As an experienced, luxury newborn photographer and a mom of two, I know a thing or two about motherhood. No one is an expert, of course, but I’m confident that I have some insider knowledge that any new mama would be glad to hear! Once you give birth, your whole world changes, and time seems to stop. As soon as you’re headed back home, though, time rears right back up. The beginning of motherhood is filled with hurdles and questions, so I wanted to talk about how to get through your very first week with a newborn.
Ultimately, giving birth is a traumatic experience for your body. You’re going to be a little sore, a little out of it. Don’t expect to be 100% back to it as soon as you arrive home from the hospital or birthing center! Listen to your body, give it what it needs. This is one of the most important lessons to learn as a new mother: you need to take care of yourself. Yes, your newborn needs you, but they’re going to need you at your best! Rest (as much as you can, given the circumstances), and take it slow. You will heal. Some items that might be good to have on hand: a nursing pillow, heating pad, ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication. You can do this!
In that first week, your newborn is experiencing so much. Don’t panic! A lot of things are adjusting and acclimating to life outside the womb. Maybe their tummy is a little rigid, it’s most likely gas. Maybe they are a little bit hard to wake up, or a little bit more fussy than you anticipated. All of that is normal, mama. Gas and constipation are extremely common in newborns, and that can cause much of their discomfort or distress. If anything is bringing you excess stress or worry, call your doctor to get their opinion. They’ll tell you if you need to come in for a check-up, or if everything is going to be okay.
For both formula or breastfeeding, this first week is going to be difficult. Prepare yourself, because let me tell you, it is so frustrating. There are so many opinions when it comes to feeding your baby, and internalized thoughts we have about not being a good enough mother. I need you to promise me, you will not give into those feelings and thoughts! It’s your baby, your newborn, and you’re learning what they need in this first week. They might not latch, might not like the formula you chose, and might have an erratic feeding schedule. You’re both working out the kinks, and I promise you’ll fall into a rhythm. Give it a little time, and don’t get discouraged.
As I said, giving birth is a traumatic experience for your body. On top of that, your hormones are bouncing all over the place, and if the birth was particularly tough you might be trying to process that as well. Any kind of postpartum depression won’t kick in right away, but no matter what you’re feeling, do NOT be ashamed. You safely brought your child into this world, and you’re tackling new motherhood and all its challenges. You are doing an amazing job, full stop. If you can’t stop crying, let the tears flow. If you feel weirdly calm or oddly removed from your emotions, that’s okay too. You’re going through a transformation, mentally and physically, and you need to give yourself time to catch up. Lean on your partner, talk to your family, friends and loved ones. A strong support system is key in that first week! You’re not alone in this, mama. Whatever you’re feeling is okay, and you’re going to get through it.
So, this one might be more obvious, but it’s still very much worth noting. I know that everyone expects this, but unless you suffer from insomnia or have experienced real sleep deprivation in your life, you’re not ready for this. The first week is filled with figuring out the groove, and this includes trying to establish a sleep schedule. Not to mention that if you were a deep sleeper before you gave birth, that luxury is gone. Motherhood has set in, and you’ll be a light sleeper from here on out (sorry!). Your body will be going through the motions, but all you’ll feel is tired in your bones. The first week is really such a daze, and maybe that’s a little bit of a blessing.
One other tip? Don’t schedule ANY social events. This might seem obvious, but I mean it! Do not put yourself in that position, because you will regret it. Maybe your mom or dad or sister can come over to meet the new angel, but other than that, I strongly advise not to see anyone. I don’t even recommend booking with a luxury newborn photographer until they’re at least two weeks old, so there’s more of a routine and your bond has gotten stronger. Here are some other helpful links: Parents.com and Womenshealth.com.
If you have any questions, please reach out! I would love to chat more. Looking for a luxury newborn photographer? Let’s get in touch! Learn more about my luxury photography experience. Then, head over to my portfolio to see a gallery of my other work. Additionally, follow me on Instagram for announcements, posts and updates
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Olga Clarke Photography is a luxury natural light portrait photographer in West Palm Beach, FL specializing in maternity, newborns and families.
Studio located West Palm Beach, FL
By Appointment Only
Business Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm
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