Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Last year, three of our expecting staff members shared their tips for a healthy pregnancy. This year, National Health Corps Florida Program Coordinator and new mom Sherry Nelson shares her top five tips for new moms:
My 5 tips for new moms.
- Be kind to yourself. I’ve had to learn to not be so hard on myself and realize not everything can get done in one day. Before Elijah (aka Eli), I thought I was superwoman. I worked full time and would cook, clean, and do some laundry ALL the time and go to the gym. Now, I have a baby that needs my undivided attention and thought I was failing because I couldn’t do all of the same things anymore. I’ve learned that it’s okay if I can only cook and do the dishes one night and the laundry the next, or maybe I can’t even get to the laundry until the weekend. Now, I am kind to myself and realize not everything can get done in one night, so I can enjoy more time with my son.
- Don’t let people freak you out. Many, many times I’ve had other mothers tell me not to do certain things like don’t feed him this type of food, or don’t put him in that because something bad will happen or make sure he looks at you because if he doesn’t he could be autistic… guess what, not all of it is true. Please don’t let people freak you out! Please speak to your pediatrician if you have any questions about your baby because they are up to date with credible information.
- Schedule time for yourself. Sometimes, after you have a baby you feel like your body isn’t your own anymore and you constantly have to take care of someone else while being downright exhausted. Don’t get me wrong — I love my baby unconditionally — but I need ME time to stay sane. So, I make sure to schedule time to get my nails done to have some peace and quiet. Heck, I even may even catch up on some Zs while I’m getting a pedicure haha!
- Join a breastfeeding support group. I never realized how hard breastfeeding was going to be. I’ve only heard a few stories and most of the women had no issues… it wasn’t until after I had Eli that I learned the amount of pain and guilt a woman can go through to breastfeed their child. You turn into a milk machine… and it hurts… but it does get easier! But it was really hard on me. I wish I had joined a support group to help me through those tough times. I actually had a dear friend that had her son exactly 2 months before mine and she was such a blessing! I was able to vent to her about how bad it hurt and how I wanted to just give up and supplement. But she encouraged me to keep going, so I kept trying!
- #Babywearing. Use a wrap, ring sling, or carrier for your baby. You want to hold your baby all the time and as much as you wish you could, there are things to get done. A wrap or a sling keeps your baby close while you can do your chores like preparing dinner or cleaning your house. You can even breastfeed in some!! Plus they are really cute! There is a Facebook group I joined called First Coast Babywearing group which talks about the many types and pros and cons of each. You can even borrow someone’s to see if you like it before purchasing one because they aren’t cheap (when you borrow one, you can make sure it’s from a smoke free home).