Surviving the First Weeks
Author: Jennifer Parker
You have the nursery set up, the bassinet assembled, and a closet full of the most divine little clothes you've ever seen. Most expectant mothers agree that one of the best parts of preparing for a new baby is the nesting to create a space for their precious bundle of joy. You think you're completely prepared, but are you?
There are some things you need to consider when you bring your baby home and the most important things are usually the ones we neglect to think about. Babies are all consuming and can be overwhelming when you're a new mother. It needn't be and there are things you can do to make the transition to motherhood as smooth as possible.
Have a plan to cover meals
Some women are able to cook and freeze vast quantities of meals prior to giving birth and can call on this supply after their baby has arrived. Some call in the troops and have a meal roster where friends and family prepare a meal and drop it off during the first few weeks. Others utilize food delivery services or frozen meals. However you do it, it's important to take the pressure off you so that when your baby needs to be fed right in the middle of figuring out dinner you can do so without having to stress about cooking.
Don't forget snacks
Snacks are just as important as main meals. Nursing your baby requires a lot of extra energy so healthy, easy snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, fruit, vegetable sticks, and healthy dips such as hummus and guacamole are perfect.
Sleep when your baby sleeps
You really do need to sleep when your baby sleeps. There may be a million other things you think you need to do but unless you give your body the time to recover from birth and adjust to the broken sleep, you will hit a wall sooner or later. Get help with the housework, whether this is a paid cleaner, your partner, or friends and family. If you really can't sleep, take the time to rest by reading a book, having a warm drink, or enjoying the peace and quiet.
Don't be overwhelmed by visitors
If you find you are entertaining a constant stream of visitors, let people know that you need to rest and prioritize who you would like to visit and when. It may be very important that your grandmother sees her first great-grandchild, but you don't need to open your door to every acquaintance who wants to see the baby. A phone call or email letting people know when you are able to see them should eliminate most surprise guests.
Bringing home a new baby can be daunting, but with a little forward planning you can eliminate the everyday stresses and ensure you get the rest you need. This will enable you to meet the needs of your new baby and cope with the demands of motherhood.