You must have asked a lot of people about it and I am sure some answers would have been, a lot of nappies, diapers, feeding gowns, nursing bras, baby swing, breast pump and what not but are these the only things a mother needs?
Let me share my experience as a new mother.
When I was handed my baby girl for the first time (10 min after she was born) to feed her, she started sucking immediately but it was extremely painful (I had inverted nipples and maybe she was not latching on correctly). Then the nurse instructed me to get up every two hours to feed the baby so I fixed an alarm on my phone. I forgot to tell you that I was admitted to the hospital at 1 o’clock in the night and the baby was born the next day in the evening while I was having high fever and it was a so-called normal delivery with only a few stitches.
So, I basically didn’t know how to feed the baby, she was not latching properly or milk was not coming or I was the problem, I didn’t know anything. My alarm did ring every 2 hours and the nurse was coming to help me every hour.. Unfortunately, they couldn’t help much since the baby wanted to sleep but every time, we tried for half an hour to 1 hour. The whole thing was repeated till the next evening until I got discharged.
Then started the continuous crying of my baby girl, some were saying she got used to ‘GODI’ (Lap) so whenever we would try to put her to sleep, she would start crying. Some were saying she got used to the nipple and didn’t want to leave. I was feeding her for 1.5 hour in every two hours. I had no idea when I should start counting 2 hours, when she finished feeding or when I started feeding her. If I had 2 hours straight sleep day or night, I considered myself lucky that day.
We went to the doctor several times, I started noting her schedule in the night, that’s where this note came from. It’s from Dec 21, when my baby girl was 13 days old. I still get tears in my eyes while remembering it. I found the note I once wrote about her feeding schedule; I have attached it to the blog too.
I think mine was not a special case, my baby girl was perfectly healthy so this is the normal scenario of what a new mother goes through.
Before delivery as an expecting mother you only think about what a mother will need for the baby like clothes, diapers, sheets but would you have thought that you would need immense mental as well as emotional support to get through the phase. she will also be needing immense support, a cuddle, a hug, even many times a shoulder to cry on. Late night feeding sessions, lack of sleep, pain from the stiches, trauma from labor, infinite crying, diaper changing. Everything changes in the very instance when the baby is born.
When a baby is born, a mother is also born (Sounds like a cliché but it’s true). Not only is the newborn baby trying to adjust with the new environment and almost everything new apart from its mother but Mother is also trying to fit into the new role. In my opinion a new mother needs:
- Mental & emotional support from the people around her, especially her partner.
- Definitely doesn’t need judgment on her decisions.
- A good night’s sleep (even 3-4 hours continuous sleep goes a long way).
- A good nutritional diet in frequent intervals.
- A break from mom duties to maintain her sanity.
- Sometimes a shoulder to cry on ☹
If you are an expecting mother, I don’t want to scare you. This is a phase which is very challenging but it definitely ends once the baby achieves one milestone after another. If you are a new mother, I understand you, you must be tired, sleepy but remember this is not permanent.