Welcoming your first baby into the world is a daunting experience, you can read everything and take every class but you honestly have no idea what to expect when the time comes given that EVERY labour is different.
That being said, here’s some reflections on my own experience which may help you when making some important decisions in the first 48 hours of life with your new baby.
I had a lot of difficulty with breastfeeding with Loretta, and there’s a few factors which i put it down to. One, was being a little bit forgotten about as we sat in the delivery room for hours waiting for a room to become available. I, a new mum not knowing what the hell to do and have no idea how to feed my baby, didn’t get off to a great start as i didn’t get that help that i needed to establish feeding right away. So my first tip, PESTER WHOEVER YOU HAVE TO AS MUCH AS YOU HAVE TO TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE REMEMBERED AND HELPED!
Seriously, get on that phone. MAKE someone come and help you get your baby latched on. It’s their job and establishing breast feeding within the first few hours of birth is VITAL.
Secondly, FIERCELY enforce your boundaries. I was so worried of offending people that i had all the family come visit within the first 24 hours, and it was tiring and full on. If i could do it all over, i wouldn’t have had ANY visitors for those first few days in the birthing unit, for longer than 15 minutes and been more strict with times. And even for the first few days at home, so that i could fully settle in. Again it was hard to establish feeding when surrounded by people you don’t feel comfortable whipping ya boobies out in front of. Also, when your maternal instincts are so strong it’s hard to pass your baby around to people when all you want to do is get all the snuggles you can. I had a LONNNNG labour and hardly slept, but when my baby arrived i was wired and didn’t want to sleep, until tea time – when all the visitors decided to visit, NOT GOOD. Also everyone happened to turn up while i was eating or trying to feed and all sorts of inconvenient times, it was just too much and added all this unnecessary worry and angst. My husband had to work so i had my mum with me during the day, she was a God send and totally not included in this no visitor rule, which brings me to my next point:
Your mum knows how this all goes and will be a huge support, so let her support you. No more elaboration needed.
Have way more snuggles. Now Loretta is at a super un-snuggley age and just wants to explore, i really wish i had spent more time having cuddles while i could. Make the most of those new born snuggles.
Of course all people are different, you may well thrive by being surrounded by your loved ones at this special time. But just remember, make sure YOUR boundaries and being enforced. If people are offended it’s their problem not yours. If you feel too fragile and don’t want to speak out, make sure your partner knows what you are and aren’t okay with and let them speak for you.
Happy bonding mamas