If you've been home three whole weeks, it's likely dragged and flown by. You may be sleep deprived, and not doing much else but recovering and caring for a newborn. Hopefully things are starting to look up because you're getting closer to some type of routine. It's okay if you're not quite there yet, but now's a good time to try and get your bearings now that you know what being a mother is about! Here's the skinny on yours and baby's growth and development.
Your body did a miraculous thing, so it's important to remember that taking time to recover is normal and necessary. Three weeks in, you're probably still experiencing some pain and tenderness in your vulva or c-section incision. Keep in mind that your body will return to normal someday! Just take things slow and listen to your body as you start moving again.
It's also extremely important to eat well, especially if you're breastfeeding. Food is your body's fuel for healing, so get plenty of nutrient-rich foods and please do yourself a favor and drink from a good water bottle whenever you get a chance. I find the first 6-8 weeks to be kind of hectic, so easy-to-eat, healthy snacks are a wonderful thing to have around, such as:
- string cheese
- carrot sticks
- crackers and peanut butter
- pre-cut fresh fruits and veggies
- raisins and other dried fruit
- yogurt and jello cups
Whatever your snack preferences, it's best to buy some of these supplies before baby comes so you can have them on hand. Or, if you're reading this after you've already brought baby home, ask a friend or family member to help you out with a snack basket. This is also an awesome gift idea for friends that recently had a baby, and one of the best things I received.
Last but not least, breast pain. Whether you're breastfeeding or not, you'll likely experience breast/nipple pain. There are countless helpful products to alleviate this pain, but for starters, make sure to invest in a supportive bra that you can wear day and night.
It's truly amazing to witness the growth of a newborn. They literally change and grow every day, even looking completely different each new day. Take lots of pictures, and sit back and enjoy the tender moments.
By now, it's likely that you'll begin to experience the struggles of growth spurts. Your baby is growing at an amazing rate, which means he or she will need to feed more often. This usually leads to less sleep for mom and/or dad, which can be frustrating. Remind yourself that this too shall pass, and it's a good sign your baby's development is on track.
Tummy time is great, but you can also use a wrap to keep baby close and happy as you start to do other tasks throughout your day. Change your baby's diaper often to keep him or her happy and content, and remember that rocket pooping and peeing during changes is to be expected!
It's a good idea to dress baby in layers so you can adjust his outfit and temperature at any given moment. Weather can be unpredictable, so a light jacket and extra blanket can do wonders as you begin to get out and about.
At this point, you might feel okay with getting out and about. If not, don't worry. Everyone recovers at their own pace and it's a process. My tip would be to plan things that you can handle--such as one visit a day, or even one outing a week; whichever works for you. Applaud yourself for the little victories, and know that you're doing better than you think. It gets easier!