4 ways to help you cope as a mum of a new baby
“How do I cope as a new mum”Said Rebecca my daughter. She gave birth to Elizabeth last Christmas 2005, I delivered her on my brothers living room carpet with the help of the 999 lady at one end of a phone and a newly qualified ambulance driver who had never delivered a baby before…
Well Rebecca I replied, For some mums with no family it can be very daunting but with support from your midwife in the first few days and continued support from your health visitor a new mum can get through it.
Rebecca lived next door to me.Even after being a nursery nurse for over 20 years I was not prepared for her problems she would encounter but gave her support anyway in the few weeks that lay a head.
She planned to breast feed which she struggled with in the first couple of weeks and gave up and put Elizabeth onto a bottle. She looked tired and worn out as she was used to sleeping quite early in the evening. She wasn’t prepared for the many hours of waking up to feed her in the night, the frequent crying of her newborn and the everyday tasks of housework. thus she started to neglect herself. She would forget meals for herself. Not wash or dress. Leave soiled nappies everywhere plus she had a baby that needed feeding every 2 hours by evening she was exhausted..
So I helped her to get into a routine…
Some of you may be wondering how can you get into a routine when you are so tired of looking after a baby that hardly sleeps and wants a feed every couple of hours or so. Well here are some tips you may find useful if you are to become a firs time mum or a new mum after having a break for a few years.
1. If you are a mum without a family for support make use of your health visitor once you have been discharged from the midwife, they can put you into contact with other mums and support groups etc which can be very beneficial for both advice and socially..
2. A routine means nothing more than being consistent with when you feed and put your baby to bed. Some parents prefer a fairly strict routine throughout the day with all naps taken in the cot at the same time. Other parents prefer to be out and about during the day, but stick to a regular pattern of bath, feed and bed at the same time in the evening. What sort of routine you go for is up to you, but the key is to be consistent, particularly in the hour or so before they go to bed for the night.
3. Take a nap when you can after your baby is born you’ll probably find it will be some time before you get a decent night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can make you feel bad-tempered and anxious, so you should make every effort to sleep when your baby does during the day., but it may help to restrict visitors in the first few weeks and to try not to worry too much about the housework. If you have older children then enlist the help of a family member or trusted friend to take care of them.