Our post today comes from Ani Tuna, the founder of MumLife Australia, host of Beyond Birth, a Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) community champion and Melbourne mum to two young girls. You can meet Ani and hear her speak in the Education Hub at Melbourne One Fine Baby Fair, September 9 + 10. Register for your FREE ticket now.

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Ask any new parent and they’ll tell you that those first few weeks with a new baby are usually the most exciting and memorable. But let’s get real – they can also be exhausting, overwhelming and an all-round emotional rollercoaster!

The good news is that there are things you can do (some even while you’re still pregnant) to help it all go more smoothly.

1.Be prepared to be flexible in those first few weeks. After spending nine months in the womb, life in the real-world can be difficult for a newborn. It’s not unusual for everything from milk production to sleep patterns to change almost daily (if not hourly!). So flexibility really is key in those first few weeks.

2. Breastfeeding is a learned skill and it’s not unusual that while you and your baby are learning that you might experience sore, cracked and sometimes even bleeding nipples.

So when packing your bag for hospital and supplies for home, consider packing lanolin cream to help repair damaged nipples, hydrogel breast pads to cool and soothe sore nipples, and breast shells to protect irritated nipples from rubbing up against clothing.

3. Settling an unsettled baby, especially over night, can be physically and emotionally exhausting. There’s really no benefit in having two sleep deprived parents, so remember to ‘tap out’ when you need the break and let dad take a turn at working his magic. Dads are well known for being settling-superstars – especially since they don’t usually smell of mama’s breastmilk!

4. Grab sleep in the day when you can – even a 30-minute power nap is worth it, so if someone gives you this opportunity, take it before they change their mind! And while it might seem like a good idea to get through the long days by drinking bottomless cups of coffee, tread carefully as you might find yourself too wired to actually fall asleep if and when the chance to have a nap arises.

5. Have a list of phone numbers (like this one) on the fridge. It’s handy and reassuring to know that these resources exist, especially at 3am when the panic sets in.

6. Enlist help from professionals like lactation consultants, physics and other health professionals sooner rather than later. In many cases, waiting until you ‘break’ can make things a lot worse. And after all, if the help is there, why not take it?

7. Be prepared for what to expect when you bring your baby home, so you’re not feeling overwhelmed, stressed and uncertain. It’s true that you can never be prepared for the sleepless nights and the often unrelentless workload of being a parent – but there’s certainly a lot about caring for a newborn you can be prepared for! Plus it’s not unusual for expectant parents to have lots of questions – so getting answers to those questions before your baby is born, can take a lot of the stress and anxiety away.

8. Prioritise. Decide what’s most important to you, and focus on just those things. Everything else – just let go.

And if nothing else just remember that Perfect Mum – she’s that incredible woman you see only on Instagram who is cruising effortlessly through motherhood without so much as a dirty laundry basket in sight – doesn’t actually exist.

You’ve got this!

About Ani

Ani Tuna is the founder of MumLife Australia, host of Beyond Birth, a Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) community champion and Melbourne mum to two young girls.

 Ani has spent the last 18 months speaking to over 150 new mums and dads to find out all the things they wish they had known sooner.

A passionate advocate for telling it how it is, Ani is dedicated to supporting parents as they take steps to reclaim the joy in parenthood. With a mission to help parents feel confident and capable as they navigate the parenting journey, she has a special place in her heart for helping first-time mums enjoy their experience of early motherhood.

Read Ani’s story at www.mumlifeaustralia.com/about

Website www.mumlifeaustralia.com

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