RACHEL WADDILOVE'S ADVICE: YOU FIRST WEEK WITH A NEWBORN
We are so excited to have teamed up with Maternity Nurse, Rachel Waddilove, again to bring you a second edition of ‘Advice from the expert’.
As a Maternity Nurse, Rachel has had many years experience with newborns and helping mothers in the first few weeks at home, and while it’s never going to be completely easy, these tips should give you a little help for those first few weeks.
1. Have some sort of backup help – It is exceptionally important that once you return home, there is someone around to help you adjust to life with your new addition. Depending on what sort of birth you had, you are likely to be rather sore and swollen so a little extra support with day to day tasks will really go a long way. It doesn’t matter if it is your partner, your mum or a friend but do not be afraid to ask for help. If you decide to breastfeed, it can be a little challenging at the start, so some assistance with it can help to get you into the routine of it and prevent you from becoming too stressed out.
2. Rest – As the previous point said, you may be feeling very sore after the birth, so to ensure you heal properly it is exceptionally important to rest a lot. Try not to have a rush of visitors (even though it may be very tempting to let everyone meet your newborn) as this can put both unnecessary pressures and stresses on you and the baby. Of course have close family and friends over, but do allow them to make the cups of tea! Also try going back to bed after your first feed in the morning, having a nap in the afternoon and sleep before the last feed at night to ensure that you are getting a little more rest.
3. Ensure baby gets good feeds – Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, ensuring you baby has good feeds is very important as they can quickly lose weight in the early days. If you choose to breastfeed, you may have to feed on and off while your milk first comes in; during this your baby may need a bit of formula to top them up and ensure they are getting enough.
4. Swaddle and place them in the cot for nap times – Don’t be tempted to always let baby sleep in someones arms, and get passed around for cuddles all the time. Putting them down in their cot gets them into a good routine and allows them to have uninterrupted nap times. Swaddling a baby can help them to sleep much better, as they feel more secure when wrapped up – for more information on how to do this, check out Rachel’s ‘The Baby Book’.
5. Eat well – After birth, it is likely that you may slightly lose your appetite however, it is so important to make sure that you still eat the correct, balanced diet to help you to recover properly and give you plenty of energy for the day. Breastfeeding requires you to eat an extra 600 calories to help with milk production, so do allow yourself a tasty snack if you fancy it, and if you are bottle feeding your baby it is also incredible important to have a healthy diet to promote quick recovery after pregnancy and birth.
For more detail on each of these tips, be sure to check out Rachel’s newly released Baby Journal, along with her website www.rachelsbabies.com.