mothers can navigate this time with confidence. By prioritizing rest, accepting help, establishing a routine, and seeking self-care, new mothers can support their physical and emotional health. Connecting with other mothers, communicating with one’s partner, and seeking professional help if needed can also provide crucial support during this time. As author Elizabeth Stone once said, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” With the right support and care, new mothers can make this decision with confidence and love.