Transitioning from pregnancy to motherhood is one of the more jarring and intense changes a woman can experience. You have a new little life to care for, snuggle and protect. Although it’s undoubtedly exciting, getting used to motherhood is not easy. If you feel alone in the struggle, just know you’re not. These are some common things women struggle with as new moms:
What kind of products to buy
Lots of new moms struggle with all of the information out there about which products are best. Organic, natural, inexpensive, sustainable…the list goes on and on. While the choice to buy organic or generic baby lotion might not be a big one, the choice to choose disposable versus cloth diapers is a big one. After all, changing diapers is a big part of taking care of a baby!
There are lots of reasons why you should cloth diaper. We like the eco-friendliness of not throwing away thousands of diapers in your baby’s lifetime. It’s also a lot easier on your budget! Not to mention, you won’t be exposing your baby’s sensitive skin to irritants, chemicals and bleaches if you choose to cloth diaper.
Whatever choices you decide to make for your baby, always remember you know what’s best for your family.
Will I ever sleep again?
It sure feels like those first few weeks and months are going to be an indication of the rest of your life. You’re getting up every few hours for feedings and changings. Your baby can’t tell the difference between night and day. Everything is foggy. Will it ever end? The answer is YES. Don’t forget that the first few weeks of a newborn’s life are an adjustment to this new world. Soon they’ll be sleeping through the night, and in turn, you will be too. Take naps when you can. Enlist family or friends to help with your little one so you can catch up on sleep.
Even though your world has changed so much in the first few weeks and months following your child’s birth, these can be magical, beautiful moments. Savor the good and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Taking “me” time
You’ve just been given a new lifetime of responsibility in the form of a little baby. That’s a lot of pressure if you stop to think about it. It feels like you’ll never have alone time or “me” time ever again. While it might feel that way in the first few weeks, you’ll find things start to become more natural and take less of your effort and time. However, it’s easy to assume this free time will just fall into your lap, but that’s typically not the case. You will need to set aside time in your day or week for this “me” time. Arrange for your husband, friend, mother or family to watch your baby while you take a nice, hot shower. Read a little. Take a nap.
Choosing to work or stay home
Although you might not be thinking about going back to work in the first few days after giving birth, you will before you know it. Some women have a plan going into their pregnancy to stay home, others know they’ll return back to work. If you’re fortunate enough to have the choice, it’s okay to change your mind. Having a baby literally and figuratively changes your life. You’re allowed to change your mind about the big things after you welcome your babe.
Not looking like you imagined you would
Many new mothers expect to leave the hospital looking more like themselves than they did coming in. And while it’s true you will feel a little lighter, it will take time for your body to recover and to look more like yourself. Many OB GYNs recommend bringing your seven-month maternity clothes to leave the hospital because your body will slowly be returning back to normal. Don’t be hard on yourself, either. Always remember, every woman recovers on her own time.