By BIANCA CARTER
BRINGING home baby can be a bit intimidating, especially for first-time mothers. Even second-time mothers can feel a bit overwhelmed and intimidated to try to manage life from one child (in some cases a toddler), to two children.
Taking care of yourself, having support and being organised will get you through with gold stars. There are lots of ideas that are shared with people who have just had a new baby, in particular by the grandparents and other family and friends. Here are my ideas on how you can thrive during your baby’s neonatal period, from one mom to another.
Get your home prepared and organised before the baby arrives. There is nothing more frustrating than coming home with you new infant, not having the clothes washed and the bassinet up with an area that is safe to feed and change the baby. I’m not talking about a total room construction, but just a few key areas that need to be arranged and set up for when your baby arrives. You don’t know exactly how your birth will happen and thinking that you can get those areas together when you get home will only add to your exhaustion and fatigue.
Rest. This sounds harder than it actually is. Some people make the suggestion for the mom to sleep as much as possible before the baby arrives. This notion of storing your sleep requirements, much like a camel stores its water for the drought to survive, is a little misleading. No matter how much sleep you get before baby arrives, you are still going to be tired. Taking care of a newborn is not an easy task and requires full attention, 24 hours a day. Here’s my advice, sleep when the baby sleeps. Do not try to get in chores in the place of sleep if you really need it. The dishes can wait.
Get your support system in place. If you are lucky enough to have a full list of people you can call on to help you during this time, that’s very impressive. The good thing is, you only need a few people you can count on to help. Allowing a few people to help you with basic things like, washing the dishes or doing laundry will be very helpful during this time. When I had my babies, I was not really interested in seeing hundreds of family members in the first week of being home and trying to acclimate myself to my new life. It’s nothing personal; some people just prefer to adjust in private for the first few days.
Food storing is a must. Whether you are super organised and have the time to load up your freezer with dinner items, or you have a couple of family members or friends that can take turns bringing your family dinner, it is essential. This is a nice gesture if you are looking to help a new mom without asking the typical question, “What can I do to help?”, which most of the time is answered with a response like, “Oh nothing, I’m OK.” Trust me, it will be greatly appreciated and a wonderful way to meet the new baby.
Love & hugs!
• Bianca Carter is a certified lactation counsellor (CLC), founder of Bun in the Oven, and weekend radio personality on Y98 radio. For more information, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Follow BITO on Facebook at babybunintheoven, and check out the BITO Blog every Monday and Thursday at www.babybunintheoven.com.