Giving birth is a big event in any mother’s life. You prepare for birth and take breastfeeding classes. Now your baby is here in your arms. What do you need most? I asked this question of mothers that I know. These are their frank answers:
Selena’s top priority: “sleep and nourishment.”
Everyone knows how to get sleep and as an adult, you can get food for yourself. But as a new mother, your baby will be nursing around the clock. You are probably not used to that schedule. When you are home for the first couple of weeks (or longer with a cesarean birth — 6 to 8 weeks) you need to recover from birth. The support you need is making sure you get some sleep and that you don’t need to worry where your meals come from.
Karen writes: “Sleep. Accept help. Adjust expectations. Accept and embrace that what you are able to do is what you need to be doing — resting, healing, feeding your baby, and bonding.
“And for heaven’s sake, if those things don’t help, please don’t be embarrassed to get help above and beyond that. One of my most dire regrets in life is that I didn’t ask for help, and I totally cheated myself and my children out of an irreplaceable time!”
Karen’s point is very valid. We feel that we should be capable of taking care of ourselves and a tiny baby. We shouldn’t need any help. This is wrong! All new mothers need support! Why do you think we live in communities and not in separate caves? Being a new mother is a unique time. All women need support and so do you!
Adia adds her voice: “Sleep. A great support system. Accept and adjust to your new lifestyle and body. If you are having real problems, you will need to seek help.”
These mothers have all been through it themselves. Listen to their wisdom. Then you can look forward to a peaceful postpartum!