Adjusting to life in the early days and weeks.
It is important to acknowledge that it will be hard at times, but it won't be impossible. It is all an adjustment but the love you will feel will make everything worthwhile. Of course as your Postpartum Doula I will assist you with adjustment and daily tasks. Here are my top tips on how to set yourself up for success and make each day easier.
Cook extra portions of freezer friendly meals (like bolognaise/shepherds pie/fish bake etc) while you are pregnant or if baby is here then at the weekends so you've a good supply of nutritious food to see your family through week ahead. This is also something family and friends could do to help out.
Shop online for now if a grocery shop seems unimaginable.
Buy preprepared fruit and veg as handy snacks to grab on the go.
Don't be too proud to accept offers of help and don't be afraid to suggest chores (unload the dishwasher, hoover the stairs, clean the bathroom etc)
Lower your expectations of how the house will look during the first few months. You've got a lot on your plate, and it doesn't really matter if the dusting doesn't get done or you have to wear un-ironed clothes for a few days, or years even.
As soon as you can, try to get out for at least a short walk every day it's amazing what a boost it is to get out of doors. If that seems too epic right now, sit in the garden and play with your toddler.
Take all offers of taking your toddler out for a while (once your toddler is happy of course!) Granny wants to take her out to the playground? Great, don’t feel guilty and try to go too - grab a nap with baby while you can :)
Make your toddler aware from the very start that the baby is interested in her, is watching her and loves her. Say things like, "She's following your game with her eyes" and "She's very interested in what you're doing".
Involve your toddler in games with the baby from the earliest days, and always tell your toddler how much you value her help with tasks such as handing you a nappy for the baby.
Have a ‘special feeding box’ Fill the box with little toys and books, colours or activities for your toddler. This box only comes out while you are feeding the baby and is your toddlers special treat.
Babywear. Using a sling gives you the ability to meet your newborns needs (to be warm, safe and close to you) while still playing, reading with or just spending quality time with your toddler. I would recommend attending a sling meet or get a sling consultant to your home to find the right sling for you.
Take photos, because while the days seem endless right now, the weeks and months will fly past and you will appreciate the memories ☺
Be gentle with yourself. No one is perfect. This is all learning on the job, take each day as it comes and remember you are doing your best and that is all anyone can do!
Enjoy the madness! Doula Jen x