Babys First Days at Home
The moment that you have waited for has finally arrived: the day you bring your newborn baby home from the hospital. Like all other expectant parents you will have spent the last nine months preparing for this day. You will have a baby room full of everything a newborn could possibly want. You will have read book after book on a wide magnitude of baby topics from what to name your baby to when you can expect those first words. You will have walked and paced the length of baby's room, imagining your little bundle sleeping peacefully in her crib. Now the moment has arrived. In the crib lies your sleeping baby and the most exciting adventure of life is about to begin.
The first few days home from the hospital are just as important to you as they are to your baby. As new parents you will have gone through an exciting birth that will have left you breathless and exhilarated.
During your first days at home it may be wise to limit the amount of visitors that you welcome into your home. You need time to recuperate and settle into the routine that a sleeping, feeding, and often crying baby brings into your life.
As a new mother you will need to pay particular attention to the way that you are feeling so that those baby blues don't creep up and surprise you unexpectedly. It is normal to feel a bit out of sorts and sad for the first couple of weeks after giving birth. Your body is going through some major physical changes after the birth of your baby. Your hormones will be changing and you likely will be feeling a lack of sleep. You should be patient with yourself, understand that all these feelings are normal, and that in a couple of weeks things will feel better for you.
If you find that you are feeling more and more depressed, and find it difficult to care for yourself and your family, you should consult your doctor so that he/she can determine if you are suffering from a condition called postpartum depression. While not serious, postpartum depression can leave a new mother despondent, tired, and subject to emotional swings and loss of appetite. The effects of giving birth, hormone changes and the lifestyle changes of having a newborn (not sleeping, being indoors a lot, responsibilities of caring for a baby) can lead to a bout of the baby blues. Baby blues are usually short lived and go away without treatment.
During the first few days at home your family will be adjusting to the additional member of your family. If you have other children at home you may be dealing with feelings of jealousy as the new baby takes center stage. Make sure that you include your other children in the day-to-day activities that are part of the new baby's routine. Let older children help with diaper changing, feeding, and just sitting and holding the new baby if they are old enough to do so.
This is your time to adjust to the changes in your life and settle into a comfortable routine...at least for the moment!