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10 Tips for Surviving the First Week of Motherhood

Jacqui Bester

Jacqui Bester

Jacqui writes an honest account of her messy "mamahood." Tales about the joy, the fun, the laughter and the tears of parenthood can be found on her blog, One Messy Mama. Do enjoy!
Jacqui Bester

Latest posts by Jacqui Bester (see all)

That first week coming home with your new bundle of joy brings so many emotions that it’s hard to

figure out where to start. Here are a few tips to get you going…


Prepare Beforehand

We all know those last few weeks of pregnancy can be tough, but trust me! You will be grateful for

the prep you did beforehand. We all get so excited in planning the baby’s room, that we forget to

think of a few other things. Make sure your freezer and pantry are loaded with healthy snacks and

meals. If you have other children, organise car-pools and play dates. Diarise all that will be

happening in that first week and plan accordingly. You don’t want the added worry of having to

deal with that. For that first week or two, let time stand still.


Ask Questions

When in hospital, use the resources around you. Write down all the things you are concerned or

unsure about and ask. Whether it’s about breastfeeding/bottle feeding, sleep routines, even

something as simple as how to wash your baby, (trust me, I had NO clue) no question is too

simple. (And this leads neatly to the next tip.)


Don’t be afraid to ask for help

We all seem to think that we are in this alone, or that if we ask for help we may look like we have

no clue or can’t look after our own baby. The truth is, we HAVE NO CLUE! Especially with baby #1.

I learnt very quickly to suck it up and ask for help. The reality is that most people are MORE than

happy to lend a hand, but won’t volunteer the help because they don’t want to intrude. Let people

know that you are happy to accept help, it’ll make life so much more bearable.


Meal Planning

This was an absolute life saver for me. I was lucky enough to have friends and family that made

me a stack of meals that I could put in the freezer. There is nothing better than knowing you can

feed your family by just shoving a pre-cooked meal in the oven. Knowing also that the meal is

healthy and home-made – no need for cheap and nasty fast food. If you don’t have a support

system large enough or able to cook for you. Start preparing meals a few months in advance.

Simple, delicious and healthy meals that will get you and your family through those first few weeks.



Yes, it’s easier said than done, but you don’t have to do it all. There is no such thing as a super

mom. We are all just moms trying to get it all done. When you bring your little bundle home, forget

about the laundry, the dishes or washing the floors. Sit and enjoy your baby, read, sleep, lie on the

couch and watch movies whilst you enjoy those new cuddles. Don’t be in a rush to get chores done

– there will always be more dishes and laundry to do, but you will only have those first few

moments with your new baby once.


Take care of yourself

Nobody else in your home will thrive if you don’t allow yourself to heal. Your body has just created

the most amazing and beautiful gift, but it has also been through the ringer! So slow down, let the

healing process happen. Emotionally, psychologically and physically we need to look after

ourselves in those first few weeks. A happy mom is a well healed mom. Pour a bath, sip on a cup

of tea, and just be.


Enjoy being bedroom bound

When I had my babies, my husband knew that I would not be venturing around the house (unless I

got bored 🙂 I stayed in my bed, feeding, sleeping and healing. It got a little more difficult the more

children I had. But I allowed the kids to join me, to be involved with the baby. We read, we sang

and we spent valuable time together. Do not feel guilty about lying in bed and bonding with your

baby. Some of my most special memories are from being “bedroom bound”


Set guilt aside

Do not feel guilty. And I will say it again, DO NOT feel guilty about anything. Not about taking time

off work, making meals or packing lunch boxes. Not even about wanting to be alone and not

inviting friends for tea. The moment we allow ourselves to feel guilt, we are setting ourselves up for

trouble. It will eat away at you until you cannot climb out of that hole. Trust me. I’ve been there… I

still have guilt feelings, but as hard as it is, we need to try and set those feelings aside. To be KIND

to ourselves! Life is different now that there is a new baby in the house, it must be… but it will not

always be this way. Things will return to a new normalcy eventually and then you can pick up again

on all the things you leave undone now (so don’t feel guilty about it).


Involve your partner

I know we want that cute baby all to ourselves, who wouldn’t, but our partners made the baby too 🙂

They didn’t have nine months we did, but they were there – they had their own experience of those

nine months that is just as lid as our own, they are just as eager and emotionally invested. We

need to share the load. I remember when I finally allowed my husband to feed our daughter. The

look on his face will remain etched on my heart forever. It was a beautiful sight. He also was the

first one to bath all our children. Not only did it give me time to just be, but it allowed him and baby

to bond, gave him that special moment with his child.

Relax, Enjoy

YES! Exactly that. Everything can wait. Just take a deep breath and enjoy. It’s hard and we are all

dealing with different situations, but if you just allow yourself to relax and savour the moment, even

for just a minute, it will allow you to be more present. Do it!

One last note; I often found that if I didn’t get it all done before my husband came home, or the kids

finished school, that I just wasn’t a good wife or mom. The reality is our families would rather have

a happy mom, than a stressed, depressed and unhappy one.

So enjoy those first few weeks and let time stand still as you fall in love with your new baby.

If you ever need to chat or just want someone to vent with, please email me at – It takes a village



Comments Off on 10 Tips for Surviving the First Week of Motherhood

Jacqui writes an honest account of her messy "mamahood." Tales about the joy, the fun, the laughter and the tears of parenthood can be found on her blog, One Messy Mama. Do enjoy!