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Dear New Mother, With That Newborn Glued to Your Chest…

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Don’t wish this time away…

My husband took this photo of me almost exactly four years ago… Sigh…

Like so many first time new mothers, my baby and I were a permanent fixture on the living room couch. My butt print was embedded in the upholstery and the outline of my baby’s ear was perpetually pressed onto my chest. I stayed in my pajamas all day. I didn’t even have an iPhone back then to get distracted on! I tiptoed around the house if my newborn would let me put her down for a second, so I could use the toilet and shovel food down my mouth. I was a nervous wreck, but completely in love.

Those first few weeks and months, when things were so new, I watched the clock and waited for my husband to come home from work, so he could ‘rescue‘ me from the couch.  I look back on those days now and laugh… rescue me from what?! From eternal cuteness and cuddles? Rescue me from that warm little sleepy lump on my chest? Rescue me from the feed/change/clean/burp/repeat cycle that was my day? I knew it was a special time, because everyone told me so, but I didn’t realize how it would be just a blip in time. Back then, those days of feed/change/clean/burp/repeat, felt like an eternity.

Life went on and things got busy again, and quickly. That tiny little lump didn’t stay tiny forever… And, get this, that tiny lump, who would only sleep on my chest… Well, in just a short amount of time, she wouldn’t sleep there anymore, even if we tried! In fact, if we tried it now, she would probably crush me and I wouldn’t be able to breath! No matter what people try to tell you, that a baby needs to ‘learn‘ to settle themselves, I’m sorry, but there really is no need for concern. They won’t sleep on your chest forever. And, I never got the chance to get ‘stuck on the couch‘ again either, even when I had another baby, simply because I was so busy chasing after the older one.

I’m not saying that everyone should obsessively enjoy every second of the newborn-glued-to-you-phase, because there are certainly times when you actually do have to get up from your living room couch and do something. There are ways to temporarily un-stuck yourself too. Getting a baby-wrap, so that I could wear my baby on me while I moved around the house with my hands free, was like, the best thing ever. Also, getting people over to say “hello” and going for walks, and little outings close to home, etc. There’s no need to be a couch martyr.

But, for the most part, ladies, keep your pajamas on and get comfy! Until the very end of your baby’s life, there will never be a time in  his or her existence when everything can be so incredibly still and quiet. Everything in today’s world is so hurried, but for this one thing, it’s just too precious to rush. Many cultures place a huge emphasis on the first 40 days of life. Some cultures even make sure that the mother and baby don’t leave the house for those first six weeks! Of course, you do what feels right, but take that time to settle and to just ‘be‘. I promise you, no matter how long the days drag on, or how endless the couch session seem to be, there will never EVER be a time like it again in your own life, where you get to be so still. There will certainly never be such a time in your baby’s life. So, relax. Enjoy it. Take your time and enjoy your perfect little creation 🙂

If you are really feeling the ‘baby blues’ or having real signs of depression, and it’s not just normal ‘stuck on the couch’  or watching the clock feelings, please please please talk to someone and get some professional help! Getting help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you are human!

About katesurfs

Kate is an American living in Australia with her husband and two young children. She holds a Masters of Educational Practice and is a high school science teacher by profession, but mostly she stays at home with her children. She is a yoga and meditation teacher, trained through the Art of Living Foundation, a surfer, a vegetarian, and healthy conscious. She is an Aware Parenting Instructor, as well as a Know Your Child Teacher.

5 Responses »

  1. Hey….this is my story too……..the most divine feelings when the baby kicks inside or sleeps on your chest when out. And many thanks for this blog, I feel so much saner with your writing around. And yes, I hv started building my own stash of carriers, thanks to you.

    Reply
    • Oh, so glad that you enjoy reading the posts! I can feel like nobody understands sometimes! I wish that I could have read someone’s blog like mine when I was a first time mom..

      Reply
  2. so agree with this 100% kate 🙂 was only looing at a pic of myself with indy at mums yeaterday passed oyt asleep bedraggled splayed boobies under singlet on her lounge not the most flattering pic but I do miss my chair/cuddle time 🙂

    Reply
  3. I so wish that they had thought of this in my day. I would have loved to have my baby glued to my chest, particularly straight after the birth, but the old matrons didn’t think this way and we were told to put the baby in his own room and not hover! Who can I sue for stress and anxiety?

    Reply
    • Oh! I know, it’s not fair! Up until very recently, they had such weird views about how to handle new babies.. actually, many people are still discouraged to cuddle with their newborns… it’s a very false idea!

      Reply

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