What first-time moms can expect

Your pregnancy test is positive.
You are elated and are looking forward to this new chapter in your life. So
what can you expect as a new mom?

What first-time moms can expect

 You are about to embark on one of the most
rewarding and enriching of relationships. Your life is changing and embracing
that change is the first step.

Tired,
lacking in energy

With the incessant rounds of feeding
and changing, not to mention the sleepless nights; expect your energy levels to
dip occasionally. Avoid skipping meals, as this leads to fatigue.

 Another way to reduce tiredness is to nap when
your child does. Thick curtains and quality blinds in the room baby sleeps in
will help you both nap during the day, avoiding crankiness.

You can also help yourself remain
alert and energised by exercising. Taking a daily stroll with the buggy or
appropriate exercise using a fitness DVD will keep energy levels high.

Expect upheaval in your personal
life and daily routines.

With so much time taken up with
childrearing, make sure to prioritise time together as a couple. As well as
promoting intimacy; time set aside for each other will allow you to fine tune
your parenting roles.

If you decide to continue working, you
may feel guilty about that decision for a while – this is common and will pass.

Those who feel guilty about ‘abandoning’
their child should give the caregiver or care institution parenting requests
and check that the most important ones are being met.

If the helper will be care-giving, spend
time with her before your return to work, while she minds the child. This will
reassure you that she can cope and is comfortable with the baby.

Those who feel guilty because they
prefer work to being a stay-at-home mom, can try listing the reasons why returning
to work will help you and the family. 
Keep the list handy for positive reinforcement.

Expect to feel as though you are
not coping as well as you should occasionally.

Accept and ask for help from family,
friends and the appropriate agencies.

Feeling overwhelmed can often be
relieved by an hour away from childrearing. Get a babysitter and go for a swim or
a girls’ night out; a happy mother often results in a contented child.

Issues like post natal depression
and difficulty in getting baby to latch on are common and help is available
from your doctor or a community midwife.

The Breastfeeding Support Group and
your community midwife have plenty of lactation experience and are there to
offer support.

If you feel isolated at home all
day with your child, join a mothers and toddlers group and organise day trips
out. Not only will you gain new friends, you can swap resources and
child-rearing tips.

Being a first-time mom can be
challenging in the early days but it is also one of the most fulfilling experiences
a woman can have.

FEATmomSTORY

Being a first-time mother means lots of changes, many of which you can prepare for ahead of time.
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