Breastfeeding, Parenting

Dear new mummy

4 January, 2013

The baby is here! In your ams! Mewing, and pooing, and screeching, and sleeping!

You can’t stop staring at the little mite in disbelief. YOU MADE THIS! You MADE this.

You want to cry at the mystery of it all… and also the sense of doom that seems to creep in at the corners, just a little, every so often… you shed a few tears at that. You want to laugh in elation… but not too much, until you really get cracking with those pelvic floor excercises. Your heart bursts with wonder… and your mind creaks a little with fear – how can I do this? You love this baby more than anyone ever in the whole world has loved a single soul… and also not quite enough.

It is, er, an emotional business, this parenthood malarkey.

I want to tell you one thing. This one thing I’m going to tell you… it is to forget everything anyone’s ever told you. And then replace it with this:

Trust yourself and your baby.

Just have this one mantra, and repeat it to yourself everyday.

I trust myself and I trust my baby.

Carry it with you and wield it like a silent shield, if need be, in front of disapproving glances, or undermining words. When you read parenting articles announcing new research that simply doesn’t fit with the rhythm the two of you have found. When experts suggest they know the pair of you better than you know yourselves. They don’t. You are the expert, the absolute expert, when it comes to the paths you are carving out together.

Settle into these instincts, be guided by your intuition, listen to your baby.

Soon enough you will gather confidence like a warm coat around you, you will delight in the trust you have developed. You will see your baby as wise, you will let them be your teacher, your lives together will be rich and deep and joyful. They’ll be angst and emotion and teething and hormones but this trust will be the surest foundation for your every parenting action and decision.Trust yourself and trust your baby

It starts now, with breastfeeding. It takes too much teethgritting, too much patience, it is not how you imagined it to be at all! You were excited about nursing your little one, but this actually just hurts.

Just trust.

Another day, maybe one more day after that, and you will feel like all the secrets of the universe have been bestowed upon the two of you.For real. It will go from feeling as if your toe blisters are being burst with pliers to feeling like sitting on a whimsical cloud being sprinkled with magical love glitter. You’ll soon cherish these milky moments, you’ll rest in the easy, blissful breastfeeding relationship you have woven together. It is JUST around the corner.

Believe in the concrete power of your intuition and the unfathomable innate ability of children, even the very youngest ones.

Your mother instincts and your baby’s voice is the most harmonious duet. Let this song guide you.

Trust yourself and trust your baby.

Love Lucy

PS- You may know… this is a letter to my new mamma self, that one that emerged late in the evening in November 2010. It is also a reminder as I contemplate another wee one arriving in the Spring…

PPS- I am actually all for reading and talking and exploring new ideas for parenting 🙂 Books like How to Talk so Kids Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk inspire me no end. I just think it is vital first to have firm belief in your instincts and heart and what your child has to say!

If you were to write a letter to a new mum, or to your own fresh mother self, what would you say?


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  • Jenna 4 January, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I wish you had written that letter to me on 16th Decembers 2007. The day after my daughter was born, when I was traumatised, frightened, in pain and the only pieces of advice were given from a clinical “normal” sort of view rather than feelings of confidence and love for the little bundle i’d grown for 9 months. People don’t realise the difference in the bond between a mother and baby when that confidence is instilled in a woman. I wish i’d had courage in us (my daughter and I) rather than confidence in the health professionals…..

    Another brilliant post Lucy. Its reads as of it came straight from your heart. X

    • Lucy 5 January, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Thanks Jenna, you are so right. That confidence ia key, and I think it has ordinarily been passed down fron mother to mother. But these days we have so many experts on the scene that it is being totally undermined.

  • LondonHeather 5 January, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Love this! Will be bookmarking to re-read mid-March when the little one makes his appearance…

    Thank you!

    • Lucy 5 January, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Ah wonderful! Our babies will be just weeks apart. Trusting your instincts is all you need know!! xx

  • Sian 5 January, 2013 at 9:58 am

    wish I had been able to read this when I had my baby – we were in the wilds of Scotland with very little support and the breastfeeding felt like agony for almost two weeks! then all of a sudden it became the most natural thing in the world : ) one of my treasured memories is of breastfeeding sat in the heather next to a loch on a beautiful summers day : )
    oh and I often dip into ‘How to talk…’ and another one about boys ‘How to grow a boy ‘ I think it’s called – invaluable at times to dip into being a girl and all!

    • Lucy 5 January, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Hi Sian, what a beautiful image of you in the heather! I have some similar memories of our holiday in France, laying on grass, nursing Ramona to sleep with a magnificent view.

  • Hannah 5 January, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Such a lovely post I hope it gives hope to some new mummies out there. I wish I found it when I ha my first little one and the days were long and dark xx

    • Lucy 5 January, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      I think it is a common feeling, such new territory it is likely to come with a touch of fear, eh…

  • Jill 8 January, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. As a midwife and mummy to be this post is inspiring, empowering and beautifully personal. I meet so many new mummies that have been bombarded with do’s and don’ts from friends, mothers, aunts, books, “experts” and complete strangers and they become so overwhelmed they completely lose all confidence in themselves and the bond they’ve created with their little one whom they’ve carried for 40weeks.

    It can be so hard to reassure mums that her and her little one are a completely new unit different to any other mum and baby and that she will know what is best for them as they learn from each other.

    Your letter has been so refreshing to read and I will certainly be rereading it as I get closer to meeting my lil’ one.

    Thanks xx

    • Lucy 8 January, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      “A completely new unit diferrent to any other” yes and yes! Exactly!
      Thank you for your kind words all the best as you approach the meeting! x x

  • Emma Parkin 24 January, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Lucy
    I wish I’d had you around to say this to me when I had Beth! I chose to parent in a fairly different way to my family and friends (similar to your approach in fact) and felt so lost sometimes. I still do at times but am slowly learning that Beth shows me what she needs. It’s very hard being a mummy of course but even harder when you feel as though talking about finding it hard just leads people to tell you you’re doing it wrong! If I could say one more thing to new mums it would be this “just because you find it hard doesn’t mean you aren’t good at it”!
    Thanks for the blog – so encouraging xx

    • Lucy 25 January, 2013 at 11:48 am

      YES! I so absolutely agree! We can miss out on community and solidarity by keeping quiet when things are difficult- advice/ judgement is often not what is needed, just a listening ear. Which is why like-minded internet forums can be such a blessing! 🙂

  • Zehra 17 February, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Just what I needed to read right now as a mum to a 3 wk old baby. Thank you!

    • Lucy 17 February, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      Wow, so glad. Congratulations new mama! Much love to you and your little one 🙂