10 Great Tips for New Mothers

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10 Great Tips for New Mothers
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Finally! The long months of waiting are over and your new fledgling is crowing in your arms. It's all so wonderful. A new life, new challenges and, if you're a new mom, possibly a whole raft of worries and uncertainties too, and even if you thought you were well-prepared before the birth, things might feel a little different now that the little one has arrived.

Rope in Friends and Family
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Rope in Friends and Family

You've planned ahead and selected trusted friends or family who will help you cope in the early days. For the first month or so, you will be napping when you can so that your baby can feed when she's hungry, so rather than have someone look after the baby while you sleep during the day, concentrate on the baby and let others do any necessary housework, laundry, cooking and running of errands. They will be glad to help. If no one is available, let the housework go, have groceries delivered, eat healthy, raw food if you can't be bothered to cook, and take it slowly.

Make Time for Yourself
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Make Time for Yourself

While the initial days will be taken up with looking after your baby's needs, don't neglect your own. Meditate when you can. Soak in a hot tub. Let your body heal, particularly if you've had an episiotomy or a cesarean. Putting pressure on yourself to do more than you need to will make you anxious and unhappy. Treasure this gift of a time to watch your baby blinking at this new life and learning to know and love your face.

Make a List of Contact Numbers
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Make a List of Contact Numbers

Make a contact list of everyone you might possibly want to call, so that if you do panic or you're needing help you don't have to hunt for numbers and increase your stress level. You might also be fortunate enough to have one particular person you can call on who will be there to talk sense to you, listen to you and be an all-around source of comfort. That might be your own mom, a friend or a close neighbor, always available just to reassure you that you're doing everything right.

Babies Are Fragile
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Babies Are Fragile

For the first six weeks of life your baby will start learning how to support her own head, but you need to do that for her in the meantime. Those neck muscles are not yet strong or developed enough to carry the weight of her head. Always support the back of her head with your hand when you pick her up, bathe her or do anything else that might leave her head unsupported. Even at six weeks she'll only have developed a little strength in her neck, but it's a slow, sure progress.

Frequent Feeding
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Frequent Feeding

Forget about a full night's sleep. Your baby needs frequent feedings, probably every two hours, if not more, so you're going to be pretty tied up with keeping her fed and watered. You'll learn the difference in her cries when she wakes -- is she hungry, does her diaper need changing, or is she simply making experimental noises before she falls asleep again.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
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Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

It isn't always smooth sailing after birth, and your hormones will probably be raging around, making you tearful, ecstatic and possibly even depressed. Don't ever be afraid to talk about low feelings or worse to your care team, because firstly, they've seen it before and they know what to do, and secondly, it's better to tell someone so they can help you deal with it. There is absolutely no shame in feeling depressed after birth.

Use Lavender Oil
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Use Lavender Oil

If you or your baby is unable to settle down and is feeling unhappy, a little lavender oil goes a long way. Put one drop in your palm and rub it between your hands so that when you pick your baby up and soothe her she can detect the scent. Alternatively, rub one drop into one side of your neck and then put your baby on that shoulder while you rock her. The lavender will gently soothe her, naturally and quietly, while you also get the benefit of a warm, relaxing scent.

Crib Comfort
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Crib Comfort

She needs to be warm in her crib but not so warm that she's stifling with all her clothes on. You'll also have checked that the crib and its bedding meet all the current safety standards, so you can cross that worry off your list before it keeps you awake.

Bonding With Baby
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Bonding With Baby

What a beautiful time this is, apart from when you're feeling tired and ragged, of course. All the time in the world to talk to your baby, touch her, massage her gently, watch her learning the sound of your voice and the look of your face. Even in the very early days after birth, sensory stimuli lay down patterns and will help her development, so start reading to her if you want to. Play music. Give her colors and shapes to touch and investigate and enjoy watching her explore the boundaries of her little world.

Be Prepared for Sibling Jealousy
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Be Prepared for Sibling Jealousy

Involving your other children well before the birth is something that most parents do, but despite every precaution, some children have deeper emotional responses and need more reassurance that they are still loved, wanted and important. The excitement of having a new brother or sister can wear off when you see that mom is with the baby practically 24/7, and a child feeling insecure will need drawing in. Find time to be alone with her to reinforce your bond.

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