First-time moms have a lot on their platter right from conceiving their babies till the delivery and even after it! During this period, they are also bombarded with endless old wives’ tales and unsolicited advice from their parents, relatives and friends. While they mean no harm, it can be a bit stressful to listen to the bulk of advice and follow them to the T, especially when you are struggling with hormones or a newborn in tow.
First things first. You need to do is calm down and breathe in and breathe out. Follow this by reading the following pointers, which will help you ace at being a first-time mom.
Before the baby’s arrival
- 1. Don’t rely on Google for nearly everything – In a world that is connected by the internet, it is nearly impossible NOT to come across tips and tricks, which sound scarier than they are in real life. This often happens when you Google certain things, especially when you want to decipher the meanings of cravings or want to look up why your baby isn’t doing something that it definitely should. Remember, the search engine can’t diagnose the exact thing that is going on with you and your baby, which is when, a simple headache will turn out to be a migraine and worry you endlessly.
Be on the safe side and always trust your physician over Google in case you have a doubt about something.
- 2. Sleep as much as possible – When you are expecting, make it a point to sleep as much as you can. This is because when the baby arrives, you will not get to sleep at a stretch. Also, sleeping and taking ample rest works as a stress buster during pregnancy. So, as and when you get the chance, hit the snooze button and catch some ‘zzzs’. This will make you feel refreshed and more energetic.
- 3. Don’t eat for two – An old wives’ tale, eating for two is said to be the most common bit of advice that every new-mom gets. But indulging in high-calorie food, including your cravings can add to the excess weight, something that you wouldn’t be proud of later. Therefore, don’t pay any heed to anyone who asks you to have food for you and your baby. Instead, eat your fill and opt for healthy alternatives, when you get the cravings.
- 4. You can prevent stretch marks – Stretch marks are a part and parcel of pregnancy and it depends upon a variety of factors. However, you can’t escape them. Luckily, there are ways through which you can easily prevent stretch marks from forming. These include using a stretch-marks prevention lotion and becoming aware about the formation of these marks. By preventing the stretch marks from becoming a part of you, you can wear your favorite outfits post-delivery, without any ‘stretch marks shaming’.
- 5. Never shop in advance – 5.Maternity clothes shopping can be frustrating. If you like something, you may not get it in your size. Or something that is available in your size, doesn’t appeal you enough to add it in the shopping cart. What you can do instead is stock up on plus size clothing each semester. But never buy any clothing in advance as you will not be able to guess how much will your tummy stretch in each semester and eventually, the outfit will be too small for you.
Also, when you go maternity clothes shopping, place comfort over style. For instance, opt for a loose t-shirt that looks very yesteryears but is immensely comfortable, instead of a t-shirt that fits you but has no room for stretching. Another alternative is to get your maternity clothes stitched from a good tailor and follow some tips to look fashionable without spending truckloads of money for a few pairs of clothes that you won’t need after your baby is born.
- 6. Take care of yourself first – As much as it is important to take care of your baby growing in your womb, it is equally important for you to take care of yourself. Here are some of the things that should be on your list as a first-time mom:
- Take prenatal vitamins on time
- Go for regular checkups
- Exercise regularly
- Start a new hobby or join a class to kill boredom
- Ask for help from friends and relatives when you need it
- Eat healthy and take as much rest as you can
- Pamper yourself with spas and massages
- Take a break from work and enjoy motherhood to the fullest
To cut a long story short, don’t push yourself too hard in being the perfect mother or juggling more work than you can manage!
After the baby arrives
- 1. Know that the baby will need a lot of sleep and food – Babies can sleep up to 20 hours a day a few weeks after they are born. But then, this is not at a stretch. Similarly, they also need to be fed more often. This cycle of sleeping and feeding will continue for some time. So, be prepared to make changes in your existing schedule. Also, be ready for exceptions, because most probably, they will be there!
- 2. Know why your baby is crying – This is another essential that all first-time moms should take care of.
The first reason why your newborn maybe crying is hunger or thirst. If this is not the case, immediately check the diaper. If the crying still persists, you might want to wrap them snugly in a comfortable blanket that secures them tightly. Pacify them by holding them and walking around the house or take them to a quick drive around the neighborhood. You can also try to distract them with toys.
- 3. Maintain hygiene – Maintaining hygiene becomes all the more important when you have a baby in the house. To begin with, start washing your hands more often than you used to do before, keep the home and the surroundings clean, wash toys before giving them to the baby, clean the nursery at every opportunity that you get, make all the visitors wash their hands before touching the baby and so on and so forth. Here’s a detailed guide of maintaining hygiene when you have a newborn to look after.
- 4. Ask for help if needed – Motherhood can get stressful at times and you may need someone to counsel you or lend you a helping hand on some of the days, when you just can’t. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a close friend or family member. Most of them will love to babysit or help you with some of the chores. You can always return the favor someday!
- 5. Remember, all days are not same – As a new mom, it is also important for you to learn a few things and one of them is the fact that all the days will never be the same. You have to be prepared for everything.
For instance, your baby may decide to stay up all night and then sleep the entire day. Or maybe, they may get playful with your phone and throw it from the crib. You have to put up a brave front in such cases and keep a level head and go with the flow. Eventually, with experience, you’ll become great at parenting. But first, it is important to hang in there!
These are some of the ways you can ace at being a first-time mom, although there are many more tips that can be added to this list. Keep watching this space for more such tips on parenting.