Struggling with your newborn baby?
Here are some tips to surviving those first weeks.
So here we have it, a few tips from experienced mums from our babu facebook contributions to help you maintain some sort of sanity in those first few days and weeks with your new baby.
For a lot of us new mums it can be a daunting time. A time of crazy hormones, being loved up and over-tired. A little support and knowledge can go a long way.
The most important thing is to try and enjoy it. The days go surprisingly fast and babies are only small for a short period of time. Try not to expect anything from yourself, or your relationship with your child.
Take any help that's offered. A couple of hours of someone else minding baby allows you to nap/shower.
Sleep when baby sleeps – do this! or it’s likely you’ll never sleep again.
Have plenty of maternity pads on hand. You will bleed, a lot, sometimes for up to six weeks and invest in some lotion for your lady bits if you have a natural delivery. Keep pads in the freezer to help soothe swollen areas.
Your milk will come in a few days after your baby’s birth day. On this day, you will be emotional; okay, emotional may not really describe it. Your hormones are indeed raging; it’s like getting your period then times that by 10. Don't beat yourself up about anything during this time....feeding, sleeping, dishes....nothing!
Have lots of breast pads on hand and a good working breast pump.
Freeze your breast milk! Chances are your baby will take about two ounces of milk per feeding. Pump the rest and freeze it for later.
Breastfeeding is not as easy as it looks, so don’t be surprised if your baby doesn’t 'get it' right away. Keep at it and surround yourself with a lot of supportive women who have been there too. You may not be able to breastfeed, and that's ok too, just remember actually feeding your baby and staring in to their eyes, have them listening to your heart beat is what matters in the end.
Share some skin. Skin to skin; it’s a great way to bond with your baby for both you and your partner.
If you have trouble passing urine (or its painful), have a squeezy bottle filled with warm water and when sitting on the toilet squirt on your lady parts as you try and urinate.
If you have stitches, run a warm bath and only fill it up about 1/3. Put in some lavender (fresh or oil) and salt and relax in it for about 5 mins. This will help to heal and dry out the stitches.
Don’t forget to take your pain meds if given some.
It’s totally normal to cry in the early days, but be aware if it is a few weeks in, to speak to a health professional. Confide in a friend/family member or midwife (if not your partner) about how you're feeling and doing, make sure you know the early signs of postpartum depression and if you feel like things are getting too much – seek help.
The first two weeks are the most difficult, and the first six weeks are the next milestone. After the first twelve weeks, life becomes much easier. Routines are more settled, sleep can be easier for both of you.
Try to shower every day (it may sound silly, but some days you just don't have the energy or inclination), even rub on some BB cream, it would make me feel (and look) so much better.
Learn that it’s OK to say no to visitors in the early days – while you’re super excited to show off your new baby, they’re more prone to picking up bugs in those early days, plus you’re still learning and you are both tired and adjusting.
Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster – more so than when you're pregnant.
Trust in your midwife – they are a hive of support and information. Don’t be afraid to ask them (or your GP) questions.
Don’t feel as though you’re a burden to other people because you aren’t.
Expect nothing – leave your expectations behind.
Drop your standards a little, your housework isn't going anywhere.
Get somebody to show you how to bathe baby if you’re not sure. We’re total pros now.
Don’t be alarmed by weird sounds – it’s all part of it.
Establish a routine early.
Introduce a bottle – some will disagree. My baby could go between the boob and the bottle with no fuss and it made our lives easier moving forward. It also meant you could take a break every now and then, and that Dad could do the night feed.
Dreamfeed, it works!
Put baby in their bed when showing tired signs – this way they learn to fall asleep on their own and associate bed with sleep time. Rubbing eyes, yawning? Put them in bed.
Love and cherish one another as you love and cherish your little one.