New mother? Hardly even a week old?
There are very strong chances that you are going to be overwhelmed by everything that is happening around you – there is a little one in your arms (your first ever ‘living’ responsibility), you are constantly breast-feeding him/her, there are a few dozens of nappies to be changed and cleaned everyday, everyone around you has some or the other advice for you and sleep is somehow nowhere to be found. So in the middle of all this hustle and bustle – there is this other living being that also needs some of your attention. And who is that? No, I am not taking about your husband, he will learn to manage himself now – I am talking about YOU!!
I have been through it and have witnessed a few others go through the same thing.
Here is my list of 10 things a new mother should do for herself post delivery (to keep her sanity intact):
- They will all say it and you must certainly follow this one – Sleep while the baby sleeps! All the other things that you have to do can happen while the baby is awake. Yes, you will argue that when the baby is awake you either need to nurse him or change his nappy. But trust me, you will still find both the time to do those things and the people to handover the baby to when he is awake. But sleep – there is no other way to deal with the lack of it!
- EAT ENOUGH!! And eat healthy! You will need energy – both physically and mentally – to cope with the happenings of new motherhood. So, eat. Eat whatever you feel like – as far as it is not disturbing the baby! My baby had this tendency of mild colic – so anything that caused me gas, I had to avoid.
- One is eating for the basic functioning of the body, second is eating (carbs / comfort foods) for the mind – and third is eating to heel your body! Eat all those age-old grandma’s recipes that are being served to you to keep up your milk flow or help you avoid gastric troubles. Your tongue may not be too pleased, but your body needs it.
- If you do have a maalishwali for your little one – it is highly recommended that you also get some massage done alongside. They will all tell you to not get massage done if you have a C-Section delivery. True! Don’t get massage done on your tummy, but you can always ask the aunty to massage your back, shoulders, head and feet. At the end of the first week, my body was literally craving for a massage. And I told my maalishwali aunty that whole of my body was aching and she just did some wonders with her hands. It is basically the hours of sitting in one position and nursing the baby that gives you serious amounts of back ache, coupled with sleepless nights – making it just impossible at times!
- If you don’t have a maalishwali, make the most of your husband. First, make him do some potty cleaning on your behalf and then emotionally blackmail him to massage your back or caress your head. (Make the most of this opportunity now in the first month, soon your prowess will be gone and your little one will take away all his attention)
- Take a minute to watch your breath! I am not saying jump down to do Yoga in Week one! Just take a couple of minutes to simply relax. Just breathe in and breathe out – to forget about everything that you need to do or overlook all the body parts that are aching.
- Keep a pen and notepad by your side to write down all the questions that pop up in your head and ask them around or to the doctor. Rather than unnecessarily stressing over stuff – just get your head sorted!
- Find ways to entertain yourself while breast-feeding. Though it is best if you do not indulge in such distractions – but sometimes a good read or a funny video on YouTube while feeding your baby will do no one any harm.
- That you are born in this generation – make the most of the recent developments – in terms of technology or baby products. For eg. I ordered every little thing for my child using my phone – so no relying on anyone or no need to step out in the sun. And for baby products – there are a tons of things that can come really handy – don’t be shy to try them – no need to follow what your elders did – they probably didn’t have these things then, otherwise they would have used it to.
- Let your girl friends come over – do some talking (for the mind) and some helping around the baby (for the body) – while you lie down there on the bed – soaking in luxury of being in the presence of someone who can step in to do some of your basic chores’ duties.