Mama, you got this!
You just grew then birthed a tiny human and now it’s up to you to keep them alive—whew! First off, give yourself a pat on the back. You are doing amazing mama (I see you too amazing dads!). Remember, you were made for this. Here are my top tips for surviving and thriving in the first three months of motherhood.
Often referred to as the fourth trimester, these days are filled with sweet special moments of getting to know and bonding with your new babe but they can also be isolating, discouraging, and downright painful without the right tools.
First and foremost, GET A SUPPORT TEAM. Tell your family and friends exactly what you need. Examples:
“Can you set up a meal train for us? We need help with dinners on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Let people know they can drop them to the front porch between 5:30-7:30pm”
“Would you be able to walk Scout around the block in the mornings?”
“I need some extra help with Olivia. Can you come by for a couple hours and hold her while I take a shower and a nap?”
“Can you pick up this list of items at the grocery store?”
Be specific. Give people details on which items, what days, when a good time is. Most of the time, people are asking “How can I help?” or “Let me know if you need anything”. This is the perfect segway into requesting some help. If you aren’t hearing this, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for what you need.
SAY NO. Seriously… just say no. This is a very special time of bonding and learning what your new normal looks like. If you do not feel like having people over or going out or whatever, please don’t do it. You do not need to feel obligated to let your mother-in-law spend two weeks at your house. You can tell your friend who wants to come over and see the new baby it’ll have to be another time. Everyone will be so excited to meet your bundle of joy but if you aren’t ready for visitors, they can wait.
HORMONES. You are going through an emotional rollercoaster with labor and birth, breastfeeding, lack of sleep, being out of your normal routine, navigating parenthood with your spouse, possibly dealing with sibling adjustments, and figuring out your role. It is completely normal to not feel like yourself. Take care of yourself and begin at the source with your hormones. Eating a well-balanced diet (cue meal train or grocery delivery), staying hydrated, and taking vitamins and encapsulated placenta. Okay, I know I just turned some of you off when I said take your encapsulated placenta but just hear me out. Taking your placenta will do wonders for your hormones. Your body’s hormone levels drop three days after you give birth and they do not return to normal for 6-12 weeks. By supplementing with your own hormones, it can help you stay balanced. This helps with postpartum depression, milk supply, energy, anxiety, and postpartum healing. If you are a Sacramento local, use Tamera Morales, Placenta Mom to encapsulate your placenta. She makes the process super simple, affordable, and you will get your capsules shipped to your door and usually arrive a few days after giving birth. If your not local, Living Birth Mom is a great option and she ships nationwide. Personally, the biggest difference I saw was in my postpartum anxiety/ depression.
FRESH AIR. Nothing quite boosts your mood like getting some fresh air. Open up the windows and let the breeze in, sunshine stream through, and if you feel up for it, take a seat outside for 30-40 minutes. As you start to come out of the newborn cocoon, add in short walks outdoors. Even a quick trip to Target for more diapers or a drive in the car to the Starbucks drive-thru can do the trick.
GEAR: The right baby gear can make all the difference between enjoying this season and wishing it to be over. For newborns, my top 3 favorite things that I can not live without are: the Snoo bassinet, the Solly baby wrap, and the Doona stroller + car seat. The Snoo is the safest bassinet on the market, it has soothing white noise and gentle rocking that mimics the womb, and it responds to soothe your baby’s cries. This means you get up less at night and get more sleep and you can have peace of mind knowing they can’t roll over and suffocate. Get the Snoo here: https://rents4baby.com/product/rent-a-snoo-bassinet/
The Solly wrap is another must-have. The feeling of holding your baby on your chest while they sleep and snuggle you is easily the best feeling in the world. Imagine that feeling and being hands free to go about your day. This is the great thing about the wrap. The material is comfortable and stretchy and breathable (even in the warm California summers) compared to other wraps on the market. Also, the wrap feels much more secure and less strain on your shoulders compared to a sling. Get the Solly here: https://sollybaby.com/
The Doona is unique because there isn’t anything else like it and saves you so much hassle. It is an infant car seat and stroller in one item. You can find videos on just how easy it is to use on the rents4baby Instagram page (@rents4baby) but it makes running daily errands simple. You can use it with or without the base so it is also great for traveling. It is also compact making maneuvering through aisles at Target or tight spaces easy. This is especially a top pick if this is your second, third, etc. baby because of how it makes getting in and out of the car seamless and the retractable handlebar is a great length for helpful older siblings. Get the Doona here: https://rents4baby.com/product/doona-stroller-car-seat/
Other great items that I have personally used with my kids and others rave about: Dock a Tot, Mamaroo, Nuna Leaf, Baby Bjorn Bouncer, Hatch sound machine/nightlight, Hatch grow changing pad, Elvie/Willow wearable breast pump, UPPAbaby Vista with bassinet attachment. Get these baby gear essentials here:
DON’T BE IN A HURRY. Cherish these newborn moments as much as you can. It’s true that time goes fast!
Xx Paige, rents4baby team