Jun 17, 2022
The postnatal period is an important period for new mothers to rest.
As your delivery date draws near, everyone at home will be buzzing with excitement anticipating the arrival of the new addition to the family. The focus is will mostly be getting things ready for the baby - and rightfully so!
Yet, amidst all this excitement, we urge and encourage you as a mother-to-be to spend some time in preparing what you will need as a new mother during the postnatal period. The postnatal period begins immediately after the birth of the baby and extends up to six weeks after birth. We have prepared a short list below, which we hope will help you towards a smooth and fulfilling postnatal journey.
1. Rest - A LOT!
The postnatal period is an important period for new mothers to rest. Your body has gone through tremendous physical changes during your pregnancy as well as during the birthing process. As a new mother, you will need time to recover and adjust - both physically and mentally.
Do not be pressured into thinking that you will need to bounce back immediately after delivery and are expected to expertly handle your baby. Give yourself and your baby the necessary length of time to get to know each other. Also, give yourself time to learn to take care of your baby. Contrary to what some people believe, the baby-handling skills are not acquired overnight. Remember this: practice makes perfect!
Give yourself and your baby the time to get to know each other.
2. Delegate household tasks in advance
It will be good to sit down with your partner in advance to work out a checklist on the delegations of household tasks during your postnatal period. Some of these tasks may include watering the garden, walking the dog, doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning, taking care of older children from school or day-care. Where necessary, recruit assistance from other family members, friends, and neighbours to help lighten the load.
In anticipation that you will be bound to stay in bed to cuddle with your little one for the first few weeks after delivery, be sure to stock up on the necessary baby items, food supplies as well as groceries in advance. Once these are sorted out, they can be struck out from your to-do list, and you will have less items to worry about.
Work out a checklist to delegate household tasks to be taken care of.
3. Manage the number of visitors
With all this good news, everyone will be excited and happy to meet your newborn. However once you both get home from the hospital, it is important that you limit and manage the number of visitors you are comfortable to have during the postnatal period. You may want to inform your family and friends in advance about your restrictions on visitors.
Do not be pressured into thinking that you are obligated to host visitors who turned up unannounced. Instead, it is okay to be politely honest about your needs to rest and inform them upfront that you will need to limit the duration of their visit. This will allow you and your baby to rest and get to know each other better.
4. Postpartum Depression
Many new mothers tend to feel overwhelmed within a couple of weeks after the birth of their baby. This could be due to the myriad of emotions new mothers are going through, as well as the many changes that they are still adapting and adjusting to. If unchecked, some may lapse into postpartum depression. While the actual causes of postpartum depression remain unclear to this day, it is important that you and your partner be mindfully aware of this and can recognise the signs and symptoms early on.
Postpartum depression is a common occurrence that can happen to anyone. It’s not your fault!
If untreated, postpartum depression can lead to very dangerous repercussions for both the new mother and the baby. It is advised to seek professional help if you suspect that you have difficulty copy with everyday tasks, or if you are having an extreme sense of anxiousness, fear, panic, or even having suicidal thoughts. Postpartum depression is never any individuals fault, so do not feel bad or ashamed about this. It can be treated with medication, counselling and plenty of love and support from those around you. Remember that you are not alone!
Meditation helps you to reconnect with yourself.
5. Set some “me” time
Now that you are fully dedicating your time to taking care of your baby and scheduling around the little one, do not forget to set some time for yourself too. This can be in the form of an uninterrupted warm bubble bath with a good book, a short nap, some meditation time, a simple workout, a chat with a friend, or even a snuggle with your partner.
Getting some me time in a warm bubble bath with a good book helps to rejuvenate your mind.
Taking time for yourself will help to rejuvenate your mind and allow you to reconnect with yourself, which goes a long way in strengthening your wellbeing. These little actions of self-care will also ultimately enable you to better care for your baby.
Above all, be mindful to go with the flow when the time comes. It will help you in coping with changes needed from time to time, as almost all parents learn to do. If there is one thing that you can be certain of when babies are involved, is that life is full of unpredictability. All you have to is enjoy the ride and enjoy the memories you create along the way.
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