3 tips for surviving the early days of parenthood

parents cuddling baby in in-home newborn photoshoot edinburgh

Congratulations!

You did it!! You gave birth to your little one and have your beautiful baby in your arms...

Adjusting to parenthood is very rarely smooth sailing however and sometimes the hormones, sleep deprivation and the sense of upheaval having a newborn can bring will challenge even the most resilient person!

I had a chat with Nikki from Esk & Ivy about a few simple tips you can follow which might help new mums (and dads) cope in those tricky moments which can arise.

Here are Nikki's 3 tips for coping with the early days of parenthood...

The first few days and weeks of having a tiny newborn are like nothing else! It's so hard to know what to expect, especially if, like me you're the first of your friends to have a baby or haven't been around newborns very much.

When you get home with your baby, it can feel quite overwhelming, that sense of 'oh my goodness, I have to keep a tiny human alive!' The beautiful cuddles and having your newborn snuggled up on your chest is truly one of the best feelings in this world.

The early days of parenthood

Nothing lasts forever

When you have a baby and you're going through a difficult phase of development or sleep, it's so easy to feel like it will last forever! The tiredness can add to the sense of hopelessness at what feels like a never ending phase. Nikki comments that it's important to know that all phases come to an end and your baby is changing every 2 minutes! The phrase 'this too shall pass' may feel like a cliché but it's true, so hold on. The storm is nearly over... Calmer waters are ahead.

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Realistic expectations

It's hard to know quite how having a baby will impact on you! You may have a masters degree and high powered job but there's nothing like a newborn baby to make you feel out of control and like a total failure! Believe me this was me as my newborn at witching hour. Nikki feels that having realistic expectations is crucial as well as having compassion and empathy for yourself as a new mum. Sometimes just accepting the situation as it is as opposed to how it 'should' be can help. You are learning on the job, go easy on yourself!

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newborn baby looking up at mother in photoshoot fife scotland

Post-natal mindfulness

Nikki is a yoga and meditation teacher and supports new mums with using the power of the breath and meditation for relaxation and getting through tough moments in motherhood. Using the breath to anchor you in moments such as painful breastfeeding or when your sore with stitches and recovering from birth can be incredibly helpful. Nikki also recommends guided meditations if things are getting too much and overwhelm starts to creep in. For more information check out Nikki's AMAZING app HERE! which has a specific area for 'support for new mums'.

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Mama, just incase no-one has told you today, you are doing amazing!

Oh my goodness, motherhood is not easy!

My two kiddos are now 9 and 6 but I remember so well the feeling of overwhelm and wondering if I would ever feel like I was rocking this new motherhood thing! Slowly but surely as you and new baby get to know each other and the newborn haze lifts, each day it gets easier.

I hope you have found the tips from Nikki here helpful! Her resources on her website are just amazing, check out her app for really practical and helpful ways to relax and cope during those tougher moments. I really wish her information had been around when I was in the early days of parenthood, I know I would have really benefitted!

If you're having a hard day today, remember, you are all your baby needs, you are enough!

Rachel xx

Get in touch with Nikki

If you'd like to learn more about pre and post natal yoga and mindfulness, check out Nikki's website and Instagram here.

Wondering about a session with me? Check out the sessions I offer below...

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