To The New Mum.
Firstly, regardless of whether this is your first baby or your seventh, I want to wish you the BIGGEST congratulations. It doesn’t matter if the birth went to plan or not, natural or caesarean, no drugs or high as a kite; you are absolutely incredible!
I’m not a medical expert by any means and I hate unsolicited parenting advice but I’ve had two children myself so I just thought that I’d share some things that I wish I’d known when I had my first baby.
You don’t need to invite the world and his dog to visit you as soon as you get home. Unless you want that, which is great if you do, but if not YOU CAN SAY NO. You have just been through a huge physical and emotional ordeal and you need time and space to heal and enjoy your newborn bubble. With my second baby, I had no visitors in the first week apart from grandparents and it did me the world of good. Hormones are going crazy, you might be full of stitches, nobody is really sleeping, feeding (however you’re going about it) is being established and siblings are adjusting to a new family dynamic. This isn’t a great time for lots of visitors. I realise this might sound a bit cold and I know people are just excited and mean well but you need to put yourself first and visitors will come when you’re ready. No rush.
The best visitors are the ones who put the kettle on or offer to grab something from the shop for you when they arrive and it’s ok to accept the help! They say it takes a village to raise a baby for a reason. If you are lucky enough to have close friends and family then this is the perfect time to use them. Let them cuddle your baby so you can grab a hot shower or accept the offer of a hot meal. Whatever you need, just don’t feel like you have to manage everything alone.
You have just birthed a human being. You are already Super Woman. You do not need to be running around with the vacuum at 2 days postpartum! REST. REST. REST. It makes me cringe when I think about how I forced my husband to go on a walk with me 3 days after my emergency caesarean. I was constantly trying to prove to everyone that I was fine and that I could do everything. Now I can see that NOBODY was judging me, and if they were, who cares?! I barely left the sofa for two weeks after I had my second baby and it was just what my mind and body needed.
Whilst we’re on the subject of being a superhero, keep on top of your painkillers. They are prescribed for a reason, even if you feel fine, just follow your course.
Hormones are completely wild and it can be a really difficult time. Talk to people you love and trust and things will balance out again soon. Have a cry on your mum or explain to your partner if you’re having a down day. This is all perfectly normal and you don’t have to paint on a big smile and pretend you’re cherishing every second (#blessed). If you feel like you’re suffering from a bit more than the ‘baby blues’ then please tell somebody. Go to your GP or Health Visitor or even just check out the PANDAS Foundation who are a charity supporting people with pre and post natal depression. Just don’t suffer alone.
And finally, enjoy your delicious new baby! Time really does fly. Remember nobody knows your baby and your family like you do so trust your instincts and do whatever feels right. You’ve got this!
Thank you for reading,
Knight Mummy x