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Surviving The First 3 Months of New Motherhood

Now I truly understand the meaning of this statement. It has been tough trying to survive and learning at the same time during the first 3 months of new motherhood. Being a mom is really not an easy role. My little one is 3 months old now, and I had Caesarean delivery as she was a breech baby. I remember vividly the moment she was delivered in the operating theatre – it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I am thankful that my husband went into the operating theatre with me. He encouraged me and calmed me down, patting me on my head and held my hand.

To all the husbands out there:
Accompany your wife into the operating theatre no matter how scared you are.
It makes a whole lot difference and will make your wife feels so much better.

I stayed in the hospital for 5 days after delivery and the first few days were the most challenging. I’d tried to latch my baby but she refused to as my nipples are short. Thus, I had to extract the colostrum manually in a syringe to feed her first. It was stressful and I know I am feeling the emotions that come with it. Fortunately, the nurses were very helpful and guided me how to latch my baby during feeding time. Both the midwife and lactation consultant came forward and offered to help. My baby did try to latch for a while but she’s not latching long enough to feed herself. She will cry (scream!) very loudly whenever she failed to latch. I was baffled.

Source: WonderMa
Source: WonderMa

Both my husband and I felt the stress being a new parent. We had sleepless nights for the first week *panda eyes from trying to feed the baby every 2-3 hours. In the end, I had to pump out my breastmilk instead because my supply was low. We mixed the breastmilk with formula for our precious girl.

After I got discharged from the hospital, my mom did my confinement. Confinement here refers to the first 30 to 40 days after you gave birth which is the period where you are confined to a certain regimen comprised of nutritious diet, to-do’s and not-to-do’s, and lots of rest. My mother-in-law flew over from Medan to visit and help us out. In additional, my two elder sisters also came over frequently to provide help and support.

My husband is an incredible hands-on dad – will feed and bathe the baby when I am resting. I am very blessed that I have so much support at home, including nice confinement food, tonic and nutritious soup. I have no complaints except sleep deprivation and baby’s irregular behaviour at times.

Source: babyworld
Source: babyworld

My routine is the same everyday – all about pumping, feeding, nappy changing, bathing, eating and resting. Sounds like a robot eh? I had to wake up at least twice in the wee hours to feed my baby and pump while everyone else was sleeping soundly. It was very tiring but I told myself not to give up as breastfeeding is the best food for my precious girl. In order to boost and increase my milk supply, I have to ensure I drink a lot of fluid every day and take supplements as per recommended by the doctor. Thank goodness that my baby is embracing the mix of both breastmilk and formula. Therefore, I had no problem feeding her.

Seeing me so worn-out, my husband continues to encourage me and asked me if I want to opt to pump only in the daytime (till before bedtime) so that I can have enough rest. I appreciate all his love and support for me through this new journey.

Things are improving now and my baby starts to shower us with her beautiful smile in the second month which melted our hearts. She often coos and babbles when she sees us. We will talk, read and sing song to her. At two month-old, she starts to learn about touch and will stare at her hands in fascination. Sometimes she tries to bring them towards her mouth. We brought her for a baby spa and massage. We can tell that she loves the touch of water and enjoyed the 30 minutes session very much. The session seems to help her sleep deeper too.

I started my postnatal massage in the third month. My husband’s colleague recommended this lady, Auntie Zaitun, who is very good with postnatal massage. All mommies can contact her at 9611 6523 if you need postnatal massage service. Having post-baby body doesn’t feel good but I’m avoiding a strict diet as that will affect my milk supply. I try to incorporate well balanced meals. I am also experiencing postpartum hair loss now. I am shedding more hair than usual but came to know that this is perfectly fine and will be back to normal by about 6 to 12 months. Meanwhile, I just have to endure and stay positive.

As my baby grows, her sleep patterns start to become more regular. I am still catching up on my sleep whenever my baby sleeps during the day. My daily routine still takes up most of my day, time goes by so fast and I feel like it has been 3 years although it’s only 3 months! However, it’s all worthwhile when my baby seems to appreciate our efforts and reward us with gurgles and smiles.

We just brought our baby for vaccination and check-up last week. She is already 6.7kg now! Importantly, she is healthy and developing well. I’m sure there are more challenges to come but we will know how to handle her better as new parents and together as a family. Seeing her grow and develop every day, she amazes me with what she can learn and do at 3 months.

I pray that I am able to breastfeed her as long as I can, 3 months and counting…. 😍

All the best to myself and all the mommies! 加油妈妈们! 

P.S. A big thanks to my mother for her support and everlasting love, especially during this period when my husband goes for work travels. I love you Mom. ❤

Isabelle Fong
A guest contributor for WonderMa Singapore. I'm new to motherhood as I gave birth to my lovely girl in July 2015. Seeing her grow and develop every day, she amazes me with what she can learn and do at 3 months old. She is teaching me new parenting skills every day! Join me in my new motherhood journey and share with me some of your joy and challenges you've faced being a mother today. <i> Super Mom. Super Wife. Super Woman. Super Tired.

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