My neighbor hosted a baby shower for a new mother who was suffering from the “baby blues.”
Neighbors were invited to offer support and show the new mother that she was not alone. The shower went very well. Several of us got together and gave the mother a playpen that she’d listed as a wishlist item in her giftsoc (www.giftsoc.com). I also shared some tips to help relieve her fatigue that I learned when I was a new mother.
She’s tried some of the ideas and they worked, so I was inspired to write this blog:
Ten Tips For The (exhausted) New Mom
1. Nap when your baby naps. It may seem obvious, but many new mothers feel they must take advantage of napping time to catch up on their work.
2. Learn to nurse while lying down on your side. It’s another way to get some rest.
3. If your baby acts colicky, get a large exercise ball. Hold baby against your shoulder, support his head, sit yourself on the ball and gently bounce. I used to sing to my baby while gently bouncing; it calmed him every time.
4. If your baby is fed, dry and comfortable but still cries when you put her down, let her cry. Give baby a few minutes to calm herself down.
5. Put your wakeful baby in a safe spot, such as a playpen or blanket on the floor, while you do something else in the same vicinity. Start with five minutes and work up to fifteen. This bit of independence will be good for both of you!
6. Let Dad take over. He needs to bond with baby too!
7. Get outside! Take your baby on daily walks. The fresh air will lift your spirits and sooth baby.
8. Don’t isolate yourself. Make time for you and your baby to visit with friends. You can also join a mother’s group. Browse the web for a group in your area.
9. If you feel overwhelmed and exhausted, realize that this too will pass. Hang in there, let yourself cry and know that everything changes. But if you feel that you are seriously depressed, don’t wait to see a doctor. There is no shame in getting help. Your baby is counting on you.
10. Above all – enjoy your baby! Every moment is a gift.