A few of my dear friends gave birth this past week and rather than bombard them with unsolicited advice, I thought I’d share with the internet. You’re welcome.

Dear new mama,

You just brought life into this world and it was work. You should be so proud of yourself. You are beautiful and so is your sweet babe.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the love you feel for your child. Or just overwhelmed.

Watching your partner hold your baby for the first time will make you feel like the heart-eyed emoji.

There is no better feeling than that first shower. You will feel like an entirely new person.

You will not win an award for enduring pain during recovery. If you are in pain, talk to your doctor. Your doctor won’t be able to treat you if you aren’t honest about the way that you’re feeling.

Take advantage of your nurse reminding you to take care of yourself. Even if it is just taking a Motrin.

Those hospital provided cold packs are the real deal. Snag a few to take home with you. You’ll be glad that you did.

Take all of the help that you can get. And don’t just let others hold the baby while you do household chores.

If you are trying to build supply, fight engorgement or get ready to head back to work, the best time to pump is right after you’ve fed the baby in the morning. It might feel like you have nothing left, but pump anyway. You’ll build supply and hopefully avoid mastitis. 

On that note, if you start feeling any symptoms of mastitis, get on the phone with your doctor. Use warm compresses, massage, hot shower, everything. It’s miserable and you want to avoid it.

Drink water. Fill up a water bottle and keep it with you at all times, especially if you’re nursing.

If it starts feeling like it’s too much, call in reinforcements. Have a family member or friend come hold the baby so you can catch a nap. Ask someone to pick up lunch for you so that you don’t skip another meal.

Allow your partner the opportunity to learn how to parent without constantly hovering. If you want help, you need to learn not to micromanage it.

If you’re feeling overrun with guests, give yourself some time to be alone. If you’re feeling isolated, make plans to get out of the house. A walk or a cup of coffee with a friend can refresh you, just as a cup of coffee and a magazine in a quiet house can.

Roll your eyes at moms like me who can’t stop themselves from sharing advice you didn’t ask for once we’ve left the room. We love to think that we’re helping. We’ve been where you’ve been and we know that we’re annoying. We just can’t stop ourselves.

But, I mean what I said. You’re beautiful. Your baby is beautiful. I am obsessively checking my social media pages looking for new pictures. As far as I’m concerned, you can never post too many, so post away! And, if you need to ask any questions or you’re looking for someone to vent to, I’m here. 

What’s one piece of practical advice you’d share with a brand new mom?

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Chaaron

Chaaron is a Nebraska native who lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, RP, her son, Dash and her daughter, Pippa. By day, she's a program manager with a public charity in DC and by night, she is happily occupied with living room dance parties and dodging errant duplo pieces. She's terrible at updating her blog, but you can find her little slice of the internet at senseandnonsenseblog.com.

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