It’s time for part 3 in our Growing baby series for April and it seems only sensible that we focus on the next step along the journey to becoming parents. And that’s actually becoming parents. Surviving the first month with a newborn might sound pretty daunting, because even if you’ve done all the reading you possibly can, been to every Antenatal class you were eligible for and, possibly, even, resorted to asking the mother-in-law for advice – you probably still won’t feel prepared.
Fear not – here’s how to make it through the first few ‘postpartum’ weeks safely (hint: you probably will anyway), healthily and happily…
Your body will have taken a battering giving Birth, not to mention what the 9 months preceding will have taken out of it. If you had a C-Section you’ll have a wound that will need to heal. Experts suggest that takes between 4 & 6 weeks. Whilst you do that, rest, food and a little exercise are the order of the day to stay healthy. That might be tricky as you’ll have an overwhelming urge to stay awake to keep an eye on your new baby, won’t want to leave them for a second to cook and taking them out in to the dangerous big wide world? Perish the thought!
It might be tempting to blow out on Take-away every-night – so you don’t have to go to the bother of cooking. But keep an eye on your diet. Don’t forget – if you’re feeding baby yourself – you’re still eating for two, so you need to make sure you keep a balanced diet. That means lots of vegetables and fruit, as well as dairy to build your calcium back up. Also make sure you drink plenty of water – it’s an important component of breast milk!
Instead of eating large meals – grazing is a great solution to ensuring you keep your body – and subsequently the production of breast milk) consistently topped up. And if you do take up the grazing, you’ll probably also want to intersperse that with naps…
After about 2 days (when the adrenaline begins to wear off) you’ll surely need to find the time to get some shut-eye. If you’re partner is taking parental leave from work too, you can trust each other to keep an eye on the baby. Shiftwork is the key, and don’t begrudge the other if either of you get a really good shift of Zzzz’s in.
Naps are a great way of recharging quickly so don’t be afraid to partake in a little snooze during the day. In fact, if you’re confident enough that your newborn will stay still enough on your chest (they generally do), there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a nap with your baby, asleep on your chest.
You might be tempted to sit at home and gaze adoringly at the newest addition. But getting out and about after the first couple of weeks is good for baby and good for you. If you’ve had a C-section, do take advice on when you should start regular exercise. Otherwise, start off with some basic pelvic exercises on the floor at home to build your core strength back up. Once you feel fit enough, consider short walks every other day to build up your confidence and get used to all that new baby gear. A spin around the block with the new pushchair once or twice a day, or an outing with the baby carrier down to the local store for a few provisions. Once you’re feeling like you’re back to something like your pre-pregnancy norm you can start to exercise more vigorously and regularly.
Enjoy your newborn, and the longer evenings as we he’d into summer! And if you need self storage in London Wandsworth to help make space at home for family and baby gear, then talk to one of our Wandsworth store team, we’re always delighted to help.