Being pregnant for the first time can be an exciting and memorable experience, seeing the little body growing inside, feeling the kicks and poking about, selecting names, first outfits and decorating the baby room…it is all quite overwhelming really.
Then the birth happens and you’re looked after by the medical staff until the next minute you are at home with a newborn. Welcome to motherhood!
Now I am going to be honest, after the first few days at home, I had feelings of wanting to go back to the hospital as it seemed easier (especially after a C-section).
You were fed regularly, showered, medicated and guided into motherhood with loads of support if you needed it.
Although I had my partner helping me the best he could in the first few weeks, I quickly realised in order for me to get through the first three months, I had to create an environment that limited hypersensitive and stressful situations. This would allow me to calmly transition into becoming a mum.
How to create the calm:
1) Make your bedroom your domain.
Set up the baby cot, changing table, feeding equipment, and plenty of fluids in your bedroom. This would only be temporary until your baby is happily able to transition into their own room when sleeping routines are a little more established.
2) Make your bed comfortable.
Clean sheets, plenty of pillows for support during feeding and laptop if needed. You want to be able to just relax, as you will spend a lot of time here initially.
3) Use a plug-in night light or dim lamp.
Best place is near the change table away from the cot. I used a little sensory one that rotates and turns on when the room is dark and stayed on the whole night. I faced it to the floor and it was perfect mood lighting to check on my baby and walk around preparing or nursing.
You do not want to flood bright light into the room with a newborn.
4) Humidifier with lavender essence.
You can purchase a humidifier that has a timer to which I added lavender drops for a restful calming environment. I would set it for one hour before her bedtime and have continued this since she was born. You can change the oils to suit what is needed.
We added eucalyptus during the winter months when they get the little snuffles.
This is going to help you and your bub so I would highly recommend it.
5) Remove caffeine from your diet.
Not only could it cause discomfort and alertness in your baby through the breast milk, you do not need stimulants at this time when added stress could make you snap with caffeine in your system.
You need to allow your body to naturally tap into its instinctual behaviour and be able to rest when those moments come. Drink lactation tea or your favourite flower herbal tea like chamomile (just not black, green or white) and swap chocolate to fruit or nuts. It is normal to be tired but try NOT to choose caffeine as the answer in the early months.
6) Eat good wholesome foods.
As a Nutritionist, I cannot express enough how important the good quality nutritional foods are at this time of restoring and replenishing your body.
You are in healing as well as producing milk for your baby so you need to be very MINDFUL of what goes in your mouth.
Ask yourself what foods will support all the hard work you need to do over the next few weeks…the answer is always the easiest…wholefoods, fruits, vegetables, proteins. High fat/deep fried foods, although fast and easy some may say, can make your milk very fatty (not the good fat) and will not sustain your energy or provide nourishing vitamins and minerals that are in high demand post natal.
7) Get out and walk.
After the first week or so you may like to begin light walking for 10 mins and gradually building on that as you feel ready.
Getting some sunshine and leaving the house for physical activity with your baby is going to cleanse your mind, help you feel positive and assist your healing process.
8) Set boundaries with visitors.
I cannot express enough how important it is to limit when and for how long people visit during this peak time of transition as parents.
If you have visitors, it needs to be short, you will get exhausted shifting attention from your baby and then amusing your guests.
TRUST ME you are already at high alert with being a mum on demand, you need to be resourceful with your energy. Know what you can handle and don’t push past this point. If they are coming to help out, take this opportunity but make sure you are staying restful.
I can only share my experiences and the calming ways to cope in the hope it will be helpful and supportive during your first time becoming a mother. I would love to know what little tips you may have that made your time becoming a mum a flowing positive experience.
Try to remember that a calm mother may experience a more calming transition with a positive outlook. Always seek support if you need it.
Do you have any tips on how to calmly get through the first few weeks of motherhood? SHARE in the comments below.