The way labour is depicted on television still has some sort of glamour attached to it. However, you’ve just found out that it’s not all that attractive and it’s much, much longer than they make it out to be. But your brand new baby who went from being a daydream to being tangible in a matter of hours, offers more than enough charm to make up for the lack thereof in your personal experience.
So, it’s time to pack your baby bags and head on home. A mixture of trepidation and excitement rush over you. What will life be like with a baby in the house? Right now, all you can think of is how gorgeous he is, but you know you’ll get tired at some point and he’ll be crying. Can you cope?
Depending on your stay, the hospital may have made it easy for you. Perhaps they put his first nappy on and dressed him for the first time. If you had a lengthened hospital stay, the nurses would have helped you bath your baby and advised on possible breastfeeding techniques. The reality will set in and it will most likely be a relief. You as mum can now take over and do things your way.
As you settle in, make sure you have a few things available to you at all times, to make your job easier.
- Keep a large jar of ice cold water near your bed. You’re going to get very thirsty when breastfeeding.
- A snack. The above applies here too. Breastfeeding is going to take a lot of nutrients from your body. You now need to feed baby AND supply enough nutrients to recover well from the birth.
- A good breastfeeding pillow and a comfy 1-seater couch or chair near the bed. These will help you support your back.
- A good book. Preferably something with pictures.
- Invest in a sling or baby carrier. Also, get yourself a couple of maternity bra’s and tops for easy access breastfeeding.
Supplies you will always need in abundance
- Wet wipes and cotton wool. A newborn’s skin is still sensitive, even the softest wet wipe can be quite harsh on her skin. Cotton wool is perfect though; dip a piece of cotton wool in warm soapy water to clean her nappy area.
- Nappies of course. Keep them near your bed.
- Baby oil and soft baby soap.
Your first few days should go down like a dream, although your little one is likely to sleep frequently, she will be up every 2 hours or so to feed – yes even throughout the night. Get as much rest in now as you’ll be very busy as she gets bigger.
Now is about the time to mention that Postnatal Depression can strike just about anyone, regardless of your age or outlook on life. Those hormones that made you glow just a few weeks ago, can wreak havoc on your system. It’s normal to feel a little down as you’re also working through a myriad of emotional and physical changes. However, if you feel that it’s more than that, discuss it with your partner and definitely get the help you need. Your bright new bundle of love needs you to be at your best.