New motherhood is not for the faint of heart. From the overwhelming exhaustion to the unexpected mood swings to endless diaper changes, it takes a lot to be a mom. Here are a few tips to help you survive new motherhood.
- Make sleep a priority. I know it seems like an impossible dream, but it’s so important to try to get your 8 hours. Leave the laundry. Leave the dishes. Enlist the help of family and friends. Let baby sleep on your chest if necessary (I did). Do whatever it takes to get as much sleep as you can! If you’re having a difficult time getting baby to sleep take a look at Dr. Harvey Karp's book, Happiest Baby on the Block. It’s a lifesaver!
- Eat well. Don’t let good nutrition go by the way side. You need to keep up your strength to care for yourself and your baby. When people ask how they can help let them shop and cook for you. If that’s not possible use Fresh Direct or another delivery service, but make sure you keep plenty of nutritious food at the ready.
- Get outside. Sunlight is a great mood lifter. Go for a walk. Go to park (a great way to meet other moms). Just get out in the sun!
- Do some social networking. Going online to connect is a great option for new moms with very limited and irregular downtime. With everything from mommy blogs to support groups, there are so many sources of support and information for moms online. Take a look at cafemom.com, postpartumprogress.com or blogher.com. I also highly recommend the podcast, longestshortesttime.com.
- Get exercise. It’s been said again and again, exercise is so important to maintain good health. Exercise for a new mom is particularly helpful. It improves your mood, allows you to do something for yourself and helps reacquaint you with your body. There are many stroller walking/jogging mom groups to join. Check out The Ultimate Fitness Routine for Moms. In addition, many gyms offer childcare services starting as early as 3 months. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Get support. Whether it’s family, friends, a mom’s group or a counselor every mom needs support. Ask your pediatrician or OB for local resources.
If the suggestions above feel impossible or too overwhelming contact me for an individual support session. You don't have to suffer alone.