What do Mum's of newborns really need? The baby product industry is booming. There's everything available, from silver topped dummies to little tubes that suck bogies out of your offspring's dinky nostrils*. But what do you really need when you have a newborn?
Friends in the same boat
You might be really lucky, and have a couple of pals get themselves knocked up around the same time, or, if you're anything like me, you'll be the only person in your entire social circle to be up the duff.
I cannot begin to stress how important it is to find yourself some other fat angry women. You need compadres. No one else remembers what it is like to have a newborn - YOU won't remember in a few months, it's natures way of tricking you into having siblings. You'll also forget just how painful labour is. Nature's a bitch.
There's nothing more supportive than knowing other people are going through the same things, with the same stresses. No-one goes to NCT or birthing classes with the intention of "learning how to breathe" or practising bizarre birthing positions. All that goes straight out the window like a demented budgie the second contractions start anyway. No, those people are there for the friends. Those other slightly wild-eyed women who are starting to realise what they are in for. If you can't physically get to classes, find an online birth month club. You won't regret it (and remember NCT classes are means tested - if you are skint, they won't cost as much, or they may even be free!)
Don't do it alone, find some pals
You will need cake. Cake is your friend. Forget all those finicky, organic super-healthy preparation needed snacks, and get some cake down your neck. It might be a false economy trying to keep your poor abused body awake with sugar but damn it will taste GOOD and make you feel better when your baby has decided night time is wakey-wakey time and naps are for losers.
This is a hard one. But get as much as you can, whenever you can. All those guests in the early days? They don't want to see you. They want to coo over the gorgeous little bundle you've created. GO TO BED. Now! I guarantee your baby will zonk out for hours when visitors are there, and those visitors will be more than happy to stare rapturously at your little sleeping miracle with the teeny weeny toes and the ickle wickle fingernails and the button nose for hours on end. You get some kip and leave them to it.
Minimum of 20. Just do it. You can thank me later.
You are amazing. Your body is amazing. Look at what you have made, you clever girl. Nothing else matters, not how the birth went, not how you look. You've done the toughest thing in the world, and now you are living the toughest period. There's nothing else that compares to birth and the early days of parenting. You're incredible. Anyone who suggests anything otherwise needs to be ejected from your presence immediately, kick to the bottom optional.
*Don't get a bogey sucker. They're gross and I could never get mine to work, because who wants to risk inhaling a bogey?!