It's no secret, having a baby is a lot of work. What seems to be more of a secret is how much tenderness comes with those first couple of weeks after your baby arrives.
Everyone focuses on how you're sleeping, but few people dig into everything else that may be going on.
You're new to this- either to parenting or this baby, that's hard! You may also be having a hard time adjusting to the idea your a mom. Breastfeeding may be difficult. Let's not even get started on the physical healing that's happening.
You need help.
What you need is a team of people you trust that will be there to support both the physical and emotional needs you have as a new parent.
Ask for Help
First off, ask for help. Do it sooner rather than later, even before your baby is born. If you can set expectations early, not only will your select group of helpers actually be helpful, you'll also feel a lot less stressed about asking.
Talk with friends and family before your baby is born about what you may want from them after your baby arrives. Tell your aunt you'd really appreciate if she could bring over meals for a couple days. Let your friend know you'd like her support with some light cleaning and laundry.
The secret here is everyone will be jumping to help you- you just need to tell them what your needs are. When they know ahead of time, they'll be even more excited and prepared to support you.
Say "No" to Hosting
Set expectations to friends and family about what visits will look like when your baby is born. Start by letting people know that, even though you love them, shorter visits are better and easier to adjust to.
Also, it's usually much easier to adjust to visitors if they come one at a time or in pairs. Larger groups of people can be overwhelming and leave you feeling like you're hosting a party.
Everyone wants to come and see your baby, but remind people that this is fresh, and they're coming for the baby and you! While it's easy to want to welcome people into your home, be kind to yourself. No one will be upset if your counters are dirty, if you haven't showered or there isn't any food in the freezer.
Reach Out When Emotions are Tough
Being a new mom comes with a lot of emotional adjustment and changes. Know who you can turn to when you need to let it all out.
Motherhood can be so wonderful, but it is also super hard. You're never going to get it perfect, so find someone who will remind you that you're doing your best.
Need a larger group of women? Check out our awesome Facebook Group, "Hey Mama, You're Doing Just Fine." This group lifts mamas up when its rough and sometimes you need the support of a bunch of moms to get you through.
There's Help for That
There is also a lot of professional support out there for some of the trickier moments in motherhood.
Not everyone has family and friends that live close, but that doesn't mean you have to do this on your own. Getting support from a postpartum doula can be an amazing way to get through those first couple of weeks and feel like you aren't just surviving.
Breastfeeding Educators and Lactation Consultants are available when breastfeeding feels challenging or you haven't gotten the hang of it.
There is no shame in getting extra help. In fact, you'll be better off in the long run knowing you've received support you need and you aren't completely depleting yourself just because you feel you have to do it all.
Want that extra support as a new parent? Need some extra attention with breastfeeding?
The Sown Seed offers both Postpartum Wellness Support and Breastfeeding Success Support.