Although your baby’s constant crying might alarm you, it’s important to remember that crying in babies is normal, and it’s the only form of communication a baby has with his parents. Babies cry for the same reason as children and adults – to heal their hurts – but they also cry to tell us they’re hungry, in pain, frustrated or need more love and cuddling.
New moms often put a lot of pressure on themselves to get breastfeeding right from the start. Few moms get the hang of breastfeeding instantly. Breastfeeding might be natural, but it doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. Most new moms need help, support and practice.
While newborns have a powerful instinct to breastfeed, they too have to get the hang of latching and sucking. “Breastfeeding can be difficult the first few weeks and you might feel like you’re a failure; you’re not. Both you and your baby are still learning and trying to master a new skill,” says Jude Polack, founder and director of the active birth hospital, Genesis Clinic in Johannesburg.
If you have friends with babies the same age as yours, it can be difficult not to compare the milestones your baby has or hasn’t reached with your friends’ little one’s milestones. It’s important to remember that children develop at different rates, so don’t be alarmed if your baby doesn’t reach his milestones at the same time as his peers or at the exact time that magazine articles and parenting books indicate they should.
Getting back in shape
Celebrities always seem to lose their extra pregnancy weight instantly, and this puts a lot of pressure on new moms to do the same. This is definitely not something you should be concerned about. It’s unrealistic and unhealthy to think you can get your pre-pregnancy body back overnight. Take time to bond with your baby, get enough sleep, and as soon as your gynae gives you the go ahead or when you feel up to it, you can start exercising again.
Bonding with your baby
Even though you’ve waited anxiously for the past nine months to meet your baby, you might not bond with your little one right away. Not all moms connect with their little ones right away after the birth. This is normal. Bonding is a growing process, and it doesn’t always happen immediately. Getting to know your baby through feedings and cuddling will help build this special time.
More about the expert:
Genesis Clinic is the only private hospital in Gauteng to be designated a Mother-and-Baby-Friendly maternity facility, giving it the WHO’s and UNICEF’s global stamp of approval for its safe birthing practices, and its support and promotion of breastfeeding. Jude Polack is the founder and director of the Genesis Clinic. Read more about Jude Polack here.
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