babying: most important

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Besides enjoying and getting to know your baby, most important now is and nursing (feeding) and sleeping:  your baby should be nursing every 2-3 hours (sometimes a bit more) and your baby shouldn’t be awake more than 2 hours at a stretch for the first few months at least. Nursing will be easiest if you have some support at the start (post-partum doula, lactation consultant, very experienced friend) to make sure you and the baby are positioned properly.

If you’ve hired a post-partum doula you should call her when you are in labor or just after the baby is born.  She will arrange to be at the house the day you bring the baby home.

Sometimes the feeding, diapering, sleeping, etc. can seem like it takes all your time.  Be mindful of your day, your process—leave the thank you notes, etc. for later (see below).

The first week or so just take each day as it comes.  You’ll probably have a pediatrician appointment or two, you’re getting to know your baby, learning to nurse.  Your close family will probably visit.  If they ask, “Can I bring anything?” the answer is “Yes!  Food, sandwiches, ice cream, fruit, steak, anything.”

If you’ve met other women/couples in your neighborhood this is the time to call/email/text/facebook—even if you are tired.  Try to meet other pregnant women who live fairly close to you.  You might meet them in a birthing or baby preparation class, an on-line local parent group or a place that offers classes in your neighborhood.  

A baby is a great conversation opener.  You’ll spot other women with strollers, slings, Baby Bjorns, etc. Talking to other new moms can be a great way to make friends— asking, “How old is your baby?” is a simple and easy opener. 

Make sure you take a walk outside EVERY DAY after you have the baby, no matter how hard it seems.  After that first nap, if you can.  It clears your head and makes everything seem a bit easier.  Everyone talks to you when you have a baby—it’s like a natural high, breathing outside air (pollution aside) and seeing people smile at you.

The key is preparation—have what you think you need on hand, do some reading before, and just go with it.  Let your baby nurse, sleep, nurse, and sleep.  Don’t worry in the first few weeks especially about the baby only sleeping on you or your partner, etc.  Your baby will sleep on his or her own, walk, use the toilet, etc. at some point.

Again, you want to look back on this time and be able to be honest with yourself, know that you were prepared and made choices from a place of power, not fear.



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