Tips for New Moms on Mother's Day
Use your healthcare providers as resources
Mother’s Day is a special time for new moms, but it can also be a stressful time for new parents— moms and dads who are facing the responsibility of caring for a newborn or infant.
To help relieve that stress, the FDA offers these tips:
Your Pediatrician is an Important Resource
If you’re between appointments and think your child is sick, or just have questions, contact your healthcare provider to confirm what to do next.
"Your healthcare provider can be a great resource. A good time to check in is during preventive “well-child” health visits with your child’s pediatrician," says Donna L. Snyder, M.D., FAAP, a pediatrician with FDA’s Pediatric and Maternal Health Staff.
But if questions can't wait, call your provider's office for advice and peace of mind.
Get Expert Advice Before Giving Medicine to Your Baby
Certain medications may not be appropriate for your baby, so you should ask your healthcare provider before giving your child any medication, says Snyder. If he or she has recommended a medicine for your infant, ask questions to be sure you use the right dose.
Store Medications Safely
Store any medicines that you or your baby may take out of reach. “You want to keep medications out of reach of your child,” says Snyder, who notes that babies can start to crawl as early as five to six months old. “But even if babies are under the age where you’d expect them to be able to get to your medication, get into the habit of putting medication out of their reach,” she advises.
Also, read all storage instructions. “For instance, some antibiotics need to be kept in the refrigerator,” Snyder says. “So you want to make sure you’re storing it according to the instructions.” If you have questions about how to safely store a medicine, contact your pharmacist or other healthcare provider.
Give Medications Properly
Use the appropriate dosing device— such as an oral syringe, not a regular kitchen spoon— to give the recommended amount of medicine. Some products are packaged with these devices, but devices are also available for purchase over the counter. “If your baby is prescribed a teaspoon of medicine, make sure you give a teaspoon and not a tablespoon,” Snyder adds. And talk to your baby’s pharmacist or other healthcare provider if you have questions.
If You Take Medication, Seek Breastfeeding Advice
“If you are taking medications, it’s important to ask your healthcare provider whether it’s okay to breastfeed,” says Leyla Sahin, MD, an obstetrician with the FDA’s Pediatric and Maternal Health Staff.
You should ask about any prescription or over-the-counter products, including supplements. Stopping a medication can be dangerous for some women with chronic health problems, Sahin notes, but some medications can pass through the breast milk and may not be safe for your baby. So check in with your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed, and you are taking any medication.
Take Care of Yourself
You may feel like you’re devoting most waking (and sleeping) hours to your baby, but try to sneak in time for yourself. Not getting enough rest can be an issue if you have a new baby.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps and take naps during the day,” Sahin recommends. “If you’re a new mom feeling consistently very sad, it could be a sign of postpartum depression,” she adds, so you should talk to your healthcare provider to get help if needed.
Also it’s important to schedule and keep your six-week postpartum appointment with your doctor, Sahin says. Remember, your first year of motherhood may not be perfect, but you can adjust to this new stage.
“Keep in mind that being a new mom is a transition period that may be stressful,” Sahin adds. “But take the time to celebrate being a new mom.”
Find more helpful advice from FDA’s Office of Women's Health.