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You’re a mama! 8 easy—but important—habits for new mothers to start your first week

When your baby is born, a mother is born, too. Take time to recover and ease into this new role.

You’re a mama! 8 easy—but important—habits for new mothers to start your first week

Connect with your little one

Congratulations on the arrival of your baby! When your first baby is born, a mother is born too. Embrace her—and recognize that change is always challenging—even when the change is a joyous one. You and your family have a grand adventure ahead!

Connect with your newborn. Hold him. Gaze into her eyes. Watch him breathe. Look at her tiny fingernails. Soak in the reality that THIS is YOUR child.

Get your rest

A photo posted by Amanda Watters (@mamawatters) on

It’s been an exhausting journey for you and your baby. Whether he arrived by vaginal delivery, c-section, surrogate or adoption—the physical and emotional journey is exhausting for both of you. You both need to recover and rest—and this is true of the journey through motherhood. Your rest matters.

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Take care of you

Rest, food, water—all are crucial for making breast-milk and recovering from the trauma to your body (let’s face it—childbirth is a miracle—and a trauma). Don’t overlook how important self-care is. In order for you to raise a happy and healthy child, you need to be a happy and healthy mother.

Rest, food and hydration are basic—but key.

Get your partner involved

Ask your partner to call/email your friends and family. Leave your phone and laptop in the drawer while you rest and connect (do you see the theme here?!) Let your partner send the emails.

Play it safe

A photo posted by Amanda Watters (@mamawatters) on

Before leaving the hospital you will need to: have a pediatrician and know when your first appointment is (the doctor in the hospital nursery should tell you when your baby needs to be seen), demonstrate car seat fluency, have a safe/appropriate place for you baby to sleep at home.

Babies don’t need much, but make sure you’ve got the important safety issues covered.

Trust yourself

A photo posted by Amanda Watters (@mamawatters) on

But ask for help.

Dr. Spock, the original parenting professional, opened his famous 1946 book with the line: “You know more than you think you do.” That was timeless advice.

Parenting is on-the-job training for just about everyone. You will make some accidental mistakes (learn from these)—and you will make some good moves, also by accident (learn from these too!) But overall, trust your judgment and your instinct.

Find your new mama network

Don’t overlook the importance of a support system—you need to find someone(s) to lean on. That person can be your mother, sister, friend; mother-in-law; baby nurse; mother’s group etc. You will be exhausted, scared, overwhelmed, and overjoyed—and you will need both practical and emotional support. This is important.

Take a breath

And get ready for the amazing adventure ahead.

Hero ?: Liz Denfeld

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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