What To Expect Those First Couple of Days
Coming home from the hospital after bringing a new life into the world is so exciting, and all that you’ve been waiting for, but it can also be nerve-wracking and overwhelming. You’ll not only be greeted by countless messages from people wanting to come visit (including Facebook friends whom you haven’t seen in years), you will also quickly realize that you will never be able to do anything without factoring in the baby. Need to go to the bathroom? Looks like you have a buddy. In the mood for a pedicure, you’ll have an audience. (It’s a good thing you won’t actually want to go anywhere without your baby, because to be honest, just watching them sleep is better than anything else.) Here are a few bits of information experienced mothers will tell you to expect during those first few days at home:
What a Workout
Even if you consider yourself a pretty fit person, having a baby (regardless of the delivery style) takes a serious toll on the body. You may even feel like your body was running marathons without your knowledge. Those first few days at home will be full of grunts and groans, so make sure you have tons of pillows to surround yourself with and plenty of ice packs on hand to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Take some soothing bubble baths (once your doctor gives the thumbs up, of course) and pamper yourself. After all, you worked hard to bring that little gift into the world, so you should be rewarded for that!
Time to Eat!
Breastfeeding isn’t always as easy as it looks in the movies, where mothers look like they stepped out of a hair salon at all times and babies instinctively latch without a problem. There is a chance your new baby will have trouble latching and if that’s the case, there are plenty of specialists who can help you figure out the best method for you. From nipple shields to breast pumps, breastfeeding can get a little messy. You may have some nipple pain after latching (don’t worry, it goes away), but the benefits in terms of creating a bond between you and your baby far outweigh any struggles. In fact, it pretty much wipes away each and every moment of frustration. What’s important is that you don’t get hard on yourself for things not working out as you think they should. There is no wrong way to do this and if something works for you and your baby, then it will always be right.
The Smart Breastfeeding Meter there to help as soon as your colostrum turns into milk, typically 4-5 days after birth. Enabling you to listen and follow your baby’s swallow sounds and help to eradicate any worries you may have over whether your child is consuming enough breast milk. In the first week after birth, a baby will lose 7% of its weight (which is completely normal and expected). Aside from weigh-ins at doctor appointments, it is tough to track your baby’s milk intake. Not only will you gain peace of mind knowing how much milk is getting consumed, the knowledge will also enhance your natural intuition. Leaving you more time to bond and enjoy baby and less time for worry.
Make sure to keep the first few days (or heck, the first few weeks) to yourself and for loved ones at home. That coworker from two jobs ago does not need to drop by on day two to bring first or second-hand onesies. It’s alright to tell people that you want to keep the beginning for yourself and your new baby. The first few days should be about really cementing the bond between you and your child, so it’s okay if you would rather hold off on visitors. A good idea is to tell people ahead of time that you
would love for them to visit during the second week, because the first week will be all about settling in. That way, no one will get their feelings hurt at the last minute, and you and your loved ones can spend time at home alone with baby.
Losing out on precious sleep is a pretty obvious side effect of having a baby, but it’s not just about spending nights pacing back and forth with a crying child. Sometimes it’s actually fun. After all, how can you get mad at that little face when 3 a.m. is the new playtime? However, in the first few days, you probably won’t be dealing with much crying, so don’t be alarmed. Newborn babies typically sleep for hours, wake up to eat, then go back to sleep. It’s not until a couple weeks pass that your new baby will start really fussing. Remember to take some time for yourself while your baby sleeps, even if that means zoning out while reality TV plays in the background.
This may sound like a lot to deal with, and yes, motherhood is certainly a full-time job, but it’s probably going to be the only one you will never want to quit. You may be sleepy and hormonal, but you created a little life that has an entire journey to embark upon. That’s huge and worth patting yourself on the back for. This adventure is yours and it’s going to be amazing!