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Life After Birth: What Can and Can't Wait

Life After Birth: What Can and Can't Wait

After going through the whirlwind of delivering your new babe, it's time to come home and get back to real life.

But the truth is, now that you have a new baby in the house, you're probably feeling a little lost as to what real life looks like. Life after birth is going to be different for every mama, but no matter what your situation, you'll learn very quickly what can and can't wait when you're adjusting to life with a new little one at home. Here's a little list of things I feel CAN and CAN'T wait in the first few weeks after bringing home babe.
  • CAN Wait: Cleaning
    • This one may seem like a no-brainer, especially for a mama like me who decided that, in the 8th month of pregnancy, cleaning was no longer a priority. But it is definitely true for mamas with a newborn at home! Do not stress yourself out to make sure that every dish is cleaned, every rug vacuumed, and all the toilets cleaned. You're going to be worn out, sleep-deprived, and adjusting to life with a new babe, and the last thing you need to worry about is the dust on your blinds.
  • CAN'T Wait: Sleeping
    • I am a huge believer in getting sleep whenever the opportunity presents itself, and that is absolutely the case when you bring home your baby. A lot of mamas will tell you to "sleep when the baby sleeps" which is a good rule of thumb in the beginning (mostly because babe will be sleeping every couple of hours) but may not always work out that way. If you have someone helping at home for the transition period (hubby, your mama, MIL) then make sure and let them know that you're going to get some sleep, and to wake you up when babe needs to eat. Basically, your body is going to be going through newborn bootcamp the first few weeks, and while it's figuring things out, you need to let yourself sleep whenever humanly possible.
  • CAN Wait: Baby Holders
    • This is probably my number one rule post delivery. When I say "Baby Holders" I'm talking about family or friends who have a sincere desire to hold, stroke, smell or rock your baby. Here's the deal mamas: it is absolutely okay for your loved ones to want to meet your new little one. But, the last thing you need is someone coming over to hold your newborn while they are most likely content and asleep. Then, they usually ask you all sorts of questions about how the delivery went and how you're feeling, when really all you want to do is sleep, shower, eat, or possibly binge watch daytime tv. Not to mention the fact that as soon as that babe wakes up and starts screeching for food, your breasts are going to swell to uncomfortable sizes and your well-meaning guests are going to say their goodbyes, leaving you with a wailing baby that's even harder to get to latch. Just do yourself a favor and let any Baby Holders know when it's okay for them to stop by, and don't feel bad about saying, "Not today!"
  • CAN'T Wait: Mental Health
    • Another thing that I feel very strongly about after the birth of my son is mental health. You need to make sure that you are in a safe, comfortable place mentally, or the whole new mama thing is going to be an absolute disaster. It is okay for you to call your pediatrician and ask if the way you are feeling or acting is normal, or if you may need to get some help with PPD. Once my son was born, I was stressed, felt personally responsible for every horrible thing happening in the world, and broke down crying at Target in the feminine care aisle while choosing some super jumbo pads. Not okay, mamas. Once you deliver, your hormone levels drop to a level that is actually lower than where your body was prior to the increase during pregnancy. Don't think that you have to just wait it out and see how things go. This is can be one of the happiest times of your life, and if there is something that you can do to help ditch those sad feelings, then my advice is to take advantage.
  • CAN Wait: Losing Weight
    • So I've never been, nor will I probably ever be, a fitness expert, but I do know that you probably will not have your ideal beach-ready body one week postpartum. If you do, then kudos mama, and feel free to skip this rant. Take it easy on yourself, and do not stress the baby weight right away. You'll have time to lose the weight and get back to a healthy, happy body, but it doesn't have to be right now. I find this to be especially true for new mamas who are breastfeeding. Cutting back on calories, and not giving your body the nutrients it needs in order to lose weight will almost certainly cut your milk supply and you'll be struggling to produce enough to feed babe. Do yourself some good and focus on putting good things in your body that will help you to have the energy you need to make it through the day (and night) with your little one. Feeling up to some exercise? Get out of the house and go for walks with your babe, or do some quick, at-home workouts. Once you get your go-ahead from the doctor to get back to normal activity, make sure to give your body some time to adjust, and you'll be much happier!
  • CAN'T Wait: Relationship with Babe
    • You will definitely be getting a lot of face time with your newborn, but it's important that you don't miss out on those cuddles, late night snuggles, and the time it takes to build a relationship with your child. Not every mama has a newborn that they instantly connect with; for some it takes a little bit of time to become comfortable and natural with their new little one. I recommend lots of skin to skin (whether you're nursing or not), singing and reading to babe, wearing your babe while you're doing things around the house, and of course, lots of snuggles, cuddles, hugs and kisses. You will be a happier mama all around when you give yourself the time to just enjoy your little bundle when they are tiny enough not to protest. Everything else can wait, but if you ask me, this is one thing that you're going to want to soak up as much as possible for as long as possible.

If this is your first babe, your second, or your fifth, there will absolutely be an adjustment period at home when you bring that little newborn into the family. Mamas have enough to worry about with their new life, that we need to make sure that we're setting aside those things that can wait and taking advantage of those things that can't. Listen to your body, your heart, and your babe and you will be a healthier, happier mama for your newborn babe!

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