Not sure about you, but I was really looking forward to having a baby, I planned and planned and planned, and the minute baby arrived... I panicked. Nothing prepared me for my little treasure's un-routinely behaviour.
In panic, I turned to the internet. All I could find was tonnes of 'At the end you'll be fine' kind of recommendations. Well, my friends who work for companies and could afford to take a well-paid maternity leave for up to 8 months were fine. What about myself, who by the time were out of the hospital had got a backlog of work to deal with? Which, frankly, I couldn't afford to ignore.
So here's my little tips to mums like myself, who are not willing to give up their jobs, lifestyles or else ;-)
- Sleep while your baby sleeps.
As classic as it sounds, you'll notice that you are paying attention to every breath your little one takes. It takes many self-dialogues to persuade oneself to go to sleep and tell oneself that the baby will be fine. Yet you need your sleep as much as your baby does. And boy do they sleep during their first week!
Tip: if you think you can't sleep, keep checking your clock as often as you can. I thought I get no sleep whatsoever, only to discover at one point that one moment I checked the clock it was 3am, and by the time my baby started crying and I checked the clock it was 6am. I was surprised to discover I did get some sleep when I was convinced that I wasn't asleep at any time.
- It's ok, to top up your breastfeeding with a formula.
I feel that breastfeeding is a very personal matter. So whatever you choose, will be right for you. Why a top up then? A formula milk is heavier and takes longer for a baby to digest than your breast milk. Also, in the beginning you may never be sure how much your baby takes, so a top up with formula ensures the baby isn't hungry and sleeps a bit longer. But feel free to experiment. For example, breastfeed only at day time and formula milk at night.
Tip: stick to the same formula's brand as every time you switch the brand your little one's stomach will need to adjust.
- Keep baby upright after a feed.
Don't put your baby asleep at once after a feed, as any extra milk will try to find its way out. By keeping your baby upright for a few minutes will help your baby to keep its food down.
Tip: check out YouTube videos on help with burps etc.
- Work during your feeds.
If you've mastered your breastfeeding technique, you'll notice it's an excellent opportunity to make your phone calls, or update your to-do-list.
Tip: Practice, by making your first calls to your friends and relatives before any business related ones.
- Let people visit you providing they'll do stuff for you.
You'll be surprised how many people want to see your new-born! And it's great. Ask them to do something for you, be that shopping, throw rubbish away or even buy you some food.
Tip: warn everyone you may end any visit abruptly. Just in case the baby will feel unwell or starts showing signs of distress. Also, in case your baby gets hungry and you are not willing to breastfeed in front of your friends.