As a mom and doula, I have some sound advice about the first few weeks.
The main advice I have is rest, rest, rest! You and baby need rest. A lot of changes are occurring in your body postpartum and it desperately needs time to heal and re-balance. A good indicator of whether you are resting enough is your bleeding. In the first week after baby your bleeding will be moderate to heavy and you may experience some clotting. After that first week it should start to slow. If it does not you likely need to get off of your feet and rest. Remember the more you follow this rule in the first month the faster you will be ready to hit the ground running.
- It is important to sleep when the baby sleeps.
- To rest when someone comes over to visit (let them hold the baby and you take a nap)
- To put your feet up and not clean the house (see next paragraph on planning)
- To rest in between feedings
My next tidbit of advice is to plan… now some of you out there are extreme planners and this is a wonderful time to use that superpower to your advantage. For women like me, not so much. I don’t like to plan and I don’t like to ask for help…. LET THAT GO! This is your time to ask for as much assistance as you possibly can… everyone wants to hold, snuggle and get a peek at your newbie. It is time to enact what I affectionately call the “Pay to Play” scheme. IF someone would like to come over to see what newborn life all about is, they shall not enter until they complete one task for you. Think of this as a mission and if it is not completed they will not get snuggles with him or her. Here is a list of “favors” you will want to request in the first few weeks:
- Meals… for example a quick rotisserie chicken from your local grocer and a side or salad to make your life easier.
- Dishes and laundry…” Hi Gia, when you come over would you mind doing a quick load of dishes for me? They are driving me nuts and I am not up to it”
- Something from the “Outside” like a shower beer and a magazine. When said friend/family member comes over take beer and magazine and head for the “spa”. It will be the best hour you’ve spent alone post-baby.
- If you have other children, it may be nice if someone can pop by and take them out for a bit so that you and baby can bond, and nap and the others can have a little fun without the newbie.
- If you don’t want anyone to come over and you just need a break alone just say “no”!
Speaking of “spa” self-care is the number one most important thing on your list. In order to accomplish this task post-baby, you will need to plan, again. When you decide it is time to finally get up in the morning, you should force yourself to achieve 5 simple things…
- Wash your face (I can’t live without my Fruit Enzyme Facial Cleanser from Bee Maternal Organics Beauty Section)
- Brush your teeth
- Fix Your Hair
- Put on clean clothes to lounge in
- Eat and Drink something
Sounds simple right? Well, it is and should only take you about 15 minutes, but you must be willing to plan it into your morning routine. Start the very first day you are home and you will see that it makes a world of difference! You will not be as cranky or feel those post baby blues as much by just making sure that you take care of No.1… Well, we all know that is the baby now, but this will make both you and them a lot happier! Remember when mama is happy, everyone is happy.