When new mums come home from the hospital it can be an odd mix of comfort and confusion, you’re in a familiar space, and you have a beautiful new baby, but you’re suddenly in charge of looking after them. It’s normal to feel a bit down too – especially after your body has been through the birthing process.
Settling into a new routine can take time, but the important thing is to be gentle on yourself. Things are different for every mum, dad, baby and other family member. Here are a few things that may help you out.
You’re not alone – there is support out there for you. In the first few days your midwife will contact you, but if you need help before that you can get in touch earlier. They’re a great place to start for advice.
Keep in touch – your baby’s health and wellbeing needs to be monitored. This means taking them to the GP on a regular basis. You’ll also get advice on all the immunisations he or she needs.
Sneak a sleep –sleep when you can. It’s a good idea to sleep while your baby does.
Manage the visitors - no doubt there’ll be a lot of people wanting to stop by. They all mean well, but that doesn’t mean you’re obliged to have them over. Your friends and family care about you and they’ll understand if you’re not up to it. Let people know you’ll invite them over when you’re ready.
Feel free to screen - don’t feel bad about ignoring the doorbell or taking the phone off the hook if you need to. New dads can make good guard dogs if it’s not a good time.
Take help when it’s there – partners, family members or visitors can give a hand around the house – it’s ok to accept any help they can give. Letting someone wash dishes or do laundry for you – it’s not a sign of weakness. Accepting help is just good sense!
Don’t sweat the blues – it’s normal to feel down, to stay in your pyjamas till midday and to be exhausted. There are a lot of hormonal changes and your body has been through a lot. Don’t worry – it’ll pass, and in the meantime just know you have plenty of support around.
Enjoy your time – new mums and their partners should both enjoy their time with your new baby. It’s normal to be a bit nervous – everyone is. Cuddling, bathing, talking, feeding – the more you do these things the more familiar they become.