You’ve just brought home your brand new bundle of joy, now what? Being a new mother doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Our hot tips will make the first few months of motherhood much more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Doing Kegel exercises will strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that may have been weakened or stretched out during pregnancy and childbirth. Strengthening these muscles reduces the risk of urinary stress incontinence and will help to restore your sex life. Simply speaking, the Kegel exercise is done by squeezing the pelvic floor muscles repeatedly. To find the correct muscles, try and cut off the stream of urine next time you are on the toilet. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. The best bit about Kegel exercises is that they can be done anywhere and no one will ever know.
Something that can cause new mums stress is how best to bathe their baby. When you your bathe baby is up to you – the best time is one when you are not rushed or likely to be interrupted. When washing baby, start with the face and move on to the dirtier parts of the body. Wash inside the skin folds and rinse the genitals carefully. Baby’s hair can be saved until last to help your baby to preserve body heat. Many people ask what the best soap is for their baby. Plain water is actually fine to use for newborns. If soap is needed, use a natural soap or wash that contains as few chemicals and fragrances as possible. Be aware also that most newborns do not need a lotion applied after their bath. In fact, lotion can actually cause rashes by blocking the baby’s sweat glands. Sponge baths are a great option while the area around the umbilical cord heals. Keep the baby warm during the sponge bath by only exposing the area that you are currently washing.
New mums often worry about being embarrassed by the potential of breast milk leaking and causing large wet patches on their clothing. Breast pads are designed to prevent this and are simply inserted inside the bra. Remember to regularly change your breast pads as damp breast pads quickly develop bacteria. Look for pads that are made from natural materials – wool, cotton, and so forth.
Nappy rash occurs in most babies at some point or another. The best thing to do is to change nappies regularly, as most cases of nappy rash are caused by wet or soiled nappies being left on baby for too long. Give the baby’s bottom area as much air as possible – letting them lie naked on a towel several times during the day is very helpful. If baby has nappy rash, use a calendula cream to help soothe the irritation.
You have probably heard of using cabbage leaves to ease discomfort during breastfeeding but what are they actually used for? Cabbage leaves are used to ease engorgement of the breasts. If the breasts are too engorged, it can cause the mother severe discomfort or the baby may not be able to take the breast to feed. To use cabbage leaves to help with engorgement, use green cabbage, and crush the cabbage leaves with a rolling pin if the leaves do not easily wrap around your breasts. Wrap the leaves around your breast and leave for about 20 minutes. You can do this twice a day. Stop using the leaves when the discomfort eases.
Time with your brand new baby is precious and you need to soak up as much of this time as possible, and enjoy it. Don’t worry about all of the things that you think you should be doing. It doesn’t matter if the house is a little messy or if you don’t make the rounds with the new addition to the family. Allow yourself some proper bonding time with baby. You’ll remember it for the rest of your life.
Everyone knows that a newborn baby is one of the surest ways to sleep deprivation but there are ways to get a little extra sleep. Firstly, don’t become too concerned about the work to do around the house. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Grabbing a daytime nap will make the night feeds easier as well. Remember that everyone loves to help out a new mum, so ask someone to look after baby in between feeds, or to help you out with a few of the household chores.
You may feel a little overwhelmed by all that is involved in taking care of a new baby but don’t forget to look after yourself in the meantime. Ensure that you are eating regular meals in order to keep your energy levels up, and ensure that the foods you are eating are healthy. It may seem easier to grab whatever is there but you will be depriving both yourself and your baby. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains, and remember to include good sources of protein. While you are breastfeeding, try and eat organic foods to avoid passing on nasty chemicals to the baby.
Don’t expect to lose the baby bulge right away. It can take months to a year to lose all of the weight gained during pregnancy and why spend the first few months of your new baby’s life worrying about how you look? Gentle exercise will benefit both you and your baby and be aware that breastfeeding can help you shift the kilos – not to mention all the running around after baby!
Use natural fibres on your baby as much as possible. This allows the skin to breathe and avoids skin irritation caused by harsher fibres. Use cloth nappies and natural liners. Let the baby go without nappies wherever practical to let the skin breathe and dry out. Baby clothing should be cotton, wool, or other natural materials.
It is likely that you will have stretch marks around your hips, belly, and thighs, due to the rapid changes caused by pregnancy. Massage and natural oils can help to reduce the appearance of these. Natural cocoa butter, especially, is fantastic on new stretch marks.
Last but definitely not least, breastfeeding. This can be one of the most daunting things for new mothers. Feed the baby as soon as you can after the birth and ask the midwife or nurse to help you with the correct positioning. Keep the baby close to you when feeding. Frequent feeding is normal in the first few days so don’t try and set up a feeding routine too early. Always offer both breasts at every feed, even if the baby only takes one. Remember that breastfeeding is something that both you and baby have to learn so it may take a little while before it feels both normal and natural.