General | September 1, 2022

Things I Wish I Knew As A Brand-New Mum

Dr Melita Azarcon-OSTEOPATH

My darling daughter, Aurora, has just turned 10 months old. And as I look back, there were so many things that took me by surprise, even after all the reading and research I had done prior to her arrival. Here are just a few:

Of course, everyone told me about the very little sleep we would be getting with a newborn in tow. But as someone who religiously relied on a minimum 8-hours of sleep every night, the sleep deprivation hit me hard. The first 4 weeks, my husband and I were total zombies! Things that helped us were, taking “shifts” so that at least either one of us could get a good stretch of uninterrupted sleep, the Complete Sleepr Pillows (available to purchase in clinic), and copious amounts of coffee.

Next, breastfeeding was something that I had always assumed would come to me naturally. And although now I adore every nursing session, the first 6 weeks was an absolute roller coaster. I booked myself in for an osteo treatment about 4 weeks in after tweaking my neck whilst feeding her in bed. My only wish was I had done it sooner. My arms and shoulders were sore from holding her as she would nurse for sometimes up to an hour – my nursing pillow never left my side in those early days. I’d also always be looking down on her and watching as she fed, so my neck became an absolute wreck. Luckily, my little miss did not have any tongue-ties. However, if she had I would’ve booked her in with one of our paediatric osteos to help with symptoms and getting a better latch.

The last big thing I should have realised sooner was how differently I would use my body. My pelvic floor, core and low back muscles were still recovering and things like changing a nappy on the floor or on the bed would make my low back ache. As she grew and did more tummy time, I spent more time on the floor with her, sitting cross-legged which would make my hips ache. When she learnt to roll over, we moved her from her bassinet to a cot, and picking her up or putting her down would also be quite trying on my back. Allowing time to do exercises to strengthen muscles, stretches to help with flexibility, as well as being more mindful of my body’s posture doing different activities was essential.

Being a parent is hard! My life has become disorganised and at the back of my mind, I am always wondering if I’m doing things right. I think what helped me most was changing my mindset to understanding that I won’t have this time again! She won’t be this little for much longer. The sleepless nights will pass and the other difficulties are temporary. Of course, if you or anyone you know is struggling, make sure to check in with a health professional. An osteo treatment or remedial massage also does wonders in getting all those kinks out!