Don't Talk About That! The Little-Discussed Issues When Baby Comes Home
There are certainly many things that you've read about bringing your baby home. People have probably given you advice, and you're prepared for many of the tasks ahead. There are, however, often issues with bringing a baby home that people don't like to discuss - and problems that may arise in the first few weeks. These items are equally as important to know about, and to be prepared for as you welcome your new baby into your life.
People, Things Everywhere!
You may find yourself quite overwhelmed in the first few weeks at home. Yes, you'll be overwhelmed with sleep deprivation, a crying baby, diapers to change and more; what you may not expect, however, is to be overwhelmed by visitors and by your everyday tasks. While you're in the hospital, you'll have a cocoon around you. The only things that will matter are you and the baby. When you arrive back at home, you may notice emails waiting for a reply, a phone that rings, dirty dishes in the sink, laundry that awaits you and more. You may also have people dropping in during the times when you'd like to be resting, sleeping or enjoying the baby alone. Whether you are experiencing post-partum depression or just want some time without being social, you have the right to turn people away. Hopefully, you'll have someone in the house to help you in the beginning - both with the household chores and with keeping visitors away when you need a break. Whether you do or not, you need to set boundaries for yourself. You need to delegate responsibility for the household jobs to other people in the beginning. Put up a sign that says when you are welcoming visitors and when you don't want to be bothered.
This is probably the item that is least discussed when you bring home a new baby. Your body is going to be very sore after delivery. If you've had an episiotomy, your bottom is going to be very sore. Even if you've had a Cesarean, you may find yourself worried about tearing or doing too much. Many women become constipated in the days following delivery, as having a bowel movement can be scary and traumatic. Following the birth, be aware of this issue and take active measures to counter-act it. Make sure to watch your diet and to eat foods that are high in fiber. Use Metamucil or another product to loosen your stools. Drink plenty of fluids. Go to your doctor if you still haven't had a bowel movement four or more days after delivery and get the help that you need.
Nursing hurts! People always talk about how wonderful nursing is and how natural it is. It is wonderful and it is natural - but it's a lot of work in the beginning. Breastfeeding is certainly one of the healthiest things that you can do for your new baby. What you need to know, however, is that you may be very sore for the first ten days to two weeks. Breastfeeding will become easier, once you work through this initial period. Make sure to get some lanolin from the pharmacy before giving birth and to put it on your nipples before and after each feeding. Try to relax before the feeding with soothing music, deep breaths and visualization. If breastfeeding is very difficult for you - get help from a lactation specialist. There are many trained people who will be happy to help and to give you advice.
Bringing a baby home is a wonderful experience. It is important, at the same time, to know that you are not alone with the physical discomforts that you feel and with the adjustment to your family and your life. Try to openly speak to your partner and others about your feelings. You'll get through these first obstacles and will soon have the energy and time to enjoy your little one and your time together!