So the baby is here! Your super excited, everyone is excited! You are totally in love. The 1st few days are a whirlwind. Whether you had a natural birth or a C-section, you are trying to heal your body while caring for a newborn. If you are breastfeeding you are going through a whole other set of pain getting used to the process. If you are formula feeding you may feel guilt or inadequacies because you aren’t breastfeeding. My point?? It’s soooo hard!!!
As a new mom, it is so easy to feel alone and isolated. It starts off as just the baby blues but can easily become something all-consuming. I write this BLOG for the friends and family of a new mom. Yes, we all love spending time with an adorable newborn. But are you checking in with your daughter, friend, spouse or cousin? Below I have listed 5 questions to ask your loved one after she’s had a baby!
How was your birth experience? Asking this question will reveal any traumas that may have been suffered by the mother while giving birth, such as emergency C-sections or scary NICU visits. Often times a new mom will develop postpartum even PTSD associated with her birth story.
Are you getting enough sleep? The answer is always no, for the obvious reasons, but this is the perfect opportunity to offer your services as a friend or sister! Suggest a nap for the new mom while you watch the baby for a couple of hours. Trust me she will be brought to tears by your generosity!
How is breastfeeding/formula feeding going for you? I love this question and have gotten it already from a few people. It sucks at first and It is very painful! This is the perfect opportunity for encouraging words because it does get better and does get easier if you stick to it. Each mother’s journey is different but all breastfeeding moms have tips, tricks, and advice to encourage successful breastfeeding! If a new mom formula feeding she may have negative feelings about herself due to the whole “breast is best” campaign which is pushed heavily in hospitals after giving birth. Remind her that a fed baby is a happy baby, and there is no shame in formula feeding.
How are you healing after birth?! There are so many things that happen during birth and when it’s said and done you will be left thinking… whew! I wish someone told me about that! There are some major things that a new mom may be healing from, such as a c-section or a 3rd-degree tear, both are super painful. This is again a great opportunity to offer yourself as the errand person or go-for so that your friend, the new mom, can sit with a witch hazel pop to help with the pain! Also if you have healing and recovery hacks, bring it on! When it was suggested to me to use Depends disposable undies instead of skateboard sized maxi pads… it changed my whole life!
When can we meet for lunch/coffee/quality time?! Honestly, I love this one, because yes, life has changed, but as a new mom, you still need meaningful human contact outside of our newborns. It feels so good to look forward to something, with a friend or loved one, especially when they reach out with the purpose of seeing me!
Motherhood oftentimes is not what you imagined it to be, it is so important for you to set realistic expectations. Things are not going to be perfect, set simple goals for yourself, even if it’s taking a shower… I know it took great effort for me to actually allow myself the time to do this the 1st few days, again, this is where your support system comes in.
I feel really blessed to have a stable of incredibly supportive women in my life who have rallied around me to make sure I am healthy both mentally and physically. In them, I have found a safe place to discuss any struggles I might be going through without judgment, and they are always checking on me to make sure I am good.
If you are struggling after having your baby and do not have someone to talk below are some resources for you to find the support that you need. You do not have to go through this alone!