Life With A Newborn
During pregnancy it’s hard to imagine what labor will be like. During your postpartum stay at the hospital it’s hard to imagine what taking the baby home will be like. Even if you’ve been through this before, you’re adding another person to the family and the task may seem overwhelming.
I think that the first few weeks home with a newborn are the hardest. You’re recovering from labor and birth — possibly from a C-section or other complications. You’re sleep deprived. If you’re breast-feeding, you may have sore nipples, attachment issues and worry whether the baby is getting enough milk. You may never had to deal with a newborn before so things such as changing nappies or dressing baby can be quite challenging! The list can go on and on.
Most importantly, you’re learning to care for, and get to know your baby. The baby doesn’t speak and it takes time to learn his or her cues. For example, the baby wanting to suck on anything that comes near its mouth may not mean he or she is hungry. Likewise, the baby screaming and crying doesn’t always mean something is wrong. Understanding your baby’s needs and preferences is unfortunately a trial and error system for most parents. No matter how many parenting books you have read or how many people you have on hand to advise you, you probably won’t get it right the first time, well not everytime.
People have different thoughts about venturing out with a newborn, but I found it calming and reassuring to get out of the house very soon after my two children were born. If you feel up to it and baby is healthy, a walk in the park, a trip to the shops can do wonders. Many new parents think they have to bring so much “equipment” with them when they leave the house with a new baby that they hesitate to go out, when in fact you don’t need much at all. If your changing bag is nearly tipping up the pram you have got too much!! Enjoy getting out for some fresh air it can do you the world of good – I’m not suggesting you go for a full tiring day out the day you get home from the hospital but being cooped up at home isn’t my idea of fun!
But do be warned that as soon as you have a baby you suddenly join a whole new world of the ‘mummy club’. Strangers feel at ease to stop you in the street to talk ‘babies’ and assume that having one means your fair game for a chat!