By Jane Palmer

Birth – 3 months

No one can tell you what it’s like to be a mum for the first time until it happens to you. Life as you know it has changed forever. Every women finds new motherhood different. Motherhood can be rewarding, exciting, exhausting and overwhelming. You will most likely spend lots of time baby gazing. My number one tip is seek help when you need it – don’t try to be a supermum. Your baby is totally dependent on you at the moment.

6 – 12 months

You’re a pro now. The difficulty of the early days has past and you will be starting to feel a whole lot more confident as a new mother. If you are planning to go back to work you will be starting to think about life as a working mum. The transition back to work can be difficult for some women as they don’t like leaving baby in someone else’s care. Your baby has grown and will for the first time sit, crawl and maybe even walk.

1 – 2 years

Your baby is now a toddler and is into everything. You’ll look back at the first 12 months and think how fast it went. Mothering a toddler is a totally new experience and one with joys and challenges. Linking in with other mother’s with toddlers helps you to transition this stage. Many women have now returned to work or are considering having another child.

2+ years

By now you’ve been introduced to the so called terrible twos (which are not necessarily terrible). Your toddler is now becoming a child with the world at their feet (well developmentally at this age they think the world revolves around them). If you’re not going to have an only child you may already be pregnant or even had a second child.

Jane Palmer is a mother, birth activist and midwife in private practice located in Sydney, Australia. With additional qualifications as a childbirth educator and lactation consultant, Jane works to improve pregnancy, birth and parenting options for families