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Mory Birth

Bringing home baby is an exciting time, but it can also be exhausting, overwhelming, and downright terrifying. No amount of books or gadgets really prepares you for those trying early months. I had completely different experiences with each of my babies, but a few things always remain the same. There is a lot of advice out there, much of it merely opinions, but some things are true no matter how many kids you have or what parenting philosophy to which you aspire.

 Surviving Those Harrowing Early Months

Finding your formula for happiness. Links sponsored by Gerber® Good Start® Gentle.

Allow yourself to heal

I will admit I was a bit presumptuous when I was pregnant with my first child. I had no idea the healing process could be quite extensive for some women. I was surprised by the amount of damage done by my large baby and the many months it took for the stitches and granulation to heal.  Breastfeeding slowed the healing process even more. I felt SO PRESSURED by friends, family, the media, and online forums to be an acrobatic super mom the minute that kid was born, and it was actually very damaging, both physically and emotionally. Our western culture is rather tough on new moms. There really is no rest period, not even in the hospital. Then when you get home, the barrage of visitors shows up. They mean well, but most offers of help fall flat and never come to fruition. Allow yourself to say NO. No to visitors, no to playing hostess, no to work. This time is so important to just rest, heal, and learn how to care for the newborn. You just went through a huge ordeal. Take a load off!  (And let someone else do the load of laundry.)

mory 10-8-2014

Pick the feeding routine that is right for you

Forget all of the urgent advice and experiment. The super new trendy nursing top my not work for you. Its OK! If there is ever a time in your life to not be fashionable , it is when you have a new baby. Want to use a breast pump, or not? It is your call. Pumping is a pain in the butt (boob!) for a lot of women and they prefer to forgo it in favor of nursing whenever, wherever, or using formula when out in public. I did both depending on the situation. Go ahead and try the cheapo nursing bra instead of the pretty, lacy expensive one. You might be surprised. Also, if your baby is not having issues with a simple bottle, then don’t cave to pressure to get the expensive ‘it’ brand. The fancy airflow technology and oddly shaped nipples generally do not make much difference. Same goes for formula. Do what feels comfortable for you and trust your instincts. If in doubt, please seek out a lactation of feeding expert for advice.

 

Don’t marry yourself to an ideal

It is SO easy to get wrapped up in the parenting trend dujour. Dr. Sears, Ferberizing, elimination communication, attachment parenting, etc. are all well and good, but the important thing is to have a happy and healthy family. Often times, a mix of strategies is the key to success. You might have a vision of serene babywearing in a beautiful woven wrap, only to have an infant who hates being worn. Or the baby swing/stroller/rocker /bouncer you dropped a load of cash on never gets used and bambino insists on being held 24/7. Not to mention, what was the perfect system for your first child, might not be for your subsequent children. Mine have certainly all been different. The best system is whatever works for your family, so be flexible.

 

Sleep and eat

Last, but very much NOT least, get as much sleep as possible and eat a highly nutritious diet. This seems like it should go without saying, but it gets overlooked much too often. I know that whole sleep when baby sleeps thing is not always realistic. It certainly is out the window once you have more than one child. As much as you want to stay up and watch that movie with your spouse, you will be better served going to bed early. The following morning, sleep in. Who cares what anyone thinks. Unless you need to get other kids up and off to school, go back to bed after the early morning feeding. We keep our other kids entertained with books, Kindle reading apps, and toys for long enough to get a few extra ZZZZs. Just make sure they are contained in a safe and age appropriate environment.

Do not diet. Not yet, anyway. Your body needs calories to heal. If you are nursing, it needs major calories to produce milk. Make sure to get adequate protein and fat.

 

Bond with your spouse

This one is really difficult in the early months, especially if you have other children, but it is also important. Your bond is what holds the family together and you need to keep it strong. Kids and babies test us. They often break us too, at least temporarily. The postpartum time is a hormonal, emotional, and physical tornado. You might feel a bit unhinged some days. It happens. It can feel really, really lonely. Sit with your partner and just talk about the day. Go for a (slow) walk together. Get some takeout for dinner and play a board game. Laugh together. Lay in bed together and stare at the adorable cooing creature you made. You are a team. You’re in this together. This is reassuring when you are sleep deprived and having a really awful day. If you are not a team, then it is time for a deep talk to find a way to become a team. Bringing home a new baby is no time for divergence. If you do not have a partner, then make sure to stay in tough with whatever support network you have in place. You don’t want feelings of overwhelm developing into bigger issues.

mory may 28-2015

Hopefully, keeping tabs on these aspects will help you find your formula for happiness when bringing home your baby.
 
Gerber® Good Start® Gentle believes that the Formula for Happiness™ can be a lot of things, and many moms have different ways of enjoying the journey through motherhood.  That is why Gerber® Good Start® Gentle is happy to introduce a Certified Sleep Consultant for your little one’s needs. If you are struggling in these early months of motherhood, make a free appointment with GERBER GOOD START Gentle’s certified baby sleep consultant, lactation consultant, or nutrition expert.

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