Becoming a new mom can be a challenging experience that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about your abilities as a parent.
However, it’s essential to remember that you are not alone. Research shows that approximately six in ten new moms experience a period where they worry about their capability of being a good mom.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you cope with this new role. In this post, I will share advice for new moms I wish I had learned sooner.
I hope this advice catches you at the beginning of your journey so you can be empowered to make the best decisions for your family and yourself.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
16 Best Advice for New Moms
1. Adjusting To Your New Role Takes Time.
Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience that brings profound truths to light.
With the birth of a baby, a mother is also born, and it is crucial to take the time to understand what it means to be one.
Motherhood comes with unique superpowers you didn’t know you had until you became a mother. For instance, you may find yourself becoming braver now that you have a baby to care for.
However, parenting can also trigger childhood trauma, and you might feel overwhelmed by the lack of instructions. But if you pay attention, you will discover many opportunities for healing on this journey.
2. You Come First.
It may sound wild, especially with our new protective instincts around baby.
However, putting yourself first is the only way you can enjoy motherhood more.
This is an important advice for new moms to remember. Putting yourself first could be as simple as remembering to eat before it’s time to feed your baby again.
Taking 10-20 minutes for yourself in another room where you can be alone, or taking a bath in the morning so you feel put together, especially if you have people coming over to see you and your baby.
3. It’s Ok To Mourn The Birth You Didn’t Have.
I was 100% sure I could have the birth of my dream, which was vaginally and unmedicated.
I have nothing against medication now that I know how much it helps, but I also did all the work to learn to cope with labor pains and have a vaginal bath without tearing. I walked. I bounced on a yoga ball. I did perineal massages. I drank raspberry leaf tea. I did everything I learned that helped with a natural birth.
But I had a c-section instead. I am now thankful for the c-section because I now understand why it was needed for the survival of my daughter, but at the time, I didn’t, and I couldn’t talk about my birth story without crying because I didn’t understand why my body failed me.
So, I’m here to say it’s okay to be sad and not want to talk about it. But do find out why it happened so that you can heal and not carry that trauma onto your next pregnancy.
4. Trust Your Gut.
As a parent, you have the most profound understanding of your child. You know your baby better than any doctor ever could.
Hence, if you disagree or find something unusual in your doctor’s observation, you should speak up. You are the one who can advocate for your child’s well-being.
Therefore, if you feel something is wrong with your baby, trust your instincts and take appropriate action.
5. You Don’t Have to Accept Traditional Advice.
Parenting is a unique journey for every parent and child, so just because someone in your family has three kids, it doesn’t automatically make them an expert in parenting your child.
Consider the advice that resonates with you, question the ones that you don’t fully understand, and disregard the ones that you don’t like.
Remember, as a parent, you are the one who is ultimately in charge, not your parents or anyone else!
6. Don’t Feel Bad for Setting Boundaries.
After becoming a mom, I realized the importance of setting boundaries. It wasn’t easy but it helped me to create a space for myself where I could breathe, think, and balance my new life with a baby.
I set boundaries with people who wanted to come to my house early or when the baby was asleep without talking to me first.
I also made it clear for people to keep negative comments to themselves. We are already hard on ourselves. We don’t need to hear more of what we are doing wrong. Setting boundaries helped me to be more productive, relaxed, and present for my baby.
7. It’s Ok If You Don’t Know How to Bond with Your Baby Right Away.
After my c-section, I was in too much pain to do things for my daughter, like changing diapers and burping. And hubby was such a natural that without noticing, I got scared of my new role as mom.
I didn’t know what to say to my baby. And hubby would have an entire conversation with her. I was scared to bathe her because I thought she would slip since babies are so slippery! But hubby would bathe her like nothing.
Eventually, I did it and got comfortable doing it. And now I wish I could do less! (lol)
My advice for new moms is to give yourself time to get the hang of it. Just because you don’t get it initially doesn’t mean you won’t.
8. Take Time to Reflect on Your Current Struggles.
As a new mother you may feel like you have much to learn. However, with time, you’ll discover what works best for you and your baby through trial and error.
A great starting point is to pay attention to the areas where you are currently struggling and reflect on them. Identify the problems and try to find ways to improve them or shift your perspective.
You can use books and research to help you learn and feel supported by other mothers who have faced similar struggles.
Remember, you’re not alone, and seeking help is always a wise decision.
9. It’s Ok if Breastfeeding is Harder Than You Thought.
Breastfeeding can be a daunting experience for new mothers despite the preparation and research you may have done on the subject.
The nipple pain and soreness, coupled with the stress of waiting for milk to come in and the struggle to latch the baby, can be overwhelming.
However, with time and practice, it does get easier. Trying different breastfeeding positions or pumping exclusively can help increase comfort.
It’s crucial not to let breastfeeding stress you out. An important advice for new moms to remember about breastfeeding is that your ability to breastfeed is not a reflection of your ability as a mother.
You are still a great and capable mother!
If you need help learning to breastfeed, you can try free breastfeeding resources in your area, such as WIC, La Leche League, or even the hospital where you delivered your baby, which may offer free lactation classes.
If these free resources do not help or are outside your area, you can hire a lactation consultant.
10. It’s Okay to Change Pediatricians.
When choosing a pediatrician for your baby, You may have done thorough research by interviewing them and checking their online reviews.
However, after the first or second visit, it’s perfectly okay to want to switch if you’re not satisfied with their interaction with you and your baby.
At first, I felt guilty about switching because there were things I loved about our first pediatrician, but I didn’t like how “cold” she was when interacting with us or my baby.
Pediatricians should have good, happy energy so kids feel comfortable and unafraid long-term.
I realized that as my daughter grows and requires more comfort and connection from her doctor, this pediatrician may be unable to provide that. So, I decided to switch until we found one we were both happy with.
11. Don’t Aim for Perfection.
Motherhood is a challenging experience, and it’s essential to understand that even seemingly perfect moms online are not flawless.
Don’t strive for Perfection, as it can lead to unnecessary stress. It’s normal to feel exhausted and overwhelmed, particularly with a newborn.
Yes, you may have forgotten to pack essential items like extra milk, a pacifier, or even your diaper bag on your last outing and, as a result, felt like a “terrible” mom.
Or, you feel ashamed because your home is messy often, but don’t be embarrassed; these situations are temporary and can serve as a learning experience.
Advice for new moms: Give yourself the grace to learn something new and as complex as motherhood.
12. Share The Load with Your Partner.
Motherhood is not meant to be done alone, so don’t if you have help!
During postpartum recovery, you should be taking it easy, especially after a c-section! Don’t feel bad for asking your partner for help even if you feel like you may be driving them crazy.
You just pushed out a baby, not them, or you just had major surgery to deliver this healthy baby, and so your partner can help now.
Plus, you still have to breastfeed and it’s all too much all at once! So ask for help, and don’t feel bad!
13. It’s Ok to Feel Lonely While Not Actually Being Alone.
Life changes a lot when you become a parent, especially if you are the only one among your friends or family with kids.
While others seem to be living their “best life,” you may feel isolated and alone with baby spit-up on your shirt and barely any sleep.
It’s natural to feel this way because you can’t just get up and go like you used to or sleep whenever you want without anyone needing you.
It’s an adjustment, but it’s not a bad thing, so don’t feel sorry for yourself. It’s just a challenging phase you’re in while figuring out motherhood, but it will pass.
14. Surround Yourself With Other Moms that You Can Relate To.
It’s essential for all mothers, especially new ones, to surround themselves with like-minded moms who can offer support without judgment.
It can be incredibly liberating to know someone has walked in your shoes and understands your struggles without thinking you’re being dramatic or overreacting.
Feeling seen and supported during this time can be incredibly helpful, especially when it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly failing as a new mom.
Yes, these amazing mom friends do exist! Start by going places you like, like a group yoga class, a group workout class, a mommy and me classes, etc. You got this!
15. Do Something You Enjoy Daily.
As we discussed before, It’s essential to prioritize yourself during the journey of motherhood.
Merely surviving each day is not enough; you must also create moments that you enjoy, such as reading for 10 minutes, going for a walk, watching the sunrise with your morning coffee, or indulging in a relaxing bath.
Doing something for yourself will make you feel good, allowing you to be more present with your baby and in a much happier mood. When you stop taking care of yourself, you’ll begin to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders and that, you don’t want.
16. This Phase Will Pass.
My last piece of advice for new moms (for now) is to remember that this Phase will pass!
The Phase of waking up every 2-3 hours to feed your newborn will pass, as will the Phase of your baby not sleeping through the night. The Phase of having to carry your baby all the time will also pass.
Likewise, the Phase of pumping or breastfeeding every 8 to 12 times a day will pass.
When it does, you will be surprised at how quickly it went by, and you may even miss some of it. Therefore, take motherhood one day at a time and try to make those challenging moments one percent better every time so you can enjoy them a little more.
I know becoming a new mom can be an intimidating experience. After all, you have a whole human to care for.
However, as discussed in this post, Having a support system you can count on at any time, understanding your parenting style, and trusting yourself to do the very best for you and your baby can make the transition smoother and boost your confidence as a mother.
It’s essential to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and to be kind to yourself as you navigate through parenthood.
As the famous Naya Rivera once said, “You’re always going to wonder if you’re doing things wrong, but that’s what it means to be a mom, to care so much about someone else that you just want to be as perfect as possible.”