1. Trust Your New Mama Instincts.

It’s a cliché, you’ll hear it again and again but trust me. There really is nothing like your new super powers… the mother instincts. You know your baby better than anyone if you don’t feel someone is listening to it don’t be afraid to stand tough because at the end of the day its better to overreact than to have something missed. I have never regretted asking for a second opinion or refusing to leave a GP until I was listened to and so far I haven’t been proven wrong.

  • ‘I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know if I can do this.’

I don’t know a mum who hasn’t experienced this in some measure: either a wave of this that passed or who was brave enough to talk to someone because it was something more serious.

Please don’t suffer in silence. At the smallest end of the scale I would say breathe, speak to your mum, some friends, your partner, someone you can trust and share the feelings because with so much parenting, ‘it’s just a phase’ even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Be easy on yourself, you are a new mum not wonder woman.

At the other end of the scale, please don’t suffer in silence there is wonderful help out there for post-natal depression, for those anxious from a traumatic birth or for any other feelings that are weighing you down. Please go to your GP for support and advice.

This is not a sign of weakness it is something that happens, and you deserve to be supported through it.

  • Birth didn’t go as you expected

It rarely does – as a baby photographer I hear new birth stories on a weekly basis and I want to say to any new mums to be or freshly made mums – they rarely do.

Be kind to yourself about your experience… if you had a drug free, water birth order in but ended up dosed up on all the drugs and wailing for more… well, if that’s what got you through then amazing! … you made and pushed out a human being!

However you delivered your baby… you were incredible and you achieved an amazing thing. C-section, natural, home, hospital, epidural, drugs, no drugs… all that matters is there are 2 healthy humans at the end of it. Mum and baby.

  • Friendships Can Change.

This was a hard lesson to learn. When your world shifts its centre to a tiny small human it can mean your priorities change and alongside that friends/family member attitudes towards you can also change. This is not a negative commentary, but simply an acknowledgement that life brings people in and out of it for various reasons and for many this is one big turning point in life that moves people in and out of your life.

Friends without children may not understand your new life (I know I didn’t maybe support friends who were new mothers before I became one myself) Girls nights may be rarer, relationships with partners may become strained (have you heard the one about who is more tired?!)

It all gets easier but don’t feel alone if friendships ebb and flow differently. All us mums have experienced it and if you are lucky, you’ll meet some new amazing friends through being a mum.

  • Be kind to yourself. 

The most important of my points. Be kind. To Yourself. There is so much advice out there for keeping a baby happy… and after all that’s your new role in life. But a happy baby needs to be supported by a happy mum.

Care for yourself as you do your baby…. Nourish yourself, rest, get fresh air and get support when it feels too much. Small things such as watching your favourite film while feeding your baby, having a bath, staying in your pjs all day and just ignoring the washing… it’s not easy but sometimes it is vital.

  • Get Some Fresh Air

It’s funny how I resented being forced to have fresh air as a child. However, since the moment my children were born something switched and I genuinely now believe that fresh air can cure anything. Feeling sad? Get fresh air. Got a cold? Get fresh air. Feeling stressed? Happy? On the cusp of cabin fever? Fresh air.

Daylight is good for us, walking and moving is good for you and if you want to start exercising a bit post baby, it’s a lovely, gentle way to start. I always used to invite my new mum friends for walks so we could enjoy it together. I did blog my top 5 baby friendly cafes 2 of which are in based in a park – win win walk and cake!

Jess – read more blogs here.