By Ashley Barron
I'm a big fan of lists. It helps me stay organized and focused on a task at hand. So, when I was preparing for my son to be born, I was able to find ample advice for the part of giving birth, but I seemed to find very little on what to do right AFTER the baby arrives. So, just three months after I gave birth, when an opportunity arose for me to provide advice for my friend before she was going to give birth, I took this into consideration and had quite a bit to tell her. The following is what I wrote for her and her husband, and I hope it helps you as much as it did them.
1. Stay at the hospital as long as you are able to.
2. Soak up all the advice from the nurses that you can. They are a wealth of knowledge.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions while at the hospital. When you go home, you will miss this! Google just isn’t the same…
4. It will take you longer than you expect to heal. Don’t try to rush back into things too soon. It will only delay your healing.
5. In the first few days after baby arrives, REMEMBER TO EAT AND DRINK. As simple as it sounds, this can be hard to remember to do when you are so tired.
6. Breastfeeding is really HARD… be sure to use a lactation consultant! She will become your new best friend.
7. You will go through so many emotions in the days/weeks after giving birth. And no doubt about it, you WILL cry, but that is ok and totally normal.
8. Your spouse WILL think you are a crazy lady multiple times in the first few weeks. Your craziness will pass, but try to get some sleep to regain a bit of your sanity.
9. Use your support system and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
10. At some point, you will have to put your child down and walk away defeated. Take a moment, regroup and remember to breathe.
11. Text other mom friends for advice, or just to stay rational. No doubt they have been where you are right now. This is especially true when you are up in the middle of the night. Who knows, you might actually get a response!
12. The sleep deprivation is REAL. Sleep when you can and don’t try to overdo it with other non-essential activities.
13. Take turns with a fussy baby at night so one of you can relax or catch a few winks. Two overly tired parents are never a good thing.
14. In the first few days/weeks at home, find some small activity that calms and refreshes you which you can do daily for yourself.
15. Try to get outside in some capacity each day.
16. You will never understand how something so small can create so much laundry.
17. Dad, even though it may feel like your baby always wants Mom and what you do doesn’t matter, try to remember that you are doing a great job. There will come a day when all he/she wants is Dad!
18. Try to have a few moments each day without your baby where you and your spouse can spend some adult time together.
19. Finally, be sure to embrace the snuggles, sounds, and warmth of your newborn. He/she will change so unbelievably fast, before you know it he/she will be smiling, cooing and no longer a newborn!
WELLNESS, MEDITATION, EXERCISE AND COMMUNITY FOR MOMS
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The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or licensed health care provider. You should consult your physician or licensed health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity described in this article to determine if it is right for your needs.