* This post is brought to you in association with Nestle.
New to mommyhood? Welcome aboard! Doesn’t everything change once you are a mother? All else takes a backseat and your baby becomes the centre of your universe. However, sometimes you are so stumped with all the changes around you that it gets difficult to enjoy your new role. Step back, take a deep breath of baby scent and let things be!
1. Don’t get baffled
Slow down, take it easy. Enjoy the minutest things about your little baby. Let your lil one curl her tiny fingers around yours and cycle her legs in excitement. Watch her gently open and close her eyes. Talk to her and watch her coo back as if she knows she is talking to you. You know what? These moments won’t come back… so savour them, bit by bit.
2. Feed your child
Have faith in the fact that exclusive breastfeeding for your child up to six months will meet all the energy and nutrient requirement for the baby and will protect her from illness. Let noone convince you otherwise. Breastmilk has the right nutrients in the right proportion, which promotes optimal growth, brain development and immunity. Plus there are so many benefits for the mother (like weight loss and prevention of breast and ovarian cancer) - why wouldn’t you do it? The cherry on the cake: irreplaceable bonding with your bub.
3. Accept, move on
Soon after delivery, your body as a mother undergoes several physiological changes. Accept them. Stretch marks, weight gain, etc., are all part of the package and really small change when it comes to the larger picture, so don’t stress.
4. Share responsibilities and delegate
While it may be expected of you to return to pre-pregnancy responsibilities like household chores, professional work, etc., at the earliest, remember that taking care of the newborn and breastfeeding is a mother’s top most priority. Everything else can wait! Don’t hesitate in seeking support from your family and friends, and understand that it may require stimulating a behavioural change. Changing the diaper or burping the baby after a feed could be a role taken up by the father, for instance. Watch this video to see how to get daddy to pitch in. He’ll thank you for the one-on-one time he’ll get with the little one, as bonding between baby and daddy is also crucial.
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5. Make it a positive experience
If you have issues with breastfeeding or are stressed about something, talk about your concerns with your partner or seek professional help from a lactation consultant and find a solution - so that it becomes a good experience for you and the baby. Breastfeeding helps you cement the lifelong bond you’ll have with your child.
6. Seek advice
Your parents have been through this and have done an awesome job in raising you. They know how to handle most situations, so don’t falter to seek advice, confidence and emotional support from them. Ask for help in daily household responsibilities and taking care of the baby so that you can breastfeed without stress.
7. Take a break
Ask for maternity leave for up to six months post delivery so that you can focus on exclusive breastfeeding. At work, check with HR for facilities to arrange a clean lactation room where you can breastfeed or express and store milk once you are back to work. See if you can work flexible hours or from home for the first few months to allow you to settle into a routine and bond with your new baby.
Mommyhood is one of the best joys in the world. Go ahead, have fun and make it less stressful!