Alrighty, guys… this post took a minute! I wanted to try to get down as much helpful information as possible! This has been MY experience and remember, everyone is different. Please leave a comment below with any questions you have.
Ok, I’m going to keep it 100 with y’all. The first month is a bit of a sh*t show! Let’s be real, you just birthed a human, your bod is way out of wack and now you have to figure out how to care for this new life. NOT OVERWHELMING AT ALL! lol My motto, was literally, an hour at a time. My only priorities were taking care of him and making sure I was getting what I needed. Even as simple as a warm meal or shower, these were game changers! I will say having a partner that is IN IT with you is so important. Luke was a rockstar! Needless to say, it has brought us even closer together.
My advice is ask for help when you need it, listen to your body and love on your baby. You will never get back the first month and it goes by so quick!! Soak it all in, don’t try to be on a schedule, just LISTEN to your baby.
Baby blues are real, y’all! After coming down from the high of giving birth, a few days after, I started to experience crazy emotions. For me, it lasted for about two weeks. I would cry at just about anything. This is not typical for me, and I knew going into it, my hormones would be all outta wack! So what did I do?? I gave myself grace, was self aware of my emotions and just plain and simple, felt them. Instead of pushing it down, I moved through it. I recommend TALKING to your inner circle about what you’re going through. Having a child can be isolating, so don’t further it by bottling up your emotions. Speaking up is a healthy step in moving forward. If you are a new mom or about to be, please know this is totally NORMAL!
I’ve been asked frequently on social media if I suffered from PPD. I am not a doctor or an expert on this matter. In my experience, I had normal “baby blues” and anxiety. I haven’t experienced PPD at this point. If you think you are, I would tell someone and seek help. There’s no need to feel any shame, embarrassment, etc. about it. Many women go through this!
This is a topic that NO ONE, well at least in my experience, talks about!! That is why I wrote an entire blog post about what I went through and how I cared for myself after giving birth. It is NOT all sunshine and rainbows after having a baby. I discuss bleeding, boobs, perineal recovery, going to the bathroom, foods to eat and more. We NEED to take care of mom’s postpartum just as much as babies. Check out my post HERE!
YAY… let’s talk about the topic EVERY human on the planet wants to give new mom’s their input on… LOL! BUT like, seriously, WHY is everyone so opinionated on this and feel it necessary to tell others what to do?? Everyone has their OWN experience/circumstances surrounding breastfeeding. I say, let’s just support each other! Ya feel me?? I am going to share what I have done, but in no way is this THE right way. It’s my way.
I started writing this section, and realized I had SO much to share on this topic. I wrote a blog post earlier this week about breast/bottle feeding. Read more here!
Now that I am through the first 3 months, I can honestly tell you what I actually used and loved. I dedicated an entire blog post to my top 20 here!
So you’re a new mom and supposed to know EVERYTHING, right?!! ha. ha. NOT! I found two companies that are great for development toys for your babe – Lovevery and Panda Crate. Both provide boxes based on your child’s age, filled with toys suitable for that stage of development and designed by the experts. Ford has been loving everything! These companies send things like: black and white flashcard, mirrors, tummy time items and crinkle bags. Tummy time is also something we try to do every day. Ford loves/hates it… depends on his mood! LOL I’d ask your Dr. what they recommend when it comes to tummy time.
I had no expectation about how/where he would sleep in the beginning. My midwife’s advice was to be FLEXIBLE… and that I was. I know many feel strongly about co-sleeping, a bassinet, putting them in their own room, etc. I wanted to see how we felt and listen to our baby. We ended up being ALL over the place. The first week he slept in our bed. I wanted him next to me and he was breastfeeding constantly. We used the dock-a-tot and/or boppy lounger between us. FYI – both are NOT recommended for sleep. However, we were in survival mode. I then tried the bassinet we purchased and he hated it. I knew he was not comfortable. SO we then decided to put him in the nursery/bunk room. This is where we ended up for almost 3 months before we moved to our new home. Yes, Luke and myself slept in the bunks while Ford was in his crib snoozing away. He loved it! Now that we’ve moved, we put a crib in our master bedroom. He’s sleeping great and we will see how the next few months go. I’m not ready to have him sleep in a different room from us. I also want to point out, we started the Taking Cara Babies program which encouraged swaddling him. We started this at 6 weeks. More about his sched below.
Ok guys, TRUTH… it’s going to be a little rough for the first 4-8 weeks. Newborns are not ready for a schedule until their tummies have grown and they can last longer in between feedings. In the beginning I fed when I thought he was hungry and was up about every two/three hours in the middle of the night. All you can do is listen to your baby and do your best! The program Luke and I ended up doing with Ford was/is, Take Cara Babies. These are simple steps you can take to help your baby get on a schedule. It was a complete game changer for us and yes, Ford in now sleeping through the night. We started implementing her tactics at 6 weeks. For us, it took about a month to finally get on a solid schedule. Remember, every baby is different!!
Below is a typical day for us. You will notice the repetition. Babies love consistency! Essentially Ford feeds, plays and sleeps in three hour cycles throughout the day and is now sleeping through the night.
7AM wake up and feed, 7:30AM – 8:30AM play, 8:30AM – 10AM sleep
10AM wake up and feed, 10:30AM – 11:30AM play, 11:30AM – 1PM sleep
1PM wake up and feed, 1:30PM – 2:30PM play, 2:30PM – 4PM sleep
4PM wake up and feed, 4:30PM – 5:30PM play, 5:30PM – 6:30PM sleep
6:30 wake up for bath and reading, 7:00PM feed, 7:30PM – 10PM sleep
10PM dream feed (more about this on Taking Cara Babies), 10:30PM sleep
Well… I am not there yet! I’m 15 weeks postpartum and have no expectation on myself as to when I NEED to be back in shape. Breastfeeding and starting to workout has definitely helped with weight loss and strengthening my muscles. I’ve also continued to eat healthy. More about what I eat on this post! I would like to lose about 5-10 more pounds. I’m giving myself time.
I was cleared to workout by my midwife at week 7. I was listening to my body and when I started becoming active, I eased into it. And trust me, it was hard. Coming from someone who used to workout 5 to 6 days a week, I was craving exercise! I found it to be pretty difficult because I was physically out of shape. I felt flabby and the cellulite was growing!! Ha! BUT I did give myself a whole lot of grace during the first 3 months and knew in time, I would have my body back. I took it a day at a time and did things that made me feel good: walk, elliptical and streamed barre 3 at home. As I got stronger and felt more comfortable with my abs/pelvic floor, I started to cycle, do pilates twice a week and even ski! Now at 15 weeks, I feel I can do anything I did before. It’s pretty remarkable what women’s bodies can do!!
I’ve read about it and many mamas have told me about this. At month 3-4 postpartum, many women start to see hair loss. Yikes! For me, this started at about 12 weeks. Luckily I have quite a bit of hair but man, is it coming out!! When will it stop?? I don’t have the answer to that, BUT I’m taking supplements to help. Here’s what I’m taking: pumpkin seed oil, vitamin c and vitamin b complex. All three support skin, hair and nail growth.
Similar to during pregnancy, you need to avoid many skincare ingredients, lasers and botox/fillers. Yup, I’m sorry to say it, ladies!! I’d rather be safe, than sorry. It’s been over a year since I’ve done a BBL laser treatment and gotten botox… I’ll just have to wait until I’m done breastfeeding! Boo hoo! 😉 As far as my skincare routine, I haven’t changed much, still using all of my “clean” beauty products. Here are a few posts with preg/breastfeeding friendly items: Morning Routine, Nighttime Routine and My Fave Clean Beauty.
Y’all know I’m all about self-care. It became even more important after I had the baby. In the beginning, I took at least 20-30 min every day for ME! Whether that be taking a bath or putting a mask on my face, it made ALL the difference. You really don’t appreciate a shower until after having a baby. Ha!! Here is a post with some of my favorite SELF-CARE things to do.
As time went on, and we figured out a schedule, I was able to take more time for myself. I now can workout, get my nails done, meet a friend for coffee, go to the grocery store, etc. It was important for me to start getting outside of the house! Do what works for you!
I’ve taken care of my baby, myself and guess who’s in third place… Luke. I don’t say that in a bad way, that’s just the reality. It was VERY important to me to continue to maintain OUR relationship. Let’s be honest, the first month was survival mode on both of our parts, but after that, we could dedicate some time for US! We had our first date night when Ford was 4 weeks. My mom watched the baby and we went out for maybe an hour. Luke and I pretty much talked about Ford the entire time – LOL! I guess that’s what you do after having a little one. I will say it was hard for me to leave him… and we are only talking about an hour!! As time has gone on, it’s a bit easier on my emotions. Potentially because I’m not as hormonal and worried. I have more confidence that he will be ok when I’m gone for a few hours. Now Luke and I have a date once a week on Friday’s during the day. We go skiing with each other and absolutely love the time together! Luke has been an unbelievable Dad to Ford and beyond supportive of me. WE have communicated A LOT and made sure to take some time for just us. So far, so good!