Childbirth is a big life event. Alongside the lovely ‘baby bubble’, having a new baby in the house is emotionally and physically demanding and can put pressure on you and on your relationships. It will take time for things to begin to fall into place.
It might help to:
- Keep your baby close to you. So that you can respond to them quickly and easily.
- You cannot spoil babies – there can be pressure to ‘get into a routine’ but newborn babies cannot manage this. Being led by your baby takes a lot of stress and pressure away. The most important thing is to take time to get to know each other.
- Prioritise getting rest whenever you can. It is tiring having a new baby in the house, so it is ok to have some pyjama days!
- Eat well and get back to activity at your own pace, recovery and sleeplessness are more manageable when you eat a healthy diet, and exercise is good for your mental and physical health too.
- Talk about how you are feeling – you will have good and not so good days. Try to be kind to yourself and talk to partner, friends and family. People understand it can be hard to cope sometimes.
If every day feels hard and it is getting in the way of you enjoying your baby, speak to your Midwife, Health Visiting team or GP. You will not be judged, and you don’t have to struggle on without support.
- The days after giving birth can be emotional and difficult, so it’s completely up to you who you would like to visit.
- Make a plan before birth – decide on whether you would like people to visit you in hospital or wait until you are home, how many visitors in a day do you feel is reasonable?
- Set clear boundaries, be honest with people to let them know how you feel. You may only want visitors to stay for a short while and you may decide you don’t want visitors after a certain time of day. If you are not feeling up to visitors, politely turn them away.
- Remember to have some alone time with your baby each day so spread your visitors out. If your partner is present, they may only have a short time off from work, so it is important they have alone time with the baby.
- Don’t worry about entertaining your visitors- making them drinks or providing food. Your visitors should help you and not the other way around!
- Do not allow unwell visitors- your baby’s immune system is very immature so you do not want visitors coughing and sneezing on them. Ask visitors to wash their hands before holding your baby.
- When the Midwife or Health Visiting team are visiting they will want to discuss quite personal aspects with you- consider whether you are happy to discuss this in front of your visitors before having them there.