the first week
So you’ve made it home unless you were already there and real life with baby is truly beginning.
Now what?? Might cross your mind...now you’ve got to raise a mini human, keep them alive and be everything they need all the time...
That’s a lot of responsibility and can feel super overwhelming, I know that’s how I felt. So the easiest and kindest thing to do is simply take it day by day. Try not to project into the future too much and know that SO much changes even hourly in the early weeks, there is constant flow of ups and downs and tears and joy and I think the only way to truly be in it is being present.
Be flexible, surrender daily to the new life, let things go, leave the chores, don’t answer every WhatsApp message, and don’t try to be perfect. I’m going to talk about perfectionism in more detail in my self care section but this is not the time to be anything but just as you are, raw and in the moment and learning your new life with baby.
You aren’t just raising a baby you’re also becoming a mother and it’s all brand new. You need time to catch up and that’s ok. That’s what we’re all doing, figuring it out as we go, don’t look to the Mums a few months ahead, they were you once too and you’re doing great, it might just look totally different to how you thought great would look.
Baby might take a decent nap post birth, they’ve been through a lot after all. And yes this would also give you a good chance to grab a sleep. You might be buzzing with joy and adrenaline so maybe you won’t sleep but if you can, hand baby to someone and get a good nap on your first day.
Babies are often unsettled on day two especially in the night, you might question your milk supply and your sanity but please know this is normal, not easy but normal. You can read about it in more detail here. Be prepared for it and know it will pass.
Lots of women can feel very emotional on day three and four, often referred to as the baby blues. So much is going on in your gorgeous body, you’re likely to have a hormone dip post birth and could have your milk coming in with another surge of hormones, so you’re going to feel all over the place. So have someone else aware of this for you to remind you and again, know it will pass. If it doesn’t, something else might be going on so be mindful of how you’re feeling and always seek support if something doesn’t feel right.
ADD BLEEDING SOMEWHERE
Usually on day five your baby is weighed. It’s very normal for babies to lose some weight in the first week and the midwives will be happy if they’ve lost less than 10% of their birth weight. A great way to tell if baby is thriving, is if they are settling between feeds suggesting they are full and having lots of wet and dirty nappies so you know everything is working well and they are getting milk.
Baby’s poo will be changing, the first thick black meconium poos clearing out their guts which change to greenish brown with colostrum will now be becoming more mustard yellow colour with your milk coming in and yes you will become poo obsessed!
A whole week with your new baby and you did it! Hopefully still in bed in your pjs, healing and resting and maybe today is the day you move to the sofa.
So we can’t talk about your first week without taking a much closer look at breastfeeding, something that will consume you if you plan to.