There are so many things you’ve been planning for and thinking of up until the delivery of your precious newborn. It's so much, your mind might explode! Instead, you keep it together as best you can and go through the arduous process of labor.
Next comes some of the most challenging months for you and your partner, when you have an infant! Below are ten things that may help you prepare for the unexpected in a postpartum world. No one can truly know what to expect from becoming a new parent until they have experienced it, but continue reading to at least make an attempt!
10 Accepting Help
For some people, accepting help is always difficult. As a new parent, you may find it especially difficult, since you want to be able to do it all! However, caring for a new life in addition to all your other duties is overwhelming and nearly, if not, impossible for one person to do all by themselves.
Those friends who offered to make you dinner, let them. Your mother or mother-in-law who offered to come and babysit while you take a nap, take her up on it. You will be so glad you did; after all, it does take a village!
9 Pain After Delivery
While it is to be expected that delivery is painful (and here are some tips to manage that pain during labor,) what you may not expect is the pain that comes after delivery. Remember, you just pushed a small human out of you: there are bound to be after-effects. Getting comfortable sitting and going to the bathroom are just two of the basic difficulties with this.
Your whole body may hurt as well, not just your birth canal, since the whole body goes through contractions. If you still have pain longer than 6 weeks after giving birth, seek medical attention.
8 Breastfeeding Difficulties
For something that seems like it should be second nature, nursing a newborn can be a lot more complicated than one would think. Every mom and baby are different and getting a baby to latch on properly so that the milk can flow can be a challenge. The site Mustela USA suggests giving yourself a “pep talk. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Visualize your happy place.”
If you feel you are particularly struggling, you can see a lactation specialist. In the end, remember no matter what your intentions were for breastfeeding pre-delivery, you are still a success even if you cannot breastfeed your baby! That’s what formula is for.
7 Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is more widely acknowledged than it used to be, however, most of us still think it won’t happen to us. Still, your body will be going through a lot of changes, with hormones going up and down. Also, your day is now revolving around your new baby, so you may be putting yourself on the back burner, most if not all of the time.
This is where accepting help can particularly come in handy as that isolation can particularly lead to postpartum depression. Connection to other people besides your little one may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but believe us, it’s the best thing for you!
6 Scared To Sleep
Your baby might sleep more than you think she would, but remember, she took a long, hard trip too! The delivery was hard on both your bodies. As she sleeps, it may be tempting to do chores or other productive activities. Parents highly recommends doing something relaxing or even sleeping when the baby sleeps.
It may be scary at first to not watch your infant as she sleeps, making sure that her chest rises and falls. This feeling will gradually get easier to deal with, as you become more and more sleep-deprived, but does it ever really go completely away?
5 Spouse Is A Parent
Now that baby is home, the reality of being a parent is starting to set in, for both of you. Your partner will probably also be overwhelmed with the feelings of being a new parent. You might have feelings of jealousy that your spouse gets to leave the house for 8 hours or more each day, if you are staying home with your bundle of joy and your partner is going to work to support the family.
However, be aware of the new pressure that puts on them with their job. They might be jealous too, of all the time you get to spend with your new infant.
4 Clothing And Diaper Changes
It can be hard to resist the urge to constantly check your new child’s diaper a million times a day, just to make sure he is consistently dry! Crib Culture points out it is normal to feel that it’s hard to let your wee one “just ‘be.’”
Crib Culture also says the same thing goes for changing clothes too! Not only is your infant likely to soil his clothing, but you also have a desire to get pictures of him in as many outfits as possible, so that you show your family and friends that all the gifts you received are appreciated.
Visitors can either be well-meaning or actually helpful. Close family and friends will be more likely to be more willing to lend a hand, and less likely to make you feel like you need to entertain them. Remember, not only can your baby be overstimulated by too many visitors, so can you!
Take advantage of visitor’s offers to do dishes or bring a prepared meal. Also, don’t be shy about asking for what you need. People who care about you genuinely want to be an ally to you and your family. Also, asking people to wash their hands before holding the baby is nothing to be shy about, says Kid’s Health.
2 Calling Your Doctor
Depending on the parent’s preference for doctors, some may find they want to call the doctor for every little thing and some will want to wait until they know it’s something serious. Either way, your doctor would prefer you to call more than is needed than not enough.
Cleveland Clinic recommends calling the doctor office if your baby refuses to nurse or take a bottle several times in a row, has symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting more than usual, or seems dehydrated. More serious things to call the doctor immediately are blood in stool or vomit, a temperature of 100.4 F, and sleeping more than usual. If you are very concerned, go to the Emergency Room and call the doctor from there.
1 All The Firsts
There are so many firsts with a new baby, especially if this is your first one. Baby’s first car ride home, the first time bathing baby, holding baby for the first time unsupervised by hospital professionals, etc are all sure to produce a wave of emotions.
You’ve been waiting for this little person to come into your life for so long, now that they are finally here, it can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath, exhale, and take it one day at a time, maybe one minute at a time! Remember, they only stay this little for a short period of time! Savor what you can.