This ‘Newborns 101’ series will follow along with the first couple of major hurdles and milestones of having a baby to help out any other first time mums out there like myself in hearing some experiences from other mums who have actually been there. You can check out the previous posts in this series here.
Today I’ve got the lovely Karin from Calm to Conniption sharing her wisdom on surviving the first week at home with baby.
Oh I laughed!
Here we were, me pasty grey clutching my tail and the Mr carrying our precious cargo in his new capsule, slowing walking out of the hospital that only 48 hours earlier we were walking into with (painful for me) excitement.
Now the hospital staff were just letting us walk out of there with our baby. Off you go. Welcome to parenthood!
Those first few weeks as new parents can see every little piece of confidence squished out of you. Bravados crushed and sleep destroyed.
It is hard. It is the unknown and it is now your journey.
But! You have the most beautiful baby. A piece of you that is now in your arms and completely dependent and in awe of you.
For me, those first few weeks were hard, so desperately hard. I was in shock. My labour had been quite dramatic with a post partum haemorrhage. No one had truly highlighted how hard breastfeeding could be and I was struggling with the thought that I may of made a terrible decision becoming a mother.
You can tell I’m certainly not a “natural mother” but is there such a beast?
If there is one thing I would say to myself back then in those first few weeks it is – Be kind to yourself.
You (and your partner) are feeling your way through this.
Go with your gut instinct, it is right most of the time.
This time is for you to worry about just yourself and your baby. Life will get back to normal but for now look inward. Spend days in bed, let others cook for you and shower. This last one may sound strange but a warm shower can rejuvenate your soul.
Here are a few other things to be mindful of in those first weeks as a new parent.
Visitors are nice but pace yourself.
It is so exciting welcoming a baby into your family and of course you want to show off your little bundle but pace yourself.
Schedule only one visitor every few days and do this AFTER the baby arrives. You never know how you will feel once you get home so allow for a few days of settling in.
If someone offers to bring you some meals though I would jump on the opportunity. Accept and if you aren’t up for long chats just let them know. They will understand.
Let people do things for you.
I had so much trouble with this and still do, though now I know I will appreciate it when it is happening.
If someone offers to do a load of washing for you, clean the bathroom, pick up some groceries, or drop off some meals respond with a big YES!
These things will help you out greatly and even if you think you have time to do them, don’t. Your time can be better spent resting or bonding with your bub.
Need someone to talk to? Ring the numbers.
These weeks are full of firsts for all of you and sometimes you may be stuck for answers. Luckily there are brilliant, caring people out there 24/7 to help you.
With my first baby I had so many problems breastfeeding (you can read about it here) so I was calling the Australian Breastfeeding Association a bit. The women are caring and are mothers themselves. Not once did I feel pressure in their voice.
Don’t be shy in using helplines. That first call for me was hard and I even felt a little embarrassed. Silly now when I think back.
Keep these numbers on your fridge and don’t be afraid to ring.
Know you are not alone and seek help if you need it.
Karin at Calm to Conniption is a FIFO wife, mum of two little ones and is trying not to loose herself in a pile of dirty nappies and Duplo in-between. With lashings of sarcasm and humor, Karin tackles big world problems like candle maintenance, sandwich cutting and urine projection in boys. You can also check Karin out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
What are your tips for surviving the first week at home with baby?
Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays)
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