Letter to a New Mother
You’ve just become a new mother, and your world has changed completely. I’m writing you this letter, which I would have liked to receive when I became a mother for the first time. First of all, congratulations, you’ve managed to carry your child in your womb for nine months and have brought it into the world! You’ve taken care of every inch of your body, you’ve pampered your child, you’ve loved them, and you’ve taken care to do everything you had to do so that your child would come into the world strong and healthy. Feel proud, because this is no small task!
After receiving your baby and being filled with joy, you also feel many insecurities, fears, and uncertainties. I know. It happened to me, too. I’m sure that throughout your pregnancy, you became informed about everything related to pregnancy and childbirth. But what about the postpartum period? Don’t worry, it’s normal to feel scared and lost. It also happened to me, and it happens to every new mother…
It’s normal for a new mother to have fears
Now that you’re back home with your child and you’ve left the hospital, you feel nervous. You have doubts about whether you’ll do well, whether you’ll be a good mother, but don’t forget that you’re the best mom your baby needs. While you’re still in the process of recovering from childbirth, you already have the responsibility of caring for a helpless baby who needs your attention constantly. You can’t get the sleep you need, you don’t rest well, and you have a hard time recovering. You’re going through a vulnerable time, both physically and emotionally. You’re facing the biggest challenge of your life, the most unknown, and you feel like you’re not prepared.
Rest easy. We’ve all felt like this. I felt that way, too. Even if you think you’re not ready, you are. You have to trust yourself and your instincts. The only thing your child needs now is your love, nourishment, and care. If you’re well, your child will be, too. Babies sense our moods. If we’re nervous or afraid, they sense it and become more irritable. Remember that until very recently, you were one, and, even outside your womb, your baby still feels like part of you.
Being a mother is a learning process
No one is born with an instruction book, nor does anyone know how to do everything in life. Being a mother is also a learning process. And of course, there’s your instinct, which tells you what your child needs, how they feel, and what you should do. There’ll be moments of tiredness where you’ll say to yourself, “I can’t take it anymore, I’m too tired!” And there’ll be moments of fear where you’ll think, “My baby will slip at bath time, they’re too little!”. And of course, moments of doubt, where you’ll ask yourself, “Am I doing it right?” and of frustration, where you’ll cry out, “I can’t get them to latch on to the breast. I don’t know what else to do!”
The first weeks are complicated for a new mother
After delivery, the postpartum period will be more difficult for some mothers than for others. In the end, it’s a difficult time because your hormones are still in turmoil and you’re adjusting to your new situation. You feel every emotion intensely, you’re tired, the hours go by, and you have the feeling that you haven’t done anything you had pending. This ends up overcoming you and you feel overwhelmed. You don’t have to overexert yourself. You have to do what you can. And what you can’t do, don’t do. Learn to ask for help and let others come to your aid.
Now, your relationship with your partner has changed as well. You no longer have the same amount of time as before to spend with your partner. You’re now a family. As for intimacy, you’re postpartum and recovering. You may not feel ready or feel like having sex. This may not be easy for men, and they have to accept that you must now occupy the role of mother, just as he has to occupy the role of father. Don’t worry; this will all pass, and you’ll get back to having encounters that are very satisfying for both of you.
You may be a new mother, but you don’t need instructions from anyone
Now that you’ve just become a mother, what you’ll hear the most is advice that may overwhelm you: “Don’t hold the baby too much or they’ll get too used to it,” “he’s cold, his hands are cold, you need to bundle him up,” “she’s hungry, you need to nurse her some more,” “don’t put him on his back,” “he’s crying because he’s hungry,” etc. These are many of the phrases you’ll hear, among others; some will help you, but others will make you uncomfortable, angry, or insecure. Remember, you’re your child’s mother, and no one knows better than you what your child needs.
You have to be patient; every child is different, and you know them better than anyone else. I’m not telling you not to listen to advice either. People give it to you to try to help. Even so, you’re the one who decides whether or not that advice fits your situation and your way of raising your baby.
After the first three months, things start to come together. You start a routine, and everything’s easier. If you’ve decided to breastfeed, you’re probably not experiencing any more latch-on problems. Now, you see motherhood as something wonderful, and you go back to being that woman you always were. But now you’re also a mother. By now, you’ll feel that you can do and achieve much more than you thought yourself capable of.
You’re the best mom for your baby
You’re not just a new mom; you’re your baby’s mom, their world. You’re the one who feeds them and gives them love and everything they need. Don’t let anyone make you believe that you don’t know how to do it, because you know better. You’ve carried your baby in your womb for nine months, and now you’ve brought them into the world. Your body knows how to create, and your being and your soul will know how to raise your child.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Sáez, J. D. (2012). Escuchando a las mamás. Preocupaciones en el puerperio de una madre primeriza. Archivos de la Memoria, (9), 7. En internet: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=4102745
- Rodríguez Gadea, S. (2013). Voy a ser madre primeriza,¿ me pueden ayudar? Proyecto educativo para madres primerizas sobre la lactancia materna. En internet: https://repositorio.comillas.edu/xmlui/handle/11531/17445
- Belintxon-Martín, M., Zaragüeta, M. D. C., Adrián, M. C., & López-Dicastillo, O. (2011, December). El comienzo de la lactancia: experiencias de madres primerizas. In Anales del sistema sanitario de Navarra (Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 409-418). Gobierno de Navarra. Departamento de Salud. En internet: https://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1137-66272011000300007