You've just delivered your baby. Now what???
You have delivered your precious baby and you are home!! You have gone to birth classes, possibly even a parenting class, you've collected and read pamphlets and books, read blogs and websites, and you feel completely ready until that first night on your own with your new baby. The flood of questions that hit you that first day and night can be very overwhelming. What hit me first was the depth of the responsibility that was mine! This baby is mine and I'm completely responsible for him. The second thing that overwhelmed me about my first baby came several weeks after his birth - my baby is here
ALL. THE. TIME.
It's so obvious...but the reality can be daunting.
Unless you had younger siblings or babysat a lot and know infant care, you probably will come up with several questions...
**Is my baby
**I've done everything I know to do and my baby is still crying.
**I am exhausted and want to cry.
**The umbilical clip needs to be cleaned but I don't remember how.
**My baby boy was circumcised, how do I care for it?
**I don't remember when I last changed her diaper.
**I'm breastfeeding, but I can't get him to latch on, plus I forget which side I nursed him on last.
All these questions, in fact, every question you may have, is
Ask your questions before delivering, ask them after your baby is born. No question is inappropriate. If you have one, ask! Your pediatrician and staff are there to help you navigate these new waters. Everyone wants you to be completely successful in your new role as mom or dad.
You are now a member of probably the largest community on our planet...you are a parent and feel the enormity of it. Remember you are not alone. Ever. And the first thing you need to do is be sure you are doing what you need everyday, to keep yourself up and running.
Here's a quick checklist to try to do every day:
1. SLEEP when baby is sleeping -- housework will wait -- or put grandma/best friend/daddy to the task. I cannot stress this enough!! It is the hardest thing to do when you get your 2nd wind and feel energized. But you will regret not sleeping when you could have and then are up all night with Mr. Fussy. Remember this is all new to your baby too! If you sleep when you can, you will be a better/kinder/happier mommy during the night watch.
2. DRINK at least 1/2 gallon of water every day. 4-6 quarts is best. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding. You will feel like you will float away but trust me, at this point, you cannot drink too much.
3. EAT a balanced healthy diet, lots of fresh (organic if possible) fruits and veggies, lowfat meats and dairy. While pregnant try to eliminate soft drinks. They are not good for you. Don't start back up.
4. TAKE your vitamins and medications.
5. EXERCISE everyday, stretch everyday. Don't overdo it at first, get rest and heal your body, then work back up to a routine of cardio and muscle building.
6. LIMIT visitors, stairs, carrying anything heavier than your baby, caffeine.
7. WASH your hands before and after holding your baby.
8. INSIST everyone who visits be healthy and WASH their hands before touching your baby.
9. ASK for help. And accept help. It may not get done the way you want or prefer but the basics will get done and you will protect your time to bond with your baby and recuperate.
Article by Ruth Grunstra
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Hi I'm Ruth
What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your children? My husband and I have 8 children and have been married since 1980. We are always learning new ways to engage our kids. We would love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know what you have found that works and what doesn't. Or ask me a question.