October 12, 2016

Nine Things I’d Tell a New Mom

Advice For A New MomI can’t believe that in about two weeks, Nate will be 6 months old. What the hell?! I’m finding my own groove and am at place (most of the time) where I feel confident in what I’m doing. As we approach half a year of new motherhood, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned along the way:

1. Meet new moms: 

I joined a few mom groups (via Facebook) in my neighborhood and it was one of the best things I could have done. With this group, there was a place to get advice and seek out opinions on anything from nanny prices to diaper rash cream. More importantly, with this group I was able to meet mothers, who have now turned into friends, going through the very same thing. If you don’t live in a neighborhood where a group exists, maybe you could be the one who starts it?

2. Get your baby used to noise:

Living in Brooklyn, some sort of noise pretty much comes with the territory, but even when we put Nate to sleep, we go about our usual business. We don’t necessarily lower our voices and don’t tiptoe around our home. We put the white noise machine on and he sleeps nice and soundly.

3. Get your baby used to being put down awake: 

When Nate hit 3.5 months, we transitioned him from a bassinet in our room to a crib in his room. Once we all got comfortable with the change, we would complete our night routine and then put him down when he was sleepy, but awake. In the beginning, he would cry and we’d come back in, rub his belly and tell him to go to sleep. After a few days, he started to fall asleep on his own. This has made our night routine significantly quicker and easier.

Advice For A New Mom

4. Don’t forget about yourself. 

New motherhood is incredibly magical, but intense. With this new role, it’s so easy to forget about yourself. A wise woman (and a mother of four) once told me “don’t forget that you are still a person outside of motherhood and never feed bad for it.” Hold on to your hobbies, have a parent or sitter come over so you can go out with your significant other or friends. I’ve realized, nurturing yourself is just as important as nurturing your baby. In turn, it really does make you a better parent.

5. If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you might gain weight.

I promise, I am NOT saying this to scare you, I just wish I was warned. Everyone talks about how breast feeding makes you lose weight, but not that you may also also gain. Despite eating well, I gained around 5 pounds and couldn’t figure out why. After doing a ton of research and speaking to my doctor, I  learned that when your body is establishing its milk supply, weight gain is extremely common. In simple terms, our body will store fat in order to produce milk for our babies. Some women will lose “the magical breastfeeding weight” a few months in and some will lose it once they wean. I know it seems frightening at first, but I promise, it’s such a short time. It might seem like an eternity, but it goes by in a flash.

6. Don’t Judge

A few years back (way before I was even thinking of kids), I had a friend who left her career to be a stay at home mom. During lunch one day, I remember her telling us that she hired a babysitter to help her 2x a week so she could get stuff done without the kids. I didn’t say anything but in my head I thought “I don’t get it. Why would you need help when you’re not working.” I am actually mortified that these ridiculous thoughts went through my head. Of course at the time, I didn’t know any better, but still.  I’ve had many jobs in my day, but there is nothing that is harder than raising a tiny little human. Getting things done while you’re at home with them is almost impossible, so now, I get it more than ever.

Advice for a New Mom

7. It’s normal to feel sad:

Having a new baby is one of the most wonderful moments of your life, but it’s also the biggest life transition you’ll ever go through. On top of this enormous life transition, there are a damn thing called hormones. I once thought that period hormones were rough, but ha! They are nothing compared to post pregnancy hormones. And if you’re breastfeeding or weaning on top of all this, then there are more hormones. It’s all very intense.

I’m generally a happy person, but there have been times where I would just start to cry. I love our baby more than I ever thought possible, but something would just overcome me and I would get incredibly emotional. I thought something was wrong with me, but after talking to a dozen moms, I realized that it was completely normal.

I am NOT a doctor, but I know there is a difference from the above and Postpartum Depression (PPD). Just please know if you’re experience overwhelming sadness that doesn’t go away, this is more common than you think. Please speak to a doctor and know, this does not make you a bad person or mother. Hormones can do some crazy things and hit you when you least expect it! Conversations like this need to be normalized because there is so much guilt associated with new motherhood, so please know, we’re all in this together.

8. It gets easier: 

To kind of continue from the above, it most certainly gets easier with each passing day. You’ve probably heard this a lot by now, but it’s true. Your hormones start to even out, you find your own parenting groove, you find your new norm and as your baby exits the crazy intense newborn stage, with each passing day, you realize “I got this!”

9. You will love like you’ve never loved before.

As crazy as it all is, the love is all encompassing it makes all the crazy so worth it.

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41 comments

  • keith H

    Great post my love! Ive never commented on your blog here before, but I figured now was a good time…! Nate and I are so happy to have you. You have been a rock throughout all this and I know others reading this will benefit from your experiences. Always proud of you–Keith

    • Maria From spain

      ????
      A great husband for a great woman.

    • Oris

      I’m so touched. You’re so good together. Great post too.

  • cca

    I dont have any children, but will share with my friend who is a new mother. thanks for being honest.

  • Sylvia Arroyo

    My baby will be 9 months on Saturday and you are completely right. It does get a lot easier with time. I really believe that having a support group of other moms to talk to about things is so important. I think you are doing a great job Helena and I love watching your Snap chat 🙂

    • Danielle Bentley

      Well said. I’ve been home from work today with my sick toddler and thinking to myself after a small melt down that I do need help. But the challenges get easier after time. Wishing you all the best.

  • Fashion and Frappes

    This was a lovely post! I have no experience being a mother at all but still enjoyed reading it! It was incredibly honest (I thought that about stay at home mums and dads too) and very heartfelt.

    http://www.FashionandFrappes.com

  • Gabrielle

    Thank you for your honesty! I will definitely refer to your blog once I’m preggo! So much great advice! 🙂

  • Emilia Dobrydney

    Beautifully written and I love how your hubby supports you a 100 percent–I adore your blog so much and have to say you’re my favorite blogger!! Have a great week 🙂

  • Nicole Sioui

    First, the pictures are precious! Sharing such personal experiences with your readers further confirms you’re genuinely unpretentious. I sometimes forget how difficult it was to juggle baby/home/work/friends…etc. Also, when looking back, I remember going through gloomy periods and not knowing why. Yup, those damn hormones can really wreak havoc on your emotional state! Having a partner who’s supportive is very important.

    • Helena

      Hi Nicole,

      Thank you so much – that means a lot! and yes, those damn hormones. So intense!

  • Neha

    Is this your kid? Cuteness is overloaded 😛
    Love from India :<3

    RPSC LDC Answer key

  • Amba

    Thank you so much for sharing this! My little one is 4 months today and this is so helpful. I started following your blog when you and I were expecting and I have enjoyed following your journey since we are in a similar stage in life! Keep up the great work!

    • Helena

      Hey Amba,

      Aw, congrats on your little one!

  • Rosie

    I am not a mom but I sent this to my friend who just had a baby. . . she said thank you

    Life is just Rosie
    Instagram

  • LAurel t canYon

    Great post ! However, I would include, “follow your gut”, and that goes for sleeping, feeding, and discipline, etc. You name it. All too often we are flooded with baby advice from books, friends, know it alls… and we just have to sit back and follow our gut!! Women’s intuition is hardly wrong.

    • Helena

      Hey Laurel!

      Absolutely! That’s #1.

    • Lora

      I feel like internet really guided me through all the hard first months. You know, when there is no village

  • Anne

    Thank you so much for this… I have just entered my third trimester and I can for sure feel the “it” gets closer. I have saved the post for those days when I am full of doubt and needs to know that I am doing the best I can and that it will get better.
    Cannot wait to meet the little guy growing inside of me. xxA

    • BrooklynBlonde

      Anne, congrats!!! Such a special time!

  • Danielle brogan

    Brilliant post and so helpful, I wondered why I couldn’t shift this leg fat lolxxx

  • Red

    He is the cutest! I love his expressions! God bless!

    • kerrie summers

      Hi Helena

      I have been a follower of yours for many years, although I read all of your blog posts, as a mum of two I don’t always get the time to leave comments for you (which I feel so guilty about!) but I have to say how pleased I am that you are writing posts like this.
      I wasn’t sure what direction your blog would take once you had your baby but I love reading your blog more than ever now.
      Sharing your tales of motherhood is such a special thing to do and you are so honest in what you are writing, not sugar-coating it as many other mum bloggers do.
      Keep up the great work Helena. x x x

      ps. the first photo in this blog post of you and Nate is my absolute favourite photo of you ever. xxx

      • BrooklynBlonde

        Kerrie, that is so sweet and means so much. Thank you! I appreciate your kind words.

  • IRINA

    Love this post – spot on!

    PS: what is the brand and style of the white destroyed jeans you are wearing in one of the pictures? 🙂

    • BrooklynBlonde

      Hi Irina,

      They’re Citizens of Humanity! I got them last year at Club Monaco. Sadly, I couldn’t find them to include a link for you. I’m sorry!

  • PSLily Boutique

    Love the hat!! 🙂

    ❤️ xoxo,
    Lily | pslilyboutique.com
    PSLily Boutique

  • Carey

    I honestly didn’t know you could gain weight from breast feeding, I struggled so much to loose weight when I was breast feeding and I’m so glad I read this with our second baby just 3 months away!

    • BrooklynBlonde

      It’s insane. Everyone speaks how breast feeding makes you lose and lose, but not that you could also gain at first.

      And congrats on your 2nd pregnancy!!

  • Spaze Apparel

    Such a very lovely post, He is the cutest! I love his expressions! God bless, thanks for sharing.

    Wholesale Blank Clothing

  • Leah

    Thanks for posting this! I am halfway through my pregnancy and know there will be many things that I won’t have planned for or known to expect, so this is a really great read! Hope you and your family are doing well.

    • BrooklynBlonde

      Aw, congrats to you!

  • Lora

    My baby is almost 15 months. Such great advices. Every single of them is so true and helpful.

  • Samantha

    I’ve never commented before either, lol, but I just had to say thank you being honest in your post… I’m 29 years old and a fairly new mom as well, my son is about to turn 15 months, and I will say that NONE of the books, movies, and most importantly other mom’s ever tell the real truth about parenting… Like you, I love my son more than life but I wasn’t expecting everything that came with having him and how different my life was going to be… I wouldnt change having him for anything in this world or the next but truly wish someone would have be more upfront and honest about parenting so that I could have been more prepared…

    • BrooklynBlonde

      It’s so true. I wish I was warned about some unexpected things!

  • Katie elliott

    Completely agree on all counts. As a mother of a 16-month-old I love and appreciate your honesty.

  • Rachelle

    Cuteness Overloaded. So cute

    http://www.brooklynblonde.com/2016/10/nine-things-id-tell-new-mom.html

  • Rachelle

    really cute

  • Hollie Sandford

    Hi

    This is a fantastic post, my baby is two weeks old tomorrow; my husband and I are currently still in our baby bubble!!! It’s true though no one told me that I would cry for know reason at all!!! I’ve spent the last two weeks flitting from happy and over come with love, to in tears and can’t explain to my poor husband why on earth im crying again!

    More new mums need to be as open as you are. Thank you for your honesty.

    Hollie

  • Stacy

    Such a great post! And it’s sooooo true) I’m only an aunt now but can see the wisdom and the truth in your words)
    xo

  • Christiane

    Yet again I loved this post! A lot of women never talk about these things happening after having a baby especially #7 feeling sad. I had my son at the beginning of winter in December and the first 3 months in snow, darkness , cold weather was truly emotional and challenging being a mom. I remember my spouse asking me isn’t this the best thing in the world…having a child. I would feel guilty telling him no. No because I was tired, hungry, did not go out often, my life had only become an sleep, change the diaper and breast feed routine. I only started to see the light when I started reading mom blogs that we’re experiencing the same thoughts and emotions. Thank you again for sharing that this is only part of the process and truly normal!
    http://www.citruslove.com

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