2020 has been a crazy year for everyone, so if you’ve had the news of a baby on the way, your year might have even been wilder than the rest of ours! Finding out you are pregnant is such a rush of conflicting emotions: joy, wonder, amazement, excitement, anxiety, fear… they’re all in there. It’s such a mixed bag. If you are expecting a baby in 2021, you might be starting to prepare yourself for the tectonic shift that your life is about to undergo. Here are some top tips for what to expect with a newborn.
1. Take things one day at a time
When you have just had a baby, your body is running on fluctuating hormones and disrupted sleep. The mixture of hormones your brain is releasing during and after pregnancy can make you feel ecstatic one moment, and totally helpless the next. New moms go through a tumultuous time within themselves for the first few months of having their newborn; it is important that this is talked about and recognized. It is totally normal to feel great one day and terrible the next. It is totally normal to question whether you are doing things right.
That is why it is important to take things one day at a time. If you feel totally incapable, exhausted and frustrated some days, accept that that’s part of your journey in motherhood and try not to fixate on those feelings. Part of mothering a newborn is allowing the emotions and experiences to wash over you, rather than analyzing and fixating on them.
2. Talk to other moms about how you are feeling
One thing that can lead to frustrated or upset new moms is feeling like you can’t express the mass of emotions you are experiencing. Your hormones will be pulling you in all directions and one of the best ways to alleviate your emotions is to talk to another mom who has been through the same thing as you. This could be at a moms and babies group whether it be online or in the real world, or speaking privately with friends and family. Seeing somebody else’s perspective on things will really help you to feel more calm about anything you are going through. Plus, it’s nice to compare and contrast your approach to certain things with other moms, so that you can help eachother out and know that you’re not alone.
3. Feeding in whatever way is comfortable
The subject of breastfeeding versus formula is a total minefield for new moms, but it shouldn’t be. At the end of the day, feeding your child in whatever way is comfortable for you is the best decision. If you struggle with breastfeeding, you could try a mix of formula and breastmilk, or go on a 100% formula diet. Alternatively, if breastfeeding comes naturally to you, you could purely breastfeed your child. Whichever method works for you and your baby is fine - don’t let anyone tell you differently.
In a nutshell, having a newborn baby is a wonderful thing. If you are expecting for 2021, use these guidelines to help you with the whirlwind of experiences that comes with new motherhood, but above all go easy on yourself and know that you’re not alone.
If you feel like you could benefit from support, it is available. For example, check out the Top 20 Mom Groups on Facebook to find a group that might suit you.
Explore our Matchstick Monkey blogs for more motherhood tips and advice from the Matchstick Monkey community.