Becoming a first-time mom is an exciting and overwhelming experience. Amidst the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes, it’s easy to overlook important tasks that can make your journey as a new mother more enjoyable and memorable. While every mom’s journey is unique, there are a few things that often get forgotten in the whirlwind of motherhood. In this blog post, we’ll explore five essential things you might be overlooking and why they matter. Plus, we’ll highlight the importance of scheduling your maternity and newborn photos, with a nod to the beautiful city of Harrisburg, PA.
1. Take Care of Yourself:
As a first-time mom, it’s crucial to remember that your well-being directly affects your baby’s well-being. While it’s easy to put your needs on the back burner, self-care should be a priority. Make sure to set aside some time for yourself every day, whether it’s indulging in a relaxing bath, going for a walk, or simply enjoying a good book. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you be the best version of yourself for your little one.
There’s no shame in asking for help; handing baby over to dad, a friend, or a doting grandparent. It’s completely okay and 100% necessary to put yourself first sometimes! They say you can’t pour from an empty cup and it’s absolutely true.
Need some ideas?
Get your hair done! (I love my girl time with Tori at The Parlon Salon in Mechanicsburg)
Get a massage! My girl, Peggy, who I share my studio space with is a magician with her hands!
2. Connect with Other New Moms
Motherhood can sometimes feel isolating, but you’re not alone in this journey. Seek out local support groups or online communities where you can connect with other new moms who understand what you’re going through. Building a network of supportive friends can provide valuable advice, emotional support, and a sense of camaraderie during those challenging moments. Harrisburg, PA, offers various parent-child classes and community events where you can meet other moms and forge lasting connections.
If you’re up for a drive (and if your baby loves a good car nap), Lively Hive in Carlisle, PA has fantastically fun classes that are great for networking with other moms!
There’s also Om Baby, UPMC New Mom’s Network, and other support groups put on by lactation consultants around the area.
3. Prepare a Support System
It’s essential to have a strong support system in place during the early stages of motherhood. Reach out to family and close friends who can offer assistance when needed. This might include helping with household chores, cooking meals, or even watching your little one while you catch up on some much-needed rest. By surrounding yourself with a reliable support network, you’ll feel more confident and less overwhelmed as a first-time mom.
If you don’t have a ton of family in the area, consider looking into a postpartum doula. A postpartum doula can help you with overnights, cleaning, cooking, and whatever it may be that eases the burden on you as a tired new mama. Our friends at Dauphin County Doulas offer postpartum services in addition to regular prenatal & birth care.
4. Prioritize Sleep
Sleep deprivation is an inevitable part of new parenthood, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the importance of rest. When your baby naps, try to squeeze in some sleep yourself rather than focusing on chores. (Look back up one step, a postpartum doula can help with this!) It’s crucial to prioritize your sleep to maintain your physical and mental well-being. There are excellent resources available for new parents, including sleep consultants, who can provide guidance on establishing healthy sleep routines for your little one. But just remember, if your baby is sleeping 2 hour stretches or 8 hour stretches, there is no “normal” for a newborn. A routine is absolutely wonderful, but don’t think you’re doing anything wrong if they aren’t sleeping long stretches.
5. Schedule Maternity and Newborn Photos
One often overlooked aspect of early motherhood is capturing those precious moments through professional photography. Maternity and newborn photos can become treasured memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. At Kate McCord Photography, I recommend you book your photographer during your second trimester for both maternity & newborn. (I offer special packages when you book both with me!) As for the actual photos, I recommend your maternity photo session be done between weeks 30 and 36 of your pregnancy to beautifully capture the glow and excitement of this special time. For newborn photos, we use your due date as a scheduling placeholder and our goal is to capture those early moments within the first two weeks after birth. Be sure to plan for flexibility as the baby’s arrival may not align exactly with the due date!
As a first-time mom, it’s easy to overlook important tasks amidst the chaos of early motherhood. However, by prioritizing self-care, building a support system, connecting with other new moms, and ensuring you get enough rest, you can make this journey more enjoyable and less overwhelming. Don’t forget to schedule your maternity and newborn photos to capture the beauty and joy of this special time! Remember, you’re embarking on an incredible adventure <3