New Mothers: The Ultimate Survival Guide

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Surviving as a new mother isn’t as easy as most people would have you believe. That is especially the case when you consider that many women have to navigate the minefield alone. Today, I wanted to offer some tips and advice that should help you to make it through. At the end of the day, sometimes we all need some guidance from people who’ve been there before. I’m going to start this article with suggestions for before you’ve given birth. I’ll then take you through some things you might like to consider when the baby arrives. Being pregnant is always an exciting time. You’re about to meet someone you’ve created who will become the most important thing in your life. So, it makes sense to prepare as much as possible for your new little friend.

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Planning your hospital trip

The last thing you want is to find yourself in a panic when your waters break. With that in mind, it’s sensible to plan your hospital trip well in advance. You need to identify someone who’s willing to drop everything and get you when their phone rings. If you’re single at the moment, you should ask close family members who won’t let you down. You could also ask your friends if you don’t have family around. As a last resort, you would have to call 999 and wait for an ambulance. However, you don’t want to spend those special moments with strangers. So, do yourself a favour and create your plan ahead of time. That way, you can relax and concentrate on giving birth when the baby wants to rear its head.

Finding a birth partner

Presuming you make it to the hospital before giving birth, you won’t want to stay alone. Sure, there are nurses and other members of staff around to ensure you’re safe and comfortable. However, they won’t have time to stand and chat while you wait for the baby. For that reason, you should ask someone close to you to become your birthing partner. Ideally, it would be the person you’ve arranged to take you to the hospital. You need to identify someone who’s willing to drop everything and maybe even lose a days work. You should look for a person who will hold your hand through the entire experience and tell you everything is okay. Old girlfriends are always a good choice if you don’t have someone special in your life at the moment.

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Arranging the type of birth you desire

You have some options when it comes to arranging the delivery. You could do it naturally in a hospital bed like most other women. However, you could also opt for a water birth or something a little more unusual. Some women are also concerned about the levels of pain they would experience during labour. For that reason, caesarean sections are also an option. You do, however, need to arrange all that with the hospital in advance. So research each method in depth, and then let the nurses know your final decision. Just bear in mind that you might have to alter your plans at the last minute if there are any complications during the process.

Getting help when you bring the baby home

After giving birth, you’ll need to rest for at least a few days. You can’t perform any heavy lifting, and you shouldn’t try to do too much. Considering that, you’re going to require some assistance at home. Of course, your partner will do all the hard work if you have a man in your life. However, things can become a little more complicated if you’re a single parent. Without assistance, you increase the chances of experiencing postnatal depression. You will need to rely on the goodwill of friends and family members during those early days. Ask the people around you to prepare meals and watch over the baby while you get some sleep. You should also ask them to help you out with the household chores. Anyone who’s had a baby before will know what it’s like themselves. They should fall over themselves to help you out.

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Dealing with maternity finances

Research by Cash Float suggests that UK mothers get the worst maternity pay the whole of Europe. With that in mind, it makes sense that you should create a financial plan before you have to stop working. Ideally, you’ll want to save as much money as possible to help you through. However, you might also need to call in some family favours too. No mother should have to struggle during the first year of their baby’s life. So, take a look at all potential solutions and then decide on something that works for you.

The breastfeeding decision

The last section in this guide relates to breastfeeding. It’s a personal decision, and not one I wish to influence in any way. That said, there are many benefits to feeding your baby in that manner. Unicef did an excellent job of relaying them recently. Firstly, the child will get all the essential nutrients it requires to grow. Secondly, psychologists say mothers who breastfeed build stronger bonds with their children. It’s a beautiful thing that you might like to share with your little one. Just don’t feel bad if breastfeeding isn’t for you. Only you can decide what’s right and wrong for your baby.

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I hope this guide helps mothers-to-be to leave no stone unturned. The last thing you want is to get home from the hospital and fend for yourself. It’s an exciting time in your life and you should share it with the people who matter most. Good luck ladies!

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