1. DOWNSIZE YOUR PRIORITIES-Feeding, diaper changing, holding your baby and napping will take most of your time for the first week to 10 days! Set attainable goals for yourself: i.e get a daily shower or a short daily walk or dress in comfortable clothes vs. your pajamas. It's OK for now that you can't do all that you used to do before the baby arrived. Life with your baby will become less overwhelming in the weeks ahead.
2. VISITORS-Accept specific offers of help (i.e. wash dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep) from Dad, family or friends otherwise keep visitors at bay for at least first 3-5 days. Enjoy time with your baby and let others help do the chores!
3. SELF CARE-Whenever the baby sleeps, rest (be off your feet & read, listen to music, watch TV or just close your eyes & do nothing) or sleep if you can. Remember you are recovering from the hard physical work of giving birth or having a C-Section delivery.
4. FLEXIBILITY & PATIENCE-Each day is likely to be different getting to know how to care for your baby. Remember both you and your baby are learning at the same time; so be patient.
5. HOLDING A SLEEPING BABY- Yes, babies love the comfort of being held, however, you need sleep, too. When moving a baby from your arms to the bassinet or crib, give the baby time to resettle with some gentle rocking with your hand and soothing voice. Baby may fuss and appear to "not like the crib" but with some patience your baby will relax and continue to drift off to sleep.
6. BREASTFEEDING-if you are breastfeeding and begin to struggle once you and your baby are home, contact a Lactation Consultant if your baby's pediatric practice has one or Call Durham Connects 919-385-0777. Any of the nurses can provide help over the phone or set up time to come to your home to help you. You can also set up a visit online by visiting our online Sign-Up.
7. REACH OUT-the first days at home with a baby can feel overwhelmingly isolating. Contact anyone who is available to provide support for you or check online websites for new mom/parent support. Getting reassurance that what you are experiencing is normal will help. Realizing you are not alone also helps. Getting help from family, friends or neighbors can make a difference in helping you get through the initial days of fatigue, confinement and adjustment to a "new normal" now that your baby has arrived.