People say 4th trimester is the toughest & we can’t agree more. If you make it through the first four weeks after that “not quite same as what is shown in movies” delivery, your life will start making sense again and the chaos will be much more manageable. The day you bring the baby back from the hospital and you are all by yourself is when the anxiety kicks in, but you will get past it. It’s all been done before. Here are a few things we learned from those first few days after we got our little ones home. We would love to share this with all moms-to-be or new moms in hopes some of these tips can ease up your struggle:
- Babies cry a lot & it’s okay ! If your bundle of joy cries his/her lungs out, don’t panic. I know it’s easier said than done. They are just adapting to the new environment they are sudden put into, out of the comfy and cozy warmth of mom’s womb. Just ensure that you crosscheck these few cues and make sure they are fine :
- Change them if the diapers are soiled
- Feed them if they show hunger cues
- Cuddle them : sometimes they just want to feel secure, so just cuddle and calm them down . They should be okay unless there is something major bothering them. If they are still persistently crying, consult your doctor.
2. Filter all advice! So you are new parents and everyone wants to be of help with their set of advice. No offense to them as everyone usually does that out of good intention. Trust your instincts and do what you think is best for your little one. When in doubt, just check with your pediatrician, he/she will provide the necessary guidance and information.
3. Every baby is different. So don’t compare your baby with anyone, especially on social media. We have twins and both babies have completely different characteristics in terms of adaptability to environment, feeding needs etc. Try to understand what your baby likes and doesn’t. Also, you need not stick to a rigid routine out of a book, just go with the flow.
4. You are not obligated to have visitors for the first month. For the first week, especially with the c-section, you would definitely be in a lot of pain or just generally low. Trust me you can say no to friends or family who would like to visit you and the baby and ask them to come over when things settle a bit more. As it is you have little spare time, use it for those naps you may be craving after a long night shift or just do nothing and rest up.
5. Get as much help as you can! Do not try to do it all by yourself. You will eventually burn out. Get as much help as you can from your friends and family to arrange food, baby sit your little one or help you with some urgent chores. You can also pump and get your partner to help you feed the baby while you get some much needed downtime. Key is to survive the first few weeks in as much ease as possible, so even if you have to spend some extra bucks to get a help, do it without second thought.
6. Take out some “me” time. We know that you have a big responsibility in your hands now, life has flipped 180 degrees overnight and it will never be same again. A lot changes and you do not get any sleep, which adds up to the frustration. Take that much needed post-natal massage to feel better. Or watch your favorite show during pumping session. Get your partner to bottle feed the baby as you take a break.
7. Talk to someone if you need to. Postpartum stress is real and more often than not new moms go through it, so it is completely normal. Talk to your friends and family if you are feeling low intermittently. If you do feel depressed on a constant basis, then seek professional help or talk to your gynae about it.
8. Breastfeeding versus formula: don’t fret too much over it. There is a lot of talk about how breastfeeding is good for the babies. Agreed breastmilk is the best for babies as it gives immunity along with the nutrients but there may be some circumstances where your body is not able to produce enough. Especially right after you give birth the supply may be a little bit less. While at the hospital itself, they may put your baby on formula. It’s completely okay to give formula. You will be amazed to see the amount of nutrients packed in that 1 scoop of formula powder. As long as the babies are fed it is good because your main objective is to ensure that they do not lose weight. Do note that babies lose some weight within a few weeks after birth, so be cautious and ensure your little one is not under fed.
Always remember, it has all been done before, it is a phase and will pass soon. I had to share this with all my friends who are expecting :). Motherhood comes with it’s own challenges but it’s very special and you’ll know this once your babies just look at you and smile for no reason. Do leave a comment if you would like to share your personal story or how you had gotten over that postpartum stress.