From the moment those little lines appear on your pregnancy test the seed of worry starts to nestle in.
Let’s face it, as women (generally speaking) we are pretty darn good at this ‘worry’ game.
We worry about what we eat, how we move, if we are doing all the ‘right’ things in pregnancy, and that worry doesn’t stop once your baby is born.
This is supposed to be such an exciting, joyous and loving time, but we can sometimes let worry get in the way.
And true, there are some things we should consider and be more mindful of, but there is also a whole heap of things you shouldn’t waste time worrying about as a new mama.
There are much more important things to do (like cuddling and smelling your newborn) than worrying about any of these things:
1 – Cuddling Your Baby Too Much
Whoever started the whole idea that babies can be cuddled too much probably needs to be cuddled more themselves.
Your gorgeous little babe isn’t an inconvenience, they are the most amazing little bundle of goodness.
Think about it logically – you have carried this baby inside of you for the last 9 months.
They have felt your movements as they gently sway in your growing belly, heard the hum of your heartbeat and are always kept at the perfect warm temperature.
Then, they’re born and feel cool air for the first time ever, are able to be ‘alone’ for the first time ever and have a massive overstimulation to their senses.
Cuddling them and keeping them close (with skin to skin contact) will help them feel more safe, secure and calm.
Plus, they smell amazing and newborn cuddles are just so perfect.
Also, your baby isn’t manipulating you into cuddling them more, despite what old wives tale you’ve heard. They are neurologically incapable of such a thing.
2 – Your Milk Supply
It’s easy to stress about whether or not your baby is getting enough milk when you’re breastfeeding because we can’t physically see the amount of milk that our baby is drinking.
As soon as our little ones become fussy, or don’t sleep for long, the first thing we tend to stress about is our milk supply.
Even though you’ll find posts for ‘milk boosting recipes’ all over Pinterest, women don’t often actually have issues with milk supply (especially issues where supplements and medications are required).
As long as you’re keeping yourself well hydrated, and well fed, then your body knows how to do the rest.
The best way to ensure your baby is getting enough milk is by monitoring their output.
What goes in must come out.
This is a good guide as to how many wet nappies your newborn baby should be having each day.
3 – Your Baby’s Sleep ‘Schedule’
Have you been reading up on all the sleep routines that babies should be getting into?
Don’t even start worrying about it!
In the first few weeks, your baby is going to be sleeping a lot and waking a lot.
Their little tummies aren’t able to hold much milk so they will wake frequently and need to be fed frequently.
Attempting any sort of sleep routine in the early stages can potentially disrupt your milk supply.
Your baby knows what they need and your body knows how to give it to them.
Trust those mama instincts and just enjoy the newborn time.
4 – A Messy House
The absolute last thing you should be worrying about is a messy house!
It can be quite a turnaround after nesting in your last few weeks of pregnancy (anyone else decide they needed to clean their floors with a toothbrush?) but the world will not implode if you don’t clean your house for a while.
You can also enlist the help of family and friends with this.
If your Mum comes over, get her to stack the dishwasher.
You know how all of those people say ‘if you need anything let me know’? Then let them know!
Another idea is hiring someone to help out in those first few weeks (and months).
Getting someone in to give your bathroom and floors a good clean can be amazing.
5 – Eating Too Much Food
Your body has just been through an incredible feat which took a lot of energy to achieve.
Plus, breastfeeding makes you so hungry. All. The. Time.
While you might be keen to get back to your pre-baby weight, don’t rush it.
Nourish your body with good food and allow yourself to eat when you’re hungry.
If you’re feeling hungry your body is sending you signals that it needs something, so listen.
Keep some healthy snacks on hand and don’t stress about having seconds at dinner.
With all the demands and tiredness of having a newborn, it can be easy to get through half the day before you’ve even realised you haven’t eaten yet.
Eat and eat well (bacon and eggs for breakfast is a great start! Yum!).
6 – Exercising
For some, the thought of exercising is about as appealing as giving a cactus a hug.
But for others, it can be tempting to get back into your workout routine and start shifting some of the extra weight that comes with pregnancy.
Don’t rush into it.
Your body needs time to heal and sometimes getting back into an exercise routine too quickly can cause more harm than good.
Talk to your Midwife and discuss with them what is appropriate for you.
Perhaps a slow, gentle walk would be suitable to get you outdoors and moving, or gentle stretching to ease back into it. But be sure to listen to your body.
If you feel any unusual pain stop and talk to your Midwife.
There will be plenty of time in the coming months to workout, now is a time to rest and heal.
7 – If You’re Doing Everything ‘Right’
Talk to any mother of any generation and I guarantee you they will all say the same thing – they weren’t sure if they were doing things ‘right’.
Sure there’s a million books on how to raise your baby (and blog posts like this one) but no two kids are the same, no two parents are the same, and we all have different opinions, views, priorities and experiences that we bring to raising our children.
I’ve spent many hours stressing over if I’m doing things right and here’s what I keep reminding myself: I love my baby, I make them feel loved and secure, I make sure their needs are met and therefore I’m doing things ‘right’.
There are so many things you can stress over and things you’ll be worrying about as a new mama.
This is an emotional and hormonal time, a time when your body has achieved amazing things and when you need time to heal and get used to your new role in life.
So take a deep breath, make yourself a cup of tea and just relax. Trust your mama instincts. You’ve got this.