Surviving your first week with a newborn

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If you’re a new mama or a seasoned mama with a new baby, we can all agree that surviving your first week with a newborn is both fulfilling and exhausting.

We’re learning things we never had to deal with before, like breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, functioning off only 2 hours of sleep (or less, yikes!), recovering our downstairs areas or abdomen and SO MUCH MORE!

That being said, THIS POST IS FOR YOU.

Full of encouraging ways to help you survive your first week of motherhood!

And remember, it will get easier, mama <3

newborn baby education

Surviving your first week with a newborn

ACCEPT HELP with your new baby

This help could come from your husband, parents, grandparents, anyone!

Let people help you!

I’m guilty of this because I personally enjoy my space on my own, but sometimes it’s ok to let someone else offer to do the dishes or laundry. Seriously.

If your mom or mom friend offers to help, it’s likely because they’ve been in your shoes before and chances are, they’re truly just trying to help!

To make it easier, make a list of tasks you wouldn’t mind visitors tackling for you while they’re there! That way you can continue to do the things that make you comfortable, while still having help around the home.

PREPARE & FREEZE Your Meals BEFORE baby is born

One thing I did not do (and I wish I did) was prepare some meals for my husband and I.

Granted, my husband got 6 weeks off for paternity leave and did all the cooking, but having some already prepared refrigerated/frozen meals would have been helpful.

This is especially helpful when you’re pumping/breastfeeding – sometimes we need easy healthy meals that can be popped in the microwave and good to go.

DON’T feel pressured to accept all visitors

Contrary to accepting some much-needed help, having visitors that just want to smoother you and baby with love (though they mean well) can be more stressful than relaxing.

Trust me, I didn’t want ANYONE around for at least a week. I just felt so overwhelmed, exhausted and not ready to be around people. It’s normal mama.

Don’t feel bad saying “No” or “Sorry let’s try a different time”.

Chances are, they’ll understand, and you’ll get some much-needed rest by skipping the social gathering.

If you’re not comfortable setting these boundaries, talk to your partner and ask them to do the dirty work.

One way or another, if you’re not ready for visitors, someone needs to spill the beans and make it known!

DON’T rush into the “bouncing back” right away scheme.

Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a C-Section – ain’t nobody bouncing back that quick.

Life with a new baby takes time to adjust, trust me those little people will throw more curveballs at you in one week then a lifetime of baseball.

Pair that with your own physical recovery – just do you. Relax, recover, and care for your little babe.

Once you’re ready, I have a TON of resources and posts on this blog to help you get back into fitness, but ONLY when you’re recovered & ready!

And if you feel like you’re ready, but not sure exactly HOW or WHAT to do, I’d highly suggest checking out the Mutu System – a workout that can be done from home specifically for postpartum moms!

newborn baby tips

Expect your emotions after birth to feel a bit, off.

Birth is a wild journey. You go from overwhelmingly happy to anxious, angry, sad and then happy again. Hormones, right?

Seriously though, your hormones are causing a LOT of changes in your body and your emotions during this time. So much that it’s pretty common to go through the baby blues, and sometimes progress into a more serious condition called Postpartum Depression.

If you think you have postpartum depression and feel like you could use some help, it’s important you discuss this with your medical provider right away.

If you’re not comfortable discussing with them, you can also find additional help and resources from the Postpartum Health Alliance.

Understand your relationship after baby might take a step back.

During that first week with your new baby, you’ll probably feel a bit distant from your partner. Not because you want to, in fact, you might even be seeing them more often as they help with the new baby needs!

However, when you pair practically no sleep with a baby who relies on you for their day to day living needs, somethings gotta give somewhere. It usually tends to be the relationship.

But I don’t want you to lose hope. I don’t want you to feel like this is the end.

As much as it’s important to acknowledge things could be rocky the first week or so, it’s also important to eventually set a plan in place to make sure your relationship doesn’t spiral down a bad path.

I’ll be honest, life after kids can really make things feel complicated. Especially if you’ve had unresolved issues before.

But if you and your partner are in it for the long haul and are truly committed, I know you’ll find ways to put one another as a priority and figure out a system that works for the two of you!

baby on the way preparation guide

REMEMBER that you and your baby are both learning how to live in this new world.

There will be times you wish your baby could just ‘get it together’, but REMEMBER, they’re just trying to figure out how to live in this new world too.

A world where WE, their mamas, are here to guide, love, nurture, and help them adjust.

They spent 9 months (more or less) in your dark, quiet belly. Now they’re in this bright, loud, people filled world!

When you think about it, it’s a lot to take in for a little baby still developing.

I had to remind myself of this often. Especially on the days I was running on less than 2 hours of sleep. I mean it felt like a dream at times.

What matters most, is that you’re in this together. Mama and baby.

If you feel like you need a little more guidance as you’re journeying through life after birth, my postpartum handbook is here to help!

When does the newborn stage get easier?

To be totally honest, I found that the one month mark is when things started to feel ‘easier’ as a first-time mom for me.

By one month your newborn usually starts sleeping a little bit more on a routine, they’re a lot more aware and less fussy, and you just feel a bit more confident in caring for them as a mama.

Other things to think about or that contribute to making the ‘newborn stage’ difficult could be:

  • whether you breastfeed or bottle feed baby
  • if baby has any underlying medical or health conditions
  • a constant gassy or colicky baby
  • baby wakes easily due to their startle reflex (moro reflex)
  • if you’re stressed about returning to work soon

It’s also important to note that ‘EASY’ is a relative term that will be different for every single one of us!

Some key factors to remember for baby that may make life easier is when:

  • Baby learns the difference between day and night sleep (allowing them to sleep longer stretches at a time at night)
  • When their Moro reflex completely disappears (no need for tight swaddling anymore because baby won’t be so easily startled)
  • When baby can support their own neck (this will allow you to move around and do things easier around the house without having to constantly hold baby like a fragile glass vase!)

All in all, with time, it ALL gets easier. You become more confident in your day to day routines and baby becomes more like a ‘regular’ human each and every day.

When it gets tough, remind yourself to take a breathe and remember that YOU GOT THIS, MAMA.

Recommended posts you’ll also like:
>> What NOT to do after giving birth

>> Why having a postpartum plan is a MUST for mama

>> What parents need to know about newborn sleep

There you have it, Surviving your first week with a nesborn!

Did you find any of these tips helpful? Don’t forget to SHARE to your favorite Pinterest board or Facebook Group for other moms to read too!

How to survive the first week of motherhood

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