Nutrition Info Just for You

March 27, 2019

New Mom Survival Guide for the First 3 Months

You finally made it through all nine months of pregnancy and delivery! But the period after delivery has its own set of challenges. That’s why it’s sometimes called the “fourth trimester!” Life as a new mom is amazing and exciting, of course. But we know it can also be stressful, frustrating, and even confusing. You’ve got a newborn to take care of, plus hormones and other postpartum changes may be making you feel more emotional that usual.

Don’t worry, you can do this! We’ve got a few simple, real-life tips that can help you feel more on top of things. With a little help, you’ll feel more positive, organized and just better through your transition to your new normal and first-time mommyhood.

8 TIPS TO HELP MOMS ADJUST TO THE NEW NORMAL

1. Make a Postpartum Plan

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women consult with their doctors about a postpartum plan before giving birth1. This will help you feel more prepared for when you’re extra-busy and probably sleep-deprived after your baby is born. Some questions to discuss may include:

• How often will you visit your doctor after delivery?
• Do you have a history of medical conditions that might make this period more difficult?
• If you want more children, when will you try to conceive again?

Every woman and pregnancy is different, so your plan should be customized to you.

2. Don’t Stress About Tears

Babies use crying as their way to communicate with us. Tears may mean that he or she is hungry, wet or tired. But they don’t necessarily mean that they’re sad or in distress (like we feel when we cry).

Don’t panic when you hear those cries. Be sure your little one doesn’t need anything of course. But also know that as you settle into a routine, you’ll start to know your baby’s cries and how to respond accordingly.

3. Tricks for “Mommy Brain”

Changing hormones and sleep deprivation after childbirth can leave lots of moms feeling foggy-headed and confused. That’s sometimes called “mommy brain” or “momnesia.” The condition will go away once you adjust to your new normal. But still, we know it can be frustrating to be so forgetful.

Try to work around “mommy brain” with a few memory tricks. Write yourself sticky notes, set alarms or reminders on your phone, or even write reminders on your palms. And most of all, don’t sweat the small stuff. If you forget some unimportant things right now, that’s okay. Your memory should be back to its old self in no time.

4.Give Yourself a Break

If you’re feeling frazzled from caring for your new baby and you need a break – take one! Ask your partner or a relative to take over baby duties while you get out of the house and have lunch with friends or even treat yourself to a pedicure. Stepping away from the situation will help you regain perspective and feel less stressed.

Try to work around “mommy brain” with a few memory tricks. Write yourself sticky notes, set alarms or reminders on your phone, or even write reminders on your palms. And most of all, don’t sweat the small stuff. If you forget some unimportant things right now, that’s okay. Your memory should be back to its old self in no time.

Three women at cafe, talking, smiling, laughing and enjoying their time.

5. Ask for Help

As the saying goes, it takes a village…let your partner do whatever they can to share baby care tasks and chores around the house. And while you get back to your old self during postpartum, don’t be too shy to accept help from family and friends. You might be surprised how many people are willing to pitch in so you new parents can get a little rest!

6. Limit Your Visitors

As we said in #5, you should feel free to invite your close friends and family to help you. But that said, some new moms find that giving birth sparks and endless flow of friends and family members popping in at all hours!

While help from loved ones is always appreciated, the pressure to entertain can make you feel more stressed. And more stress is the last thing a new mom needs! Plus, these visits can take away from your precious opportunities from nap time.

Don’t be afraid to say no to visitors who ask to stop by. And you can politely ask visitors who overstay their welcome to leave. Set specific visiting hours at home. And don’t hesitate to ask visitors to bring food or supplies with them!

It’s also OK to turn off your phone! Constant interruptions from text messages and phone calls can take away from your relaxation time and even bonding time with your baby. Set aside a small window of time each day to respond to text and calls. And don’t be afraid to put your phone on silent sometimes during the day.

7. Don’t Forget About Your Relationship

During this busy time, it can be easy to let your new baby run the show. But it’s OK to make time for your relationship with your partner too.

Connecting with your partner can help ease your stress and remind you that you’re in this new parenting adventure together.

Schedule regular dates – even if they’re just eating take-out at home by candlelight after the baby goes to bed! Or snuggle on your couch and watch a movie. Keep the lines of communication and connection open. This will help keep your relationship going strong through this hectic time.

8. Look at the Big Picture

While having a new baby may seem like an all-consuming task, it’s important to look at the big picture. Your new baby will only be a baby for a very short amount of time! Maybe this will help you to make the most of this special time. Or it might help you to know that these periods of midnight feedings and cries won’t last forever!

Remember, most new moms will have tough days, or even weeks, adjusting to postpartum life. If you’re feeling a little stressed right now, you’re not alone! Take it one day at a time and give yourself permission to cry if you need to. Trust us – you’re stronger than you know and you’ve got this!

But if you’re feelings of postpartum blues become too much, don’t be shy to go speak to your doctor. SO many women feel this way post-pregnancy – there are resources available to you that can help.

We love sharing our insights about vitamins and health. But that doesn’t mean it should be a substitute for professional medical advice. For that, you should talk to your doctor!

1 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); Obstet Gynecol, 2018.

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Published by Colleen Welsch

Colleen Welsch has been writing about women's nutrition, health, fitness, and the clean beauty industry for many years. Born and raised in Ohio, Colleen recently returned to the U.S. after spending a year in Spain. In her spare time, Colleen loves traveling and petting dogs.

Related Articles:
It’s that big moment! You’ve made the decision that you’re ready to get pregnant and
If you’re pregnant or could become pregnant, you’ve probably heard that it’s crucial to consume
For most adult women, experts recommend eating a nutrient-rich diet and taking a daily multivitamin