Ah, the postpartum period. It sure is a joyous time now that you have that sweet little baby in your arms. Cue the sleepless nights, sore breasts, and anxiety-ridden days (and nights). Does the hospital really trust you to take this little bundle home after 2-3 days and keep it alive? YES! And you will do GREAT!! There is no true guide for parenting, but you will find lots of books and plenty of friends and family ready and willing to give you advice. I tell this to every patient I discharge from the hospital: YOU are the parents, YOU decide what is best for YOUR baby, and YOU only. Do not let the advice of strangers guide you to raise your child (even me). You are going to do what is best for your baby based on your best intentions, and that is all baby needs. Forget all the fluff to fill the nursery. Your baby needs fed, a safe place to sleep, a clean diaper, and love and cuddles. A fellow lactation consultant recently encouraged me to watch this trailer which is awesome for new parents: Life: the beginning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb5RtupqJ1o.
You may be thinking that once you had the baby your preggo belly would be gone, but that does take some time. Your uterus will continue to shrink down to its prepregnancy size within the first week or so, and weight will take some time to come off. Be easy on yourself and your new role as Mama. Hormonal changes can make you feel completely out of whack. This is normal for the first couple weeks. However, if these feelings are lasting longer than that, or you feel hopeless and lost, please talk to your doctor. Postpartum depression and anxiety is real, and should not be ignored or shamed.
If you had a tear during delivery it is important to keep your bits clean. The hospital should give you a “peri-bottle” that you fill with warm water. Take this bottle home with you and use it when you pee, and anytime you feel like you need a cleaning. If you forgot it, or need another one you can get one here, or see image below. I still use mine, and my youngest is almost 2! Think of it as your own personal inexpensive bidet. You may feel very sore, so take it easy and move around gently. Don’t sit for too long, or stay in the same position, though. Your body needs to move and get blood circulating. You can make your own ice diapers if needed by pulling apart a newborn diaper at one end (like opening a bag of chips-do this to the end with the tabs), push the interior cotton to the sides and fill it with small pieces of ice. To close, fold down the opened end about an inch and secure the diaper tabs toward the center of your fold. Call your physician if your pain increases, you have consistent gushing of blood, or any clots larger than an egg size. Do not be afraid to call if you feel like something is off, that’s what they are there for. Same goes for the pediatrician.
Now let’s talk about baby. Once you’re in your own home you can create a routine that will work for you. Babies really don’t have a routine and rely on you to integrate them into one. Keep your house bright during the day and dim the lights in the evening. You can begin a bedtime routine right from the start so baby gets used to tasks. Skin to skin, or kangaroo care, is invaluable for a new parent. This remedy can be used for almost any situation your little one is not happy with. Partners can participate in skin-to-skin care as well. Baby should only wear a diaper, and nothing should be between baby and the chest of Mom or partner. Cover baby with a blanket, and he will be happy as can be.
Congratulations, and best of luck on this wonderful journey! I always have lots of fun and helpful information to share, so be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook!
Disclaimer: This website may contain links to products in which the author may receive a small compensation based on your purchase. These recommendations are not, however, influenced on the compensation received.
This website is used for education and information purposes only. Do not let this information replace the care you receive from your physician or midwife. Each individual may respond differently to each area of advice. I cannot guarantee the outcomes of each statement listed, and most recommendations are from professional or personal experience as an RN, lactation consultant, and Mother of two. Recommendations are provided at your own risk. Please seek the assistance of your physician or pediatrician before making dramatic changes in your lifestyle.
Welcome! I’m Brittany. I’m a mom of two toddlers living in Northwest Ohio with my husband, Chris, and our two cats, Simon and Oliver. I’m a labor and delivery nurse, and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I love finding new ways that make parenting easier, while providing a fun learning atmosphere for my girls at the same time. In my blog you will find tips and tricks for dealing with pregnancy, labor, and parenthood. My favorite part about being a nurse (besides getting to welcome little miracles into the world, obviously) is being able to educate new Moms (and Dads) on how to care for their little ones at the very start. Parenthood is such a complex and exhausting journey that we need to have support from others who make us feel like we’re not alone. You are not alone here!