New-born stage and fibromyalgia
The new-born stage is a magical time that should be cherished yet it is a time for overwhelm, high emotions and anxiety. In fact, 27% of new mums and pregnant ladies are affected by perinatal mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. I was one of those ladies and suffered with pre and post-natal anxiety and was under the care of the perinatal team.
As a new mum, you are constantly second guessing your choices and wondering if you are doing a good job. For us fibromyalgia warriors, we also have to navigate looking after our health as well as looking after a new-born baby. So, in this post, I will give you 5 top tips for surviving the new-born stage whilst keeping your physical and mental health in tact.
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Top tips for surviving the new-born stage
1. Get a sling
I cannot rave about the benefits of a sling enough. For my baby shower, I asked if I could have a wrap sling and I am so glad I did. Sure, it took an awful lot of googling and youtubing to figure out how to actually wrap it but once I did the benefits were endless. It was a great way to calm my boy and was a great bonding tool. Also, it meant I could do light jobs that needed doing. It was also great when my boy wanted to sleep and it meant I could watch TV at the same time! It also saved my back and arms lugging a huge pushchair when out and about.
When he got older, I could face him front ways and he loved seeing everyone and the sights. Then, I transitioned him to a clip carrier when he was bigger so he had more room to move his arms and legs. I even did a mum and baby dance class called Sling fit with him in the sling!
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps
I have spoken about this is a previous post but I feel it is important to reiterate it here as a new-born tip! The new-born stage is exhausting with broken sleep and sleepless nights yet sleeping when my boy slept was a life saver. Sometimes, my husband and I took it in turns to have a sleep during the day, or a lie-in in the morning but I really needed the extra sleep as I was breastfeeding through the night and did not want to express or give him a bottle. If that meant half an hour on the sofa while my boy slept in his Moses basket or an hours kip in the day then it all contributed to feeling slightly more with it! As we know, we fibro warriors need our sleep!
3. Bed share
Again, this is something I have covered in my breastfeeding post, but falls under the category of new-born tips! In the very beginning, my little boy slept in his Moses basket but about 2/3 weeks in he despised it. He wouldn’t let us put him down after falling asleep at the breast and we tried allsorts.
Eventually, I phoned a breastfeeding support helpline who suggested I tried bedsharing. This is something I had read about but I was so scared to try it. What if I rolled on him? Would he fall out of bed? What if…! However, the kind lady explained to me the safe way to do it and we gave it a try and the rest is history. It was such a game changer. My boy slept amazingly, I slept amazingly and we both felt amazingly close. It helped as I didn’t need to get out of bed to feed him and really improved my fibromyalgia flare up after birth.
4. Socialise and meet other mums
Getting out the house can be a tricky thing to do when you have fibromyalgia but I would thoroughly recommend it when you have a new-born baby. When Charlie was born, we went to lots of groups like a breastfeeding support group, groups at our local children’s centres, soft plays and cafes. It really helped me to manage my anxiety, helped me to make new mum friends that I am still in contact with now and helped me to feel better both physically and emotionally. The benefits to your child of going out to groups is also great too for their development and I believe that has made Charlie the sociable, confident boy he is today!
5. Delegate as many tasks as you can
Having a new-born is all consuming, particularly when you are breastfeeding or when you have a chronic condition. I am very fortunate in the fact that I have a very hands on husband who not only is amazing with Charlie but also takes on an awful lot of the housework duties that I feel unable to do. I would recommend if you have a partner or family near by that you ask for their help with household tasks that you are finding difficult because of having a new-born baby and because of your fibromyalgia. Of course, the help does not have to stop when your child gets a little older as your condition is still there. Perhaps a friend could go food shopping for you? Could your husband take on the washing duties? Perhaps your mum could come and clean for you? Whatever help is offered please take it!
As this post is a roundup of top tips, I shan’t be doing a Mummy the Fibro Warrior Top Tip today but if there is one takeaway I’d like you all to remember today is that raising a new-born baby is amazing yet can be challenging. Accept all the help you can get, remember to take care of your health and find things that can make your life easier. I need you to know you are doing the best you can, your child/children love you just as you are and you are Mummy the Fibro Warrior!
Until next time,
p.s. What top tips would you give to a new mum? How did you manage the new-born stage with fibromyalgia? Please do leave a comment below! I love hearing from you all.