Just wanted to say hi!
The 3 Things Every New Mama Needs
The list is endless isn’t it?
A pram; a cot; a bassinet or co-sleepery-thing; onesies for miles; nappies for years; wipes and twelve different creams; a fashionable yet not too obviously practical nappy bag. It takes months (and $$$$) to get all the stuff together that a new mama needs to raise a baby.
Except, it’s actually way simpler than that.
A new mama needs 3 things.
She needs her boobs (or a bottle), she needs support and she needs a friend. The other stuff helps I suppose, but truth be told, babies can sleep in a box if it’s well ventilated and in a safe place. Babies can be carried close, safe and oh so snuggly right next to you, wrapped in a long piece of fabric instead of a $1500 pram, and a basic backpack, while unfashionable, is the perfect nappy bag. Don’t get me wrong; I love beautiful things. And having a baby is as good a reason as any to stock up. But those things aren’t essential to the survival of mama and baby. But I believe, that boobs, support and a friend are.
1 – Boobs (or a bottle)
A mama’s boobs make milk. Milk feeds her baby. Simple right? Except the exact expression of that isn’t always so simple, for me, breastfeeding was a mission! As in, a painful and challenging pursuit of the goal of breastfeeding with many mini-missions along the way! But as you will see with the next 2 essential things a mama needs, I think many women can achieve breastfeeding within the sisterhood of motherhood. But if not, formula is an amazing alternative, and so I’ve added bottle here too.
2 - Support
Now this is the big one. What does support look like for a new mother? Well I’ll be honest…a big thumbs up on the baby arrival announcement on Facebook doesn’t quite cut it. Even the old “let me know if you need anything”, can be a little vague for a woman who is in the throes of recovering from the biggest physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transition of her life. I believe support looks like regularly checking in with the new mama asking, “how are you?”, and perhaps bringing along some biscuits while you are at it. Amazing support is asking a mama “what does your instinct tell you?”, “what are your goals for this?”, “can we find someone to help you with this?”. Have a conversation with a mama, don’t boss her around and tell her how it’s done, work with her as she travels through this uncharted territory.
3 – Friend
Here I am specifically referring to Another Mother Friend; ideally, an Experienced Mother Friend. Oh the joy and wisdom of hindsight. I was so lucky to have my older sister journey with me through my mothering journey. I haven’t yet asked her a question she doesn’t have personal or at least very close experience with. And the issues that feel so enormous when you are a new mother, like that red rash on your baby’s bottom, have settled into the natural scheme and perspective of things for another Experienced Mother Friend. So while I fluffed about with 2g bepanthen, with 1g sudocream and a third layer of coconut oil (not actually true but you get the idea), she could reassure me that with time and treatment, these rough patches do pass (see what I did there?).
If you can find those 3 things as you become a mama, and listen to those who have gone before you, and then partner with new mothers as they traverse the jagged trails of motherhood, I think we can all keep doing a cracking job of this motherhood business.
These things certainly helped me along the way, and I’m working on doing better on all these counts for the mothers around me. How about you?