This post is brought to you by aquamamma® but is 100% my story…and survival guide!
The first six weeks of motherhood are equally out of this world amazing and completely terrifying. Your life of guzzling champagne and party pashing strangers on the DF are long gone and you find yourself gazing for endless hours at a strange looking mini human. I know advice from ‘already parents’ comes at you thick and fast and can be a pain in the ass; so by all means tell me to get a life, but these little bits of advice I received (or learnt the hard way) may just come in handy, and if not, throw it away with all the other unwanted advice!
TV shows. I felt more like a cow than I did a mum for a while. The relationship I had with my breastfeeding pillow was by far my strongest at this point in my life. Make sure you email your mates and get them to tell you their favourite shows in advance so you can have box sets ready to go for when your derrière is glued to the couch – which I assure you will be at least 12 hours a day. My picks at the moment are Billions, The Night Manager, Stranger Things, American Gothic and Nashville. And while you’re at it – get yourself a breastfeeding pillow, I thought these were hideously ugly and was adamant I wasn’t having one because it would totally clash with my cushions. That lasted a whole of 2 hours after my babe was born.
Buy zip-up onesies. Don’t even think about buying the button-up onesies, no matter how cute they are. The zip-up ones are the bees knees, they’ll save you so much time – especially in the middle of the night when it’s dark and you don’t want to have to worry about doing up 198 tiny little buttons.
Stay hydrated. If you’re breastfeeding you will be thirsty like never before. And if you’re like me, there is only a certain amount of water you drink a day before you want to poke your eyes out. Stock up on aquamamma®, it’s specifically formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding women and developed by an Australian obstetrician to help keep you hydrated – and even better – it tastes good!
Don’t be a control freak. And this is coming from someone who is known for being a bit of a control freak from time to time… Let your partner share the load, who cares if you do things differently, hell who cares if the Australia Post lady who delivers your online shopping wants to help and does things differently than you do. Let people help and don’t hover. Relax and enjoy letting someone else share the load, it’ll be your turn before you get to put your feet up.
Lactation expert. I don’t want this to sound too advice-y but organise a lactation expert to visit you a day or two after you get home from hospital. These ladies are gold. Feeding is hard yakka for so many of us and having some extra help is worth its weight in gold. No one could have prepared me for how tricky breastfeeding would be and everyone gives different advice which did my head in. Having someone at your home to go through the motions with you is beyond helpful. Even if you think you’re nailing it, they’re full of helpful tips, there is no way you won’t take away something useful from this visit. I took away 589 useful tidbits.
Research handy resources. Make a list of numbers like the 24 hour nurse hotline, out of hour’s on-call doctor, emergency numbers etc. In the early days, everything is so new and you’ll have loads of questions and times of anxiety where you’ll want to talk to an expert. If you have a ready-made list of numbers to go to in a crisis (or sleep-deprived panic) then you won’t be stressing and trying to find the right numbers in the middle of the night. It might sound a bit fanatic doing this but a friend suggested this tip to me and I was shocked how many times I actually reached for it.
Go easy on yourself. This sounds obvious but actually do it. Like really do it. Take a shit load of deep breathes, CRY if you need to, and ask for help. Also, know that the first few months are bloody hard for everyone, you are not alone. It is survival time so grab onto the moments of bliss to help get you through the hard times. Remember, you just made a human and you’re a bloody superhero so take it easy on yourself.
What is your best piece of advice for new mamas to help them through the first six weeks?