Transitioning to your “new” normal life
Lots of changes
The last 10 months of your life probably felt like you were living in a different world. The journey through pregnancy brings so many changes in a very short period of time, with your physical body changes almost daily and often your emotional experiences make you feel like you’re riding a roller coaster. Finally the moment you’ve been waiting for comes, and suddenly you are holding your baby in your arms. And then your body changes again during birth. And again during your postpartum period.
“New parent brain”
All new parents, whether by birth, adoption or surrogacy, must get to know their baby. New parents are in one of the most challenging times of their lives as they provide round the clock care for their baby. You’re probably sleep deprived and maybe feeling like you’re in a cloud. This is often referred to as “new parent brain.” As the saying goes, ‘the days are long but the years are short.’ Although this is true, it doesn’t help you adjust to the early days at home with a newborn. Having support in the early days has been proven to improve outcomes for both new parents and babies.
Here are some simple ways you can embrace life as a new parent:
- Make sleep a priority. Remember that you need at least 4 completed sleep cycles every 24 hours and continue to take essential naps on a regular basis.
- Have a simple routine for your days that help you to feel like yourself. A quick shower, change of clothes, and one simple activity, like a short walk, can give your day purpose instead of being all about care for your baby.
- Continue to ask for help from friends and family. Having your people around you to offer simple help like household chores or meal preparation can be life changing. Many people bring new baby gifts when they visit, but the truth is that new parents need continued gifts of food and help. Get in the habit of graciously accepting offers of help—there are people in your life that want to help you, so say yes and allow them to support you during this time.