The first few hours, days and weeks after the birth of your child can be enormously challenging – whether you’re a first-time parent or not.
There are a number of things you’ll want to bear in mind as you try to navigate this period, many of which might make a significant difference to your welfare, and that of your baby.
Adjusting to Parenthood
They say that nothing can quite prepare you for the shock of adjusting to this new way of life.
You’ll find that your every waking moment is devoted to the welfare of this strange and demanding new life-form that’s arrived into your home.
There are a number of worthwhile resources that you can look into to support you.
Don’t be afraid to ask the midwife to give you detailed instructions on things like breastfeeding, they are always keen to help.
Above all, be prepared to forgive yourself and your baby for those moments where things aren’t going quite right.
Getting enough Sleep
One thing that you’re going to learn all about is sleep deprivation. From the beginning, babies will tend to wake every two to three hours to demand feeding, changing and burping, before you’re allowed to get back to sleep again.
This means that you can expect your sleep to be fragmented. Draft in partners, grandparents and friends to lend support so that you can get enough sleep.
The mainstream advice today is that you shouldn’t allow your baby to sleep with you – though many parents report that this is an effective way to get some shut-eye, provided that the right precautions have been taken.
Keep a Close eye on the Health of your Child
It’s easy to become paranoid about the welfare of your child during the early stages.
But still, you’ll want to be on the lookout for potential complications and unforeseen problems.
Look for common symptoms and what they might reveal. Your midwife will be able to talk you through the more common ones.
In the vanishingly rare event that your baby develops a problem as a result of the treatment you’ve received in hospital, then you could be entitled to compensation on the grounds of hospital negligence further down the line – but don’t worry about that until you have to.
Looking after your own Health
This is a period where it’s easy to let things slip when it comes to your own wellbeing – both mentally and physically.
Stay on the lookout for the signs of postnatal depression, and make sure that you’re proactive in your attempts to stay in shape.
You might find that going for a walk every day actually soothes your baby to sleep – so you can get a little bit of peace at the same time that you’re getting your steps in.
Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.