Not long after you and your baby first meet, you will be headed home as a new family. Even if you could check everything off your pre-baby checklist, those first two weeks at home might be a little challenging and overwhelming. Here are a few things I recommend you avoid doing so you can get the most out of this very special bonding time:
Don’t Ignore Your Body
With all that is going on in your new little family world, it is easy to forget that your body is still recovering. If you deliver vaginally, you will be sore and may want to ice the area for the first 24 hours and take frequent warm baths. If you had a cesarean birth, you would want to pay attention to your incision area—if it leaks, smells or burns, you need to call your doctor. Take it easy on yourself, pay attention to what your body is telling you it needs, and don’t miss any of your postnatal appointments.
Don’t Have Lots of Visitors
A new baby is most vulnerable during those first weeks of life, so limiting the number of visitors to your home is always a good idea. For those who do visit, make sure they are healthy and washing hands upon arrival, and, during this pandemic, it’s a good idea for everyone living outside of your household to wear a mask.
Don’t Expect a Sleeping our Feeding Routine
Newborns sleep a lot, but they wake up every few hours to be fed—usually every 2-4 hours. This means you will be feeding your baby 8-12 times every 24 hours. Some of those feedings may last longer than others, especially if you are breastfeeding. More consistent feeding and sleeping schedules usually happen between 2 and 4 months of age.
Don’t Forget Motherhood Is Messy
From the umbilical cord stump to spit up to blackish green poop, those first weeks are filled with lots of sights, sounds, and smells that may surprise you but, in most cases, shouldn’t alarm you. Before you leave the hospital, you will be given an overview of the unexpected things you may discover; however, if something doesn’t look or feel right, don’t hesitate to call your doctor with questions.
Don’t Try and Do It All
Lack of sleep, a recovering body, and trying to navigate a newborn is enough to make anyone feel a bit overwhelmed. Don’t hesitate to ask friends and family for help—even if it’s just asking them to do the dishes while you shower before the baby wakes up again. Also, therapists, lactation specialists, postpartum doulas, and other professionals can give you advice and guidance as needed. Reach out to your doctor—or some mommy friends—for recommendations.
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussions about health and medical issues and is provided as an entertainment and informational resource only. It is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. This blog is opinion based and these opinions do not reflect the ideas, ideologies, or points of view of any potentially affiliated organization. The information on this blog may be revised and/or otherwise managed.