Updated: Jan 23
The days, weeks and months after a new baby arrives is often a rollercoaster journey, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, mixed with wonder and awe at a new life that is unfolding in front of you and sometimes an overwhelming sense of responsibility. For every person this journey is different and both mothers and fathers can be affected in many different ways.
During Baby Mindful Classes I am often met with confused look when I ask who is a first time mummy, and then remind them group that everyone is, as they have never been a mummy to 2 babies before or this baby before, they have never been a mummy with the life experiences that they have had a that time, maybe the last time they had support from their own mummy maybe she has since passed away and isn't there there are so many variables and factors and this is where the principles of mindfulness can be really helpful.
Looking after yourself is key to ensuring that you are able to look after a new baby.
This means prioritising rest and sleep, making sure that your nutritional needs are being met, that you are drinking enough water, connecting with the people closest to you and asking for help if you need it.
Many of my clients who have had reflexology during pregnancy will also come for sessions afterwards, often bringing the baby along with them. This is a space where mum and baby can have some quiet, uninterrupted time together and can be particularly precious if there are other children at home.
I recommend treating yourself to a good shower gel and hand cream, pure aromatherapy based ones from companies like Neal's Yard, can be a quick and easy way to get a little bit of self care in.
It is important to connect with people who are going through the same experiences as you. Sure-Start, NCT and the Daisy Foundation along with local community centres and other baby and toddler classes in the area all offer opportunities to do this.
The most important thing is to be gentle with yourself and each other, take time to breathe, to get fresh air. Self Care is important, Self Compassion even more so.
I often hear women say that the phrase that gets them through those early stages is “this too shall pass”. Remember you can’t spoil a new baby so lots of hugs and cuddles will make things easier for you both as your baby adapts to the outside world.
You might also recognise yourself in "Moods of Motherhood" by Lucy H. Pearce - a beautiful book that speaks to the inner journey of motherhood, giving voice to the often nebulous, unspoken tumble of emotions that motherhood evokes: tenderness, frustration, joy, grief, anger, depression and love
I also highly recommend Sarah Ockwell Smith, her books and Podcasts can offer great wisdom for parents at all stages in their Journey. https://sarahockwell-smith.com/