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Top 5 Things to Do

There’s so much running through your head and many things to remember during the first 30 days of being a new mom. Relax: These tested tips will help any woman thrive as a new momma.

1. Get some sleep.

Nothing is more valuable to new mothers than sleep. The average newborn is nursing or bottle-feeding every two to three hours during the first weeks. That means a new mom quickly hits the exhausted, worn down and cranky stage. You need to take charge and create a sleep strategy for yourself. A good strategy includes sleeping when your baby sleeps, letting other people take a turn feeding the baby and learning to nurse while lying down.

2. Line up your help.

A new mom simply cannot have too much help. Line up a support network for the first 30 days. Have a loved one or friend coordinate a month-long schedule of people to clean, prepare healthy meals, run errands and help with the baby so you can rest and recover. This is not selfish; it’s self-care.

3. Make feeding fun.

Whether bottle- or breast-feeding, most women are feeding their babies eight to 12 times a day in those first weeks and months. No matter how wonderful feeding your baby is, the sheer amount of time spent doing it can wear you down. Create a special spot stashed with snacks, books, soft music and comfy pillows. You can also make feeding time a chance to watch your favorite TV show, catch up with a good friend on the phone or dive into a parenting magazine or book. Of course, your first priority is to connect and nurture your baby.

4. Lower your expectations.

Many new moms are blindsided by the reality of motherhood. It’s exhausting, there’s a tremendous amount to learn, your emotions are erratic and your body takes a while to heal. Go easy on yourself and others. Your baby just needs love and attention, not perfection. Focus on what’s going well, not what isn’t working. Remember, you are the best mom this child has ever known.

5. Be with other moms.

One of the best things you can do is to reach out to other new moms and share the experience. There is nothing more reassuring than to sit with a group of brand-new moms and see and hear that you’re completely normal—everybody else is experiencing the same thing! Find a local group of new moms and get out and meet with them by the end of the first 30 days. You’ll be so happy you did!

Posted: 11/16/07

#5 sounds like the greatest thing but in a town of 700 how it this possible when you are an outsider that has just moved in?