Making It as a New Mom
Taking the time to learn is a key to success as a new mom. This is especially true with breast-feeding, explains Corky Harvey, certified lactation consultant and co-owner of Pumpstation.com, which offers breastfeeding support and new mom advice. “Moms don’t have to figure it all out in the first week. It takes time—moms need to be willing to ask for help and know that they are not the only ones struggling as they learn,” Corky says.
Breast-feeding didn’t come easily to Lydia. “I had a great deal of pain and trouble with breastfeeding,” she says. “But, I was so determined and kept going back to experts until I found someone who could figure out what would work for me. But I would never criticize a fellow mother who decides not to breastfeed or isn’t able—every mother needs to pick her battles.”
Defining Your New Mom Space
Many new moms fall into the trap of trying to please everyone. “The first 30 days are about getting to know the baby—not entertaining family and friends,” advises Karni Seymour-Brown, a licensed midwife who owns the Sunrise Birthing Center in Ventura, CA. Seymour-Brown describes how some of her clients learn from experience. “One of my moms had a tough time with her first baby; she was anemic, exhausted and overwhelmed with everyone stopping by,” she explains. “This go around she wrote an email ahead of time saying that she would be receiving family visitors the first week from 2 to 4 p.m., and that friends could call starting the second week. It was great to see her be a bit selfish and have the space she needed to adjust.”
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t surround yourself with the love and support you need. One experienced mom, Debra Gomes, enlisted friends to organize her support network for the birth of her second child. She had one friend in charge of a volunteer list for helping care for her toddler, someone else coordinating meal drop-offs and another list of what gifts the new baby really needed.