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Focus of my life is not me anymore

Jenifer Whelan is just 18 and is a first-time mum to 11-week-old Harry.

She lives in Rathgar with her parents, Martin and Louise and brothers Stephen and Richard (she also has a sister Nichola who doesn't live at home). Before she became a mother she was studying for her Leaving Cert and although she has undergone a major change in her life, Jenifer has embraced motherhood and all its challenges.

"Although I was worried about being responsible for a new tiny person, I knew I would have fantastic support from my family and friends. And although I am not with Harry's dad any more, he is still very much a part of his life.

"The first six weeks are definitely the hardest. Getting up every three or four hours to feed Harry was not easy, especially as I was still so exhausted from labour, but when he started sleeping eight to nine hours each night, I soon forgot about it. Trying to feed myself and Harry at the same time was a task I had to learn and also trying to have 60-second showers hasn't been an easy thing to get used to.

"The biggest adjustment I found was the focus of my life not being on me, it was all about Harry. But my family have been fantastic and give me lots of breaks which really helps. On the plus side, I absolutely love being a mom. The biggest joy for me is waking up to his beaming smile every morning.

"The only advice I would give to new mothers is to not listen to anyone else's opinion – you always know your own baby best."


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