Adjusting to Being a New Mom

Tips to ease your adjustment to being a new mom:

• Plan Ahead. Most new parents say that the evening meal time is the most difficult time of the day. While still pregnant, prepare and freeze some meals that will only need heating up. This can make meal times much less hectic in the first couple of weeks.

Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for occasional help.• If possible, invite a friend or family member to spend the first week or so at home with you. This person’s job should be to take care of household tasks. That is better for you than letting others take care of your baby while you do household tasks. If you prefer not to have anyone stay, don’t be afraid to ask for occasional help. If friends or family are willing, let them bring over a few meals or do the laundry or shopping.

• Stay in a robe or nightgown for the first week at home. This reminds you and others in your home that you are giving yourself time to recover. Be good to yourself — let unimportant things wait! Rest when your baby does.

• Take the phone off the hook and turn off the cell phone during rest periods.

• Limit visitors for at least the first 2 weeks. It is fun to have others admire your baby with you — but it is also tiring for both you and your baby.

• Fathers can be as good at caring for a baby as mothers, but men need a chance to learn, just as women do. Let dad do things his way — as long as your baby is safe. New mothers hate having someone watching and giving advice every moment — so do new fathers.

• If you find yourself feeling down or getting angry with your baby, look for help. Never pick up your baby when you are angry. Give yourself time . . .count to 20 slowly, wait until you can pick your baby up gently and lovingly. If you are having a very hard time and are afraid you might hurt your baby, call for help. Many communities have crisis counseling that you can call 24 hours a day. Looking for and getting help is so much better than trying to go it alone — and is a sign of the loving parent you are working to become.

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Mother cooing newborn.

To learn more see our Pregnancy Guide

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