The average first time mom is reportedly in labor for around eight hours total, as reported by VeryWellFamily.com. Of course this varies based on many factors, with some moms only being in labor for several hours, and some being in labor for days. Regardless of the length, most moms, not to mention dads, are overjoyed once their precious little one does arrive. They are thankful the hard part is past them (mostly), and that they are able to finally enjoy the glorious first moments with their baby, who they’ve been waiting so long to meet!
Mom has been through the ringer and Dad is probably feeling very stressed out. Yet they are both joyously in love with their newborn, and probably really tired. The days after giving birth can be a bit of a blur for new parents. Between figuring out how to feed and change the baby, getting to know the baby's cries, filling out all of the paperwork, mom recovering, and the lack of sleep, it’s a really trying period for any family.
So what do new parents do in times such as this? They turn to social media of course! Using social media is a way for parents to relax and unwind. Everyone loves a good mindless scroll session. Plus, it can be used to document those precious first moments. It’s also a really great tool for spreading the news to friends and family.
Below are 15 snaps from the morning after labor, from meeting the siblings and other relatives, to the beloved first shower, take a peek into what those first moments might look like.
15 Skin To Skin
The day after labor and delivery will be very repetitive. Feed baby, snuggle baby, calm baby, watch baby sleep. Repeat. Again and again. One of the most important things to do with baby in first couple of days following their birth, is to be sure and get a lot of skin to skin time. Skin to skin isn’t just for mama either, both parents can benefit from having skin to skin time with the baby.
TodaysParent.com reports the following in regards to skin to skin.
“Babies love to be cuddled and held, as every parent knows. But new evidence suggests that being in skin-to-skin contact with a parent does more than just make the baby happy."
"It can help to solve breastfeeding problems, prevent hypoglycemia and other newborn difficulties, reduce pain, stabilize premature babies and set the stage for optimal brain development. That’s pretty impressive for something so low-tech!”
Don’t let visitors stop you from getting your skin to skin in with baby. Use a blanket and explain to any visitors the benefits of skin to skin. Swaddle baby up and pass them off to Grandma and Grandpa once you feel ready to do so!
14 New Baby Essentials
New, and even veteran moms can tend to over-pack when it comes time to pack the hospital delivery bag.
We’re all just trying to make sure we have everything we might possibly need! Once the baby arrives and the guests start pouring in, the stuff to take home pile keeps getting bigger and bigger, and eventually you look like the guy in this Snapchat.
Even though you already have plenty of stuff for the baby, don’t forget to take advantage of the freebies the hospital gives out. TwoTwentyOne.net recommends grabbing the following before you pack up and head home, “...small tub for sponge baths, sponge/brush for baths, petroleum jelly, leftover diapers from the bassinet, leftover wipes from the bassinet, bulb syringes.”
My husband and I definitely took advantage of the freebies the hospital offered. On top of the items mentioned above we received several pacifiers (because they were the only ones our daughter would take), nipple shields for breastfeeding, and formula for supplementing. If you are formula feeding or supplementing be sure to ask the hospital if they have any they can give you. They often times do, and that stuff is not cheap!
13 Baby’s First Selfie
New parents love sharing photos of their newborns, even Kylie Jenner is no different. From the first bath to the itty bitty footprints, we all love capturing and sharing these special moments. Your Snapchat pictures might be super cute but you might want to consider hiring a professional for a Fresh 48 and/or Newborn photography session.
VanessaHicksPhotography.com explains what a Fresh 48 session is, and how it’s different from a Newborn session.
“Fresh 48 photography is a special session for those new families who want the first few hours of their newborn’s life captured without having the entire labor or birth documented. Held within the first 24-48 hours of your baby’s life, these lifestyle sessions are perfect for remembering that first day forever."
"Shots of your little one’s first yawns, cute little baby feet, fingers, belly button will be documented. First Feedings. Diaper Changes. All of those amazing family meetings. Also, I will capture those quiet moments between you and your new little one! I will come to your place of birth within 48 hours. This is not a traditional newborn session; I will not pose the baby or bring props or lights. This will just be me capturing your baby’s sweet new moments in a fresh natural way!”
Fresh 48 photography is blowing up, with lots of parents opting to go this route instead of getting posed newborn photos taken. Though, some parents are choosing to do both!
12 Peek-A-Boo With Thomas Rhett
Sweet Willa Gray meets Ada James! And how sweet are they?
Most fans swoon over this family, myself included! Both Lauren and Thomas Rhett are very open about their family life and take to Snapchat to share in some of their special moments!
It was revealed through Lauren’s sister's Instagram account that she chose to have her sister in the delivery room with her. Macy Page shared a sweet photo of Ada James with the following caption, “*sorry for the double post but* O B S E S S E D is an understatement the most miraculous experience of my life watching my little (almost) birthday buddy being brought into this world! Truly a gift from God. And I could not be more proud of @laur_akins and how strong she was the whole way through. You. Are. A. ROCKSTAR.”
The number of people present in the delivery room varies for everybody. Some people choose to have other family with them in the delivery room with them, and some prefer it be just them and their significant other. This also varies depending on what the hospital allows.
No matter who you decide to have by your side for the birth of your baby, it’s important to make sure that your team is strong, supportive, and it’s probably best if they’re not squeamish! Be sure and prep everyone planning to be present on your birth plan and set any boundaries you might have ahead of time.
11 That First Postpartum Shower
Nothing is as glorious as the first shower after you delivery a baby. Something about that first shower just leaves you feeling like a completely new person. Beyond the shower, there are many ways to make sure you are getting the postpartum self-care you need and deserve.
After that first shower, hand the baby to your partner and take yourself for a little stroll down the hallway, or even outside if you’re up for it. A little fresh air will feel almost as good as the shower! Check in with your doctor and let him know how you are feeling.
The first few days, weeks and even months with baby can be very exhausting ones for both parents. Add postpartum hormones to the mix and sometimes mom’s find themselves to be just a wreck. It’s important to stay on top of your self-care by calling your doctor if you need to, consult with lactation consultants if you’re breastfeeding, and take advantage of any opportunity for some alone time.
Make sure you are getting out of the house, even if it’s just for a walk up the street. Even after you get home from the hospital, you will find it can be hard to sneak a shower in, but again, make sure you find the time!
TheBalancedLifeOnline.com suggests the following, “ ...after a long day of nursing, burping, changing and comforting your little one indoors you’ll benefit from finding little ways to treat yourself. I look forward to my afternoon walk or drive through Starbucks with a sleeping baby in the back seat.” These small moments of alone time and treating yourself can make a big difference!
10 Baby’s First Moments
Baby’s little feet have been stamped, their little hospital identification bracelet placed on their wrist and they may have even had their first bath already!
Be sure to capture these moments as best as you can. After all, these are moments you will look back on forever.
The second day with baby will present lots of photo opportunities, like the ones mentioned above so Snapchat away!
Hop on Pinterest and look for all the darling ways you can commemorate baby’s arrival using things like ID bracelets and footprints. From placing the bracelet into a clear Christmas ornament, to tattooing the footprint right onto your own body, you will not find a shortage of ideas on how you can use those sweet hospital mementos.
MarthaStewart.com suggests making a brag book or book of firsts. "Babies grow up so quickly. Keep track of all the major events with a ribbon-tied photo album. Include your little one's first smile, first teeth, first steps, and more."
These are treasured memories that parents, grandparents, and the children themselves will enjoy for the rest of their lives. Not only that, but their own children and grandchildren will love to see them.
9 Meeting The Family
Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends, and on and on. Everyone loves getting to meet the newborn baby of a friend or relative. You can expect people to start knocking on that door the day after you deliver and in the weeks to come. Accepting visitors on top of caring for your newborn can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Be an advocate for yourself and your baby when it comes to your well-meaning visitors.
Make sure you ask guests to give you a heads up before they swing by, or better yet, give them a time that is convenient for you.
Inevitably people will be late or not show up when they say they will but don’t hesitate to make those guests wait outside a few minutes until you and baby are ready for guests. On that note, don’t hesitate to make any guests wait if you need a few minutes.
If you need to use the restroom, or feed the baby, or change the baby, don’t hesitate to tell guests they will have to wait a few minutes. And if baby is fussy and a guest is trying to calm them down but you’d prefer to take baby yourself and feed him/her, then just do it.
Also, don’t feel guilty for making people use hand sanitizer. Many people joke that by the second kid parents drop this request, but that’s not necessarily true. . You should wash your hands well with soap and water upon entering the home (or hospital room). DarcyAndBrian.com explains, “Re-wash or use waterless hand sanitizer to ensure your hands are as germ-free as possible immediately before holding the baby. RSV can live for hours on surfaces which you may have touched since washing your hands.”
8 Sleep When The Baby Does
That precious baby might be sleeping peacefully now, but we all know that newborns have spotty sleep schedules that leave new parents exhausted. So listen to that precious advice to sleep when the baby sleeps!
BabyCenter.com explains, “Newborns sleep a lot – typically up to 16 to 17 hours a day. But most babies don't stay asleep for more than two to four hours at a time, day or night, during the first few weeks of life. The result? Lots of sleep for your baby and a very irregular – and tiring – schedule for you.”
It definitely takes some getting used to and that tired mommy brain can leave you quite foggy. There’s not much you can do about this for the first few weeks, but following is some great advice on getting baby to distinguish the difference between night and day, and hopefully start sleeping better for you. BabyCenter.com explains, “When he's alert and awake during the day, interact and play with him as much as you can, keep the house and his room light and bright, and don't worry about minimizing regular daytime noises like the phone, music, or dishwasher. If he tends to sleep through feedings, wake him up. At night, don't play with him when he wakes up. Keep the lights and noise level low, and don't spend too much time talking to him. Before long he should begin to figure out that nighttime is for sleeping.”
7 It’s All In The Details
You’ve waited so long to see all of baby’s details and features. You’ve dreamed about whether or not they’ll have a full head of hair or none. What will their nose look like? Is it a boy or a girl? Will they look more like Mommy or Daddy? These are all questions parents to be dream about during those nine long months of waiting to meet baby.
Once the wonderful moment arrives and you meet your little one, you will want to soak up every itty bitty detail, and you better do it quickly! Take pictures of baby’s little details in those first couple of days because things start to change fast.
MothersNiche.com states that, “Newborn babies change so quickly. Make sure to capture all their sweet little features before they go changing on you.” They recommend photographing the following details on your sweet little; hands, feet, ears, facial features, leg rolls, hair (many times they will lose their hair in the weeks following births so it’s fun to remember how much they’re born with!)
In addition to these details, don’t forget to get candid photos of Mom, Dad and any special visitors with baby. When baby gets a little older you can capture all these photos in a little scrapbook or puzzle for a fun recognition game!
6 Dad Goals
Your significant other, Mom or Dad, can play a big role in the days following delivery. You will obviously need a lot of support and help in the days that follow, so you and your partner might even consider discussing expectations in advance.
From changing diapers to getting Mom food and coffee, Dad’s obviously play a huge role in these early days with baby.
TodaysParent.com suggests the following tips for Dads; wake up with the baby, educate yourself on breastfeeding, ask if your significant other needs anything every time she feeds the baby, surprise her, wash pump parts and bottles, check in frequently if you’re not around, make her food, go easy on her, and become the baby whisperer!
Breastfeeding Mom’s may have the ultimate tool in calming baby down, but partners can learn how to soothe baby all on their own. Here’s a tip from TodaysParent.com, “But don’t immediately hand your crying infant off to your partner—resolve to be confident. You need to exude a cool and calm “Don’t worry, I got this” attitude. (It’s reassuring to both the baby and your co-parent.) Whenever my son was crying, I could always offer a boob as a potential solution. My husband, obviously, did not have that trump card. So he had to get creative. He came up with all these silly faces, songs and techniques (he mastered Harvey Karp’s five “S” tips early on) for soothing and distracting a fussy newborn, and as a result, he’s a better baby whisperer than I am. Now that our little guy is almost two years old, and I’m not nursing anymore, relying on my boobs to solve everything is no longer an option (this is both a blessing and a curse). But the patience and sense of humour my husband utilized in the first few months as a dad has grown into an impressive ability to deflect and redirect epic toddler tantrums, which is useful to this day.”
5 Big Sis
When big sis meets little sis. Often times a sweet, enduring moment like we see above with Miss Nova and Stella Star and Auntie Brittany DeJesus.
Sometimes, though, this moment doesn’t go the way new parents hope it will. Obviously jealousy can be a tough issue to deal with at a time like this.
There are some tips and advice that can help make this transition easier for the whole family.
MayoClinic.org suggests, “When the new baby arrives, have a family member or friend bring your child to the hospital or birth center for a brief visit. Allow another loved one to hold the baby for a while so that both parents can give the older child plenty of cuddles.
"Consider giving your older child a gift that's from the baby, such as a T-shirt that says big brother or big sister. When you're home, take your older child to a special place — such as a favorite playground — to celebrate the new baby's arrival.”
Even if it takes an adjustment period, things will even out and one day it will be hard for everyone to imagine life without the new baby. And any older siblings will be thankful for another playmate and friend!
4 New Mama Glow
Leave it to Serena Williams to be looking this flawless days after giving birth. Sure, Snapchat filters help, but a little makeup can go along way in the early days of motherhood. An awesome tip from TotalBeauty.com is, “Keep skin cleansing products next to your bed. Many women let their skin care routines go out the window after giving birth. Chang-Babaian suggests keeping cleansing wipes, toner and your nighttime moisturizer on your nightstand so you have no excuses.”
Other things you can do to stay looking fresh is to find a good five-minute makeup routine. For me this looks like; dry shampoo, BB cream, mascara and a bold lipstick. Yours will probably look a little different so scour Pinterest and I’m sure you’ll find a quick routine that suits your new life as a mama.
TotalBeauty.com also has a tip for keeping your hair looking fresh, “New moms should go for a hairstyle you can do the night before and quickly refresh in the morning since the a.m. is typically the most hectic time of day, says Tuzzo. She recommends washing your hair in the evening before bed, applying a thickening spray (if hair is fine) or mousse to damp strands. Part hair down the middle into two sections and braid each all the way down. Get your much-needed rest, and wake up in the morning to reveal soft waves. Liven strands up a bit with a spritz of texturizing hairspray, and you're good to go.”
3 Home Sweet Home
Heading home so soon? Some people are that lucky that they are cleared to go home the day after delivery. There’s a lot to be said for taking care of your new baby from the comfort of your own home so I say the sooner you can get home, the better! Though I know some moms of multiples who will take the several day ‘vacation’ to the hospital.
No matter how long you choose to stay, once you head home, you’ll want to make sure baby has a safe ride home. Car seat safety is a big deal, so you will want to make sure yours is installed properly, and that baby is correctly positioned.
Look twice before posting a cute picture of your baby in a car seat, because moms everywhere will be lined-up and ready to let you know if something looks amiss.
The hospital will probably help you install your car seat and get baby positioned, but if they don’t, be sure and ask for help.
Romper.com states that, “When it comes to taking newborns home from the hospital, safety is absolutely crucial. New parents will want to check that their car seat is properly installed, according to The Car Crash Detective, and it might even be a good idea to have seasoned parents (whether that be a friend or a family member) to triple check it just to be sure. If parents are still nervous about taking their newborn home for the first time, they can ask someone to help them. Many hospitals, fire departments, and police departments offer car seat inspections and car seat installations so parents can guarantee that their kid is safe...”
2 New Mom Hanger
Get ready to eat, Mama! This is how I looked at Taco Bell after I had a baby. Nursing moms need approximately 500 extra calories a day. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, you’ll want to make sure you are eating a healthy diet after baby. Eating well will help with your recovery time and will mentally help you feel better.
MindBodyGreen.com states, “the research on the link between nutrient depletion during pregnancy and lactation and postpartum depression has shown that nutrient depletion can affect the production of key mood-regulating neurotransmitters, like serotonin, and that lower levels of folate, vitamin D, iron, selenium, zinc, fats, and fatty acids have all been associated with a higher risk of PPD. Put simply, eating in a way that nourishes your body has never been more important, so let's take a look at the five sacred principles of postpartum nutrition.”
And they go on to list; eat warm, digestible foods, hydrate often, eat collagen-rich foods to support tissue repair, eat a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet, take the appropriate supplements.
It can be hard to remember to eat when you’re in the throngs of newborn life, but getting at least three meals a day in is really important! If any friends or family ask to help out, tell them they can cook for you, or bring you food when they come to visit the baby. All moms know the more convenient the better, so be sure to grab things like granola bars and fresh fruit from the grocery store on your way home from the hospital. It’s so important to remember to take care of yourself so you can be feeling your best and enjoying those early days with your newborn!
1 Milestone After Milestone
As if the mama of this baby doesn’t have enough change happening in her life! The father went and popped a marriage proposal. Talk about an exhilarating couple of days. Plus, it sure makes for a great Snapchat opportunity, not to mention a great memory!
Technology has come along way in recent years, and in addition to being able to quickly share news of birth announcements and engagements (or both!), there are social apps for just about everything. There are even apps to make your life as a new mom a little bit less complicated. I’m going to share some of my favorites with you!
Baby Tracker is an awesome app that allows you to easily track your newborn’s feedings, diaper changes and sleep schedule. If you opt for the pro version, you can even get analyzed data on the information you input. I never went that far, but the free version was the perfect alternative to the checklists handed out by the hospital. Baby Story app is a great app to edit photos and add cute graphics to milestone photos of your baby. There are a lot of marketed apps for sharing baby photos with friends and family, but I found that a good old Google photo album worked the best for us! That way you just add friends and family to the album once and they always have access to the album you share with them. I consistently update one album on Google Drive that is shared with family.
On top of the necessities, I would recommend downloading some games for yourself, like Candy Crush or Hogwarts Mystery. Playing silly games like this helped me stay awake for those late night feeding sessions!
References: VeryWellFamily.com, Instagram.com, TodaysParent.com, TheBalancedLifeOnline.com, DarcyAndBrian.com, BabyCenter.com, VanessaHicksPhotography.com, TwoTwentyOne.net, MayoClinic.org, TotalBeauty.com, Romper.com, MindBodyGreen.com