A letter from your newborn

Dear mumma,

You are my world, my everything. I know that’s a heavy load to carry sometimes, but I promise I won’t always be like this. I’m new to this big wide world, and I want to get to know you first so that I feel safe to explore it.

Life can be challenging and exhausting for both of us while I adjust to life outside the cosy place I called home for nine months. We can get through it together, though, and I’m here to tell you how, mumma.

Firstly, you need to know that you can’t look after me unless you look after yourself. Resting after my birth is vital for both of us. It’s not a luxury. We have been through something immense, and we need time to rest and heal.

This downtime is also about us getting to know one another. You don’t need to read parenting books or even look at the clock. You just need to observe me, and you will learn to listen to your own intuition. You will soon become the expert on me and what I need.

I may cry a lot during certain periods, but this isn’t a reflection on you, or anything that you’re doing. You will know if there’s something not right with me and seek medical advice if necessary.

Otherwise, what I need more than anything and what will most likely keep me calm is to be close to you. Get yourself a comfortable carrier or wrap, and you can also have your hands free to do other things.

If I had my choice, I would probably be in your arms all day and all night, so you may feel alarmed or stressed that I won’t settle anywhere else for awhile. When I was in the womb, I never experienced loneliness, hunger, thirst, changing temperatures, or digestive discomfort. It’s all new for me, and it can scare and overwhelm me. Please be patient.

Instead, what you need to do is accept offers of help. I know it’s hard being the only one sometimes who can comfort me, so please get some support for yourself. Ask someone to bring meals, or help with other things in the house. Someone to mother you as you learn to become a mother yourself.

Do you know what? I will probably only fall asleep while you feed me, so use that amazing tool. Don’t listen to people who say that it’s a ‘bad habit’ or ‘negative sleep association’. There is no such thing. I sleep better when I have milk in my tummy, and I can feel your warmth and hear your heartbeat.

While we’re on that topic, if you’re struggling to breastfeed, please remember that it’s new for me too, so we’re both learning together. It can be really hard, so please ask for professional lactation support. If you can’t breastfeed or choose not to, remember that being informed and supported is best. You do what we both need to thrive and be happy, and that’s all that’s important.

Try to go with the flow, mumma. You don’t need to obsess over my sleep, awake windows, or schedules. This is our fourth trimester, and I want you to find some joy in it. I don’t want you to stop living your life.

If you enjoy meeting friends for coffee or for a walk, please do it. I crave sensory nourishment, and it also helps me to sleep better. Find your support network because you’ll need it, and they’ll need you. Parenting isn’t meant to be done alone.

I don’t want you to feel lonely and isolated. I want you to get out and about, and I’ll be so happy to tag along. When you’re happy and content, I can feel it. If you’re finding life as a new mum hard, I understand. If you’re feeling like you’re not coping, I don’t want you to ignore it. It’s not a sign that you’re failing, so I need for you to get help. Please. You matter.

All I know is that I love you, and you’re doing an amazing job. Be kind to yourself. One day soon, I promise I’ll show you how much you mean to me. If you feel like you’re doing nothing now but giving me love, you’re doing everything. 

With unconditional love from your newborn baby xo