After your baby is born
Dads – see if you or another kind person can tidy up the home, change bedsheets, put on laundry etc before mum and baby return.
Your first night home together will be very strange. Don’t panic and congratulate yourself for small achievements (eg. going to the loo, taking off your socks before getting into bed).
The house will feel colder than hospital but as long as it’s around 18 degrees C it is fine.
A first bath can help relax and settle your baby.
Stitches: salty baths, tea tree oil and liquid savlon all come recommended.
Take your time about everything…but it’s never too soon to restart pelvic floor exercises!
Limit visitors to those who are genuinely useful.
Sleep when the baby sleeps. Everyone says it and that’s because it is true! This may be especially important if you are recovering from a section. In the first 48 hours they sleep more than they do subsequently so make the most of it.
Be kind to each other.
Be in touch with your NCT friends. They are one of your strongest weapons in keeping sane, happy and balanced.
Resist the temptation to overload with gadgets but on the other hand many women swear by breastfeeding pillows
Do not underestimate how tiring small tasks like getting up to answer the door can be. Delegate!
Allow time to see your baby’s natural pattern unfold.
Don’t be afraid to use a dummy – it’s recommended by the FSIDS
Lansinoh nipple cream – highly recommended
Saline drops from the chemist – for baby with a blocked nose who can’t feed comfortably
Use a birth ball as a baby soother – sit and gently bounce
Get out of the house from the third or fourth day – one of many “firsts” which once done are never so scary again
Breastpumps: can’t beat the Medela Swing! On the other hand the Avent hand-operated pump from Boots gets very bad reviews.
http://www.cookfood.net offer a discount for new mums. They are based in Chiswick.
Remember a happy mum = a happy baby.
Dads – take ownership of jobs and baby-holding, don’t wait to be asked or told to do stuff.
Local health visitors get mixed reviews but the walk-in advice available at Queen C’s is excellent.
Make the most of breastfeeding counsellors – NCT or NHS – and remember there is no such qualification as “breastfeeding expert”
Don’t try to be “normal” or “superwoman” – you are moving towards a NEW NORMAL
Oh and did I say….Sleep when the baby sleeps!!!!!!