1. Drink coffee. If you are breastfeeding [like I was] and your baby is sleeping well [15-20 hours per day], DRINK COFFEE. I don't know about you, but coffee gives me motivation and inspiration to save the world!
2. Apply Lanolin 100X/Day. I couldn't believe that the OB nurses and lactation consultants told me to give it a good month and my nipples would feel better. ONE MONTH OF SORE NIPPLES AND SCREAMING BABY AND SLEEP DEPRIVATION. I thought I would die. Lanolin soothed not only my nipples, but my soul.
3. Sleep ALL DAY if you can. Ha! All day. Yeah right. You can't even get a night's sleep. But luckily my baby slept on and off 24/7. She slept. I slept. It was simple. If I didn't have to leave my house, [which I rarely did] I stayed in pajamas, if not almost naked all day, everyday. I slept on and off all day. And even though it felt like I never got enough sleep, it did help. I promise.
4. Repeat mantra "It will get better." I think most babies start sleeping five-six hours during the second month. My baby did anyways. Those extra hours, yet so few seemed like a miracle. I never knew how much you could appreciate only five hours of sleep. [I can sleep 10-12 hours if you let me!] Also, feeding times will decrease. My baby eats every three hours during the day, but she can sleep 8-11 hours at night [at five months old]!
5. Cry!! But don't be afraid to get support from other mothers. I was really emotional. I'm sure the majority of us are after having a baby. If you need to cry, don't feel like you shouldn't. Just cry and cry and cry. Nothing has to be wrong! Really though, I cried a lot. I got a lot of support from my mom and friends. I even had a few nurses come to my house to help out with ANYTHING. Questions. Concerns. Emotion Outbreaks. Counseling... haha
6. Do something you enjoyed before being pregnant. Looking back, I don't know how I managed it but when my baby was only two weeks old my best friend and I went out for a drink. I nursed my baby right before I left and was only out for a couple hours. Luckily my baby took a bottle of previously pumped breast milk just fine. I pumped and dumped the milk when I got home. It didn't cause any problems with nursing. Not everyone gets so lucky... [just as a precaution]. The point is do something you haven't been able to do for awhile when you work up the energy! It's refreshing!
7. Enjoy the cuddle time. Not all babies like to cuddle their whole lives! The big time to cuddle is those first couple months when a baby wants nothing more than to be in her mother's arms. Take a moment to look at your precious baby sleeping. That moment is worth all the other struggles!