Believe it or not, my husband was just 12 hours from missing the birth of our first and only child and he WASN’T deployed. Fortunately, he was there to cheer me on and welcome our baby boy but missing the birth of children is a sad yet common reality for more Military families than I can count. If you’re a Military Spouse, then you know that you have to prepare, prepare and prepare again for the unexpected when dealing with the Military & the same is true for giving birth. So, if you’re a pregnant Military spouse or thinking about trying soon, here are some real life New Mom Tips from A Military Spouse’s Perspective!
“This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 1 Natural Way, a TRICARE breast pump provider. All opinions are entirely my own.”
Start Preparing as Early as Possible
When you first get pregnant, 9 months seems like a long time. Well, I’m here to tell you that not all 9 months are created equally. 9 month deployments are long but 9 months of pregnancy is not. My 9 months was broken up by sick, finding out the gender and boom time to give birth. Because we knew that we would either be PCSing or my husband would be in training during that time, we did all we could to prepare EARLY. At about 3 months, we announced to our family, started stocking up on diapers (1 pack a month), started purchasing baby clothes and making a list of essentials and where to find them. We did NOT want to wait till the last minute.
One of the essentials for us was finding out where to get a breast pump. Those things are expensive! Luckily, Military families are entitled to a free breast pump with the use of Tricare insurance. 1 Natural Way makes it extremely easy to get the items you need to succeed in breastfeeding. They offer the popular and high quality brands like Medela, Spectra and Kiinde. This includes breastfeeding favorites like Medela Freestyle and the Spectra S1 Breast Pump, and the Medela Pump in Style Tote/Backpack. You also get a nice supply of pump accessories + compression socks and postpartum care supplies. It’s like a 4th trimester care package for new moms and trust me, it will all come in handy. The best part about it is all breast pump models are covered under your Tricare insurance meaning you can kiss that baby expense goodbye and use your money for other baby essentials.
Meal Plan Ahead
You’ve probably heard this tip time and time again but it really is something you can easily forget about. New mom exhaustion, breastfeeding hunger/thirst and adjusting to your new role does not mix well with figuring out what’s for dinner. Even though my husband was there for the delivery of our son, he still had to go to work or “training” at 6 the next morning. In fact, he went to work at 6 for the next two weeks after the birth of our son. It wasn’t until the training was over that he was allowed to begin paternity leave. Those two weeks could have been a nightmare if we were not prepared! The last thing I wanted to do was cook and he deserved all his time after work to be dedicated to baby.
In your last month of pregnancy, it is best to come up with at least a few freezer ready meals to make those first few days as new parents easy. Some of my favorite ideas are meatballs, soups, spaghetti and breakfast sandwiches. Pinterest is my favorite source of meal ideas!
Accept and Ask for Help
There is something about giving birth to an entire human being that’s well…empowering! As a New Mom you kind of feel like I am every woman and it’s all in me. While it’s true, you are superwoman, this is one of the times that you don’t have to act like it. I literally over exhausted myself trying to do more than I had to do without help and it is not good for your body. The postpartum period is meant for two things: bonding with baby and recovering. So, if someone offers to cook a meal…let them! If they offer to clean up…let them clean! LET DADDY HELP because their bonding is important too! If you feel overwhelmed (because postpartum depression is a real and ugly thing) ask for help! You are no less of a mom, wife or woman for asking for help.
As much as you would like to drop everything and take care of your little one, you cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are not at 100% then you cannot give anything to your husband, new baby, or yourself. Take even a few mins a day to take a nice long shower. Try indulging in a postpartum massage, take your vitamins and use essential oils to aid you in recovery. If you feel postpartum depression or the baby blues coming along, immediately talk to your spouse about how you’re feeling. If your spouse is not around, consider confiding in a friend or calling a professional at the hospital. Remember, it is not YOU. These feelings are normal and based on hormones beyond your control and some people need more help dealing with these feelings more than others.
Remember the nights are long but the years are short. The postpartum period won’t last forever and neither will your tiny bundle of joy. Before you know it, they have grown before your eyes and congratulations, you made it past the first- year marathon. So, take as many pictures as you want of yourself and the baby, journal to look back on your feelings and never forget to bask in every aspect of motherhood especially as a new mom. You’re in for the journey of your life and you’ll love every second of it!
Extending special thank you to 1 NATURAL WAY for sponsoring this post to help new moms in the military know their options for TRICARE BREAST PUMP providers. If you enjoyed reading this post, click HERE to check out other parenthood related posts!