Just because you can’t anticipate everything that will ever happen to you or your newborn baby doesn’t mean trying to foresee potential issues is a bad idea. Maybe you’ll never need a spare tire, but it’s always good to have one.
If you think out situations you’re likely to encounter as a new mom before they happen, if and when you encounter them, you’ll be better suited to handle them. Following we’ll explore a few areas you should focus on. By no means is this list comprehensive, but thinking about these things will help get you pointed in the right direction.
1. Sleep, Childcare, and Parental Support
Your baby’s sleep schedule will determine yours for the first few months. Thankfully, the little tyke will be quite predictable, and will require more sleep than you do. Once you figure the child’s schedule out, you can conform your own rest accordingly, allowing you to be less sleep deprived. You won’t be able to totally avoid loss of sleep, but such a strategy helps.
Beyond that, you’ll want to have childcare options available for emergencies. Perhaps you have a professional meeting, or a court date. Childcare will make that easier on you, and there are infant care options out there. Parental support groups help you know what’s normal, what isn’t, and where there are resources you can use in a pinch as outlined here.
2. Lactation Issues to Think About
Mastitis is fairly common. Clogged milk ducts also happen, and can lead to complications like mastitis. There’s also sore nipples to consider, sometimes you can’t express, sometimes you over-express, and the list goes on. Even latching can be hard for you and your newborn.
Explore these latch positions for newborn breastfeeding to help determine which is best for you and your baby. Resources such as the lactation consulting group in the link are fundamental during the first few months and years of motherhood.
Like a spare tire, hopefully you never need them, but when you know where to find help in advance, you’re better positioned to overcome associated challenges of motherhood.
3. Your Own Mental Health
Postpartum depression is real, and it is common. Physical and hormonal shifts limned in sleep deprivation, confusion, and associated traumas will result in an impact on your mental health overall.
If you are not prepared for the strain, it can be a lot harder to handle. Parental support groups as mentioned earlier can help direct you to resources that can be therapeutic and helpful.
A Little Prep Goes a Long Way
When you take precautions to protect your mental health, your baby’s nutrition, and situations beyond your control which may require something like childcare, you’ll be able to navigate common parenting challenges easier.
With anything worth doing in life there’s a learning curve, but with the proper tools for the “assignment”, you’re more likely to see the outcomes you want.