The first few weeks as a new mom should be a relaxing, special time to bond with your baby. With so many changes and so much to learn, however, it can be stressful. To help you make this time as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, you have to put your needs as a new mom and your baby’s needs first. Here are five tips to take to heart after you bring your new baby home.
Make sure you have your essentials at home and ready for baby. You don’t want dad running out for diapers the first night!
Fortunately, new babies don’t need much. You should be good to go for the first few days with only a few things:
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- clean diapers
- a couple changes of baby clothes
- breastfeeding care items like nipple creams
What else can you do before baby arrives to make your first days as a new mom easier? Enlist help getting your house clean and stocked with toilet paper, sanitary pads, and food. Make some freezer meals and ensure your refrigerator is well-stocked.
Your Only Job
Your only job as a new mom during the first few weeks after birth is to take care of yourself and your baby.
When a friend comes over to help, don’t ask her to hold the baby so you can put in a load of laundry. Instead, you hold the baby while she puts in the laundry, does the dishes, or whatever needs doing.
When baby sleeps, you sleep. Keep drinking water and snacking and tending to your post-childbirth body.
Having a baby is hard on your body and you need time to recover. Let your partner, family, and friends take care of the rest.
It’s a good idea to let one of your extended family members come to stay during your first week or two as a new mom. It can be great to have your own mother around to help with household chores and to help with things like baby’s first bath. Plus, as a first-time new mom, you’re going to have questions, doubt yourself, and maybe even feel scared about taking care of a newborn.
If you don’t have extended family to help, consider hiring a postpartum doula. A doula will not only help with the household chores, but can also offer support with baby care and answer your questions about breastfeeding.
Keep in mind that you can also ask friends for support. Most people are happy to bring over a casserole for dinner or even do a little straightening up.
Get Help if You Need it
If you suspect something isn’t right with you or your baby, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider or your baby’s pediatrician. Some babies need treatment for jaundice or other minor problems. You should have a list from the hospital of symptoms to look for.
In addition, if you feel you aren’t healing properly or if you are having symptoms of postpartum depression, you need to find help and support.
Take Care of Yourself
Your body needs time to heal and recover, especially if you have had a cesarean section. It’s okay to be a couch potato after giving birth. Stay hydrated, eat healthy food, and get as much sleep as you can. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for caring for your postpartum body to avoid injury and infection.
Your baby is only a newborn for a short period, so be good to yourself and enjoy this special time as a new mom.