Advice to a New Mama…

Mother and Baby Snuggles

From the moment the exciting news is shared with loved ones, new moms are flooded with endless advice, solicited or otherwise. From family and friends to medical professionals, from books to the internet, there is SO much information about motherhood and becoming a parent. All of this information can be so overwhelming for a new parent and the reality is that a lot of this information is not based in any truth.

I decided that the best place to get advice for new mamas is in this amazing community of mamas (the Isla-Grace Instagram community) who have been there and who have filtered through all of the noise and followed their instincts and their hearts. Here is there beautiful advice to all of the new mamas out there…

  1. Follow your instincts and listen to your heart. A mother’s intuition is incredible. Always, always trust yourself. You are the best possible mother in the entire world for your baby.
  2. You know your baby best. Tune into your baby and get to know their cues. Watch your baby, not the clock.
  3. You do not need an app to tell you how to parent your child. Every baby will thrive on a different rhythm. For more information on finding this rhythm, click here.
  4. There is no right way to be a mom and there is no such thing as a perfect mom!
  5. Ask for help. Seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. There is NO shame in leaning on others, you do not need to do everything on your own. If you are looking to start getting your partner involved, here is a great resource for you to use.
  6. Open and honest communication with your partner is essential. Tell them what you need from them and let each other know how you can support each other through this transition for your relationship.
  7. It takes a village. Build a village around you of the people you trust so you can feel confident and comfortable asking for help when we need it.
  8. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. We are all always learning every day in each new part of our parenting journey. No one is the perfect mother.
  9. It is okay to not love every minute of it the newborn stage. It is okay if you do not experience the “love at first sight sensation”. This is a huge change and it is okay if it takes you some time to fall head over heels in love with your baby. That doesn’t mean you are not doing an incredible job of being their mother.
  10. Advocate for what feels right to you. You are your baby’s best advocate and it is so, so important that you fight for what feels right to you.
  11. You do not need to justify your choices to ANYONE.
  12. Say no. Visiting a new baby is a privilege NOT a right. Do not feel like you need to entertain or have a constant string of visitors. When you need to rest, take the time to rest. Soak up some time just you and your baby if that is what you are feeling like you need to do.
    Your relationship with your baby matters most. Do not spend time feeling anxious about pleasing others in your life by committing to certain things or saying yes to things you do not feel comfortable doing.
  13. Just because it worked for someone else, does not mean it will work for you and your family. Every baby, every mom, every experience is different. Find what works for you and do that.
  14. Your mental health matters more than whatever sleep patterns you think your baby should be following. For more on this, read here.
  15. You cannot, I repeat CANNOT spoil a baby. They are not fruit. There is no such thing as loving your baby too much or providing them with too much connection.
  16. Hold your baby as much as you want too. They need to feel your touch and hear your heartbeat. If they don’t want to be put down… that is perfectly normal!
  17. Feed them when they are hungry, change them when they are dirty, comfort them when they need it, love them always.
  18. Dr. Google is NOT your friend. Seek advice from professionals that you trust.
  19. Let go of expectations. Every baby is different and they are not robots so you need to get to know your own normal. Do not dictate how things are going based on what others have told you. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  20. Do not park in the spot closest to the door, park closest to the cart return.
  21. Talk to your doctor about pelvic floor physical therapy… or any other physical support you may need during recovery. Giving birth is incredible, but you need to take time to heal too.
  22. Have water and food easily accessible for nursing sessions (if you are nursing) so you can be sure you are taking care of yourself, too.
  23. Get outside. This can do wonders for both you and your baby!
  24. Fed is best, informed is best, supported is best. Let go of any guilt surrounding feeding and seek support no matter how you feed your baby.
  25. Do whatever you want. Don’t want to wear pants for three weeks? Don’t wear pants. Baby in pjs all day? Doesn’t matter.
  26. When it comes to baby sleep, PPA when you are getting stressed. Patience (they will go to sleep, it just takes time and I need to stay calm. Perseverance (just keep doing what you are doing and trust yourself). Acceptance (it is what it is right now, she is not sleeping, take a break and come back to it.
  27. You may have friends who move out of your life because your circumstances have changed. It isn’t about you.
  28. The secret to parenting is… there is no secret! Everyone is flying by the seat of their pants. Do what works for you.
  29. Take each day, day by day. Each day is a new day, you get to start over fresh.
  30. You are not a failure mama, you are more than enough!