What Are The 5 Things Every
New Mom Needs?
There are things that every new mom needs and deserves, but unfortunately many of these suggestions are out of reach for so many. At Scruffy City Doula we fight for the rights of women, in hopes that one day all women will be able to receive the care they deserve. I am being very idealistic here, but here are the top five things that I think every new mom needs.
Get Yourself A Doula!!
Doulas offer education and support during pregnancy. Have a small question, but don’t want to call the obstetrician and wait for a call back from the nurse? Even if you did reach out, by the time they call back you have forgotten the question. It’s too important for your friend's anecdotal advice, and the Internet can’t help you because everything is scary when you google it. You call your doula for evidence-based information.
Doulas offer physical and emotional support during labor, and offer continuous care. A doula can be with you at home and then move to your place of birth so that you have a professional with you throughout labor.
Doulas are advocates. We listen to you and help you navigate medical language and protocol so that you feel empowered throughout the birthing process.
Doulas support your partner, too. We can guide partners in the best way to support a laboring mother-to-be and help them understand the process so that they feel more prepared and comfortable.
2. Develop A Personal Care Routine
It is easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re a new mom, and the world has told us for a long time that's how it should be. Don't fall into this trap. You are a better parent when you are mentally healthy and not completely drained.
All self care routines will look different. For some, it's handing off childcare for the first 40 minutes of the day to shower and get themselves ready. For others, it's taking time every day to workout. For me, it was going to book club and taking time to read the book every month. You will be a better parent and partner if you take time to be you.
3. Read the Book “How Not To Hate Your Husband After Having Kids” (Sorry about the explicit language), by Jancee Dunn
This book has a very divisive title, but don't let that discourage you. The book really does take a look at how partners re-learn to communicate with one another. The writer of the book does not place all the blame on her partner, she really does show a balance in responsibility. Many new parents feel like a bomb was set off in their relationship after having kids, and this book addresses so many of those new challenges. It reinforces that you are not alone and you can still have a loving relationship—it's just gonna take some work.
4. A Plan of Support Postpartum
Postpartum support is going to look so different for everyone, but the things that a new mom needs for two to three weeks (longer is better) are:
helping with the baby, and
Some people hire postpartum doulas to help with these, some people rely on partners or friends, and some people have family come in to help out. My recommendation is to set expectations BEFORE you have the baby. If your mom is coming into town to help, let her know what you would like her responsibilities to be. If it's just you and your partner with the help of friends, try and create a schedule for cooking and cleaning. Ask for the support you need so that you can heal and bond with that sweet little babe.
5. Find Yourself A Pelvic Floor (PC) Therapist
Pelvic floor therapy is physical therapy targeted to support the PC muscles. This muscle group supports the bladder, vagina and anus. Many women experience muscle weakness in these areas after pregnancy, regardless of whether you gave birth vaginally or via cesarean section. A pelvic floor therapist can help you increase muscle strength and awareness. This is not just for women who experienced trauma, it's for all women and should be a regular part of postpartum treatment.
Written by Renee Dudley