The days and weeks after your baby’s birth will be among the most exciting times of your life. After all, a new person will be joining your family, which is definitely a cause for joy.
That said, there are also very difficult things about having a newborn. For this reason, it is important to head into the experience properly prepared. This will help make everything goes smoothly and ensures you aren’t left feeling disappointed if things don’t go exactly as you had envisioned.
What to Expect in the Hospital
If you choose to give birth in the hospital, you will find that the time spent in the care of doctors and nurses immediately after the birth is actually pretty easy. Because you will have constant help at your beck and call, this is the perfect time to rest up. It’s also the best time to begin establishing a good breastfeeding relationship, especially if a lactation consultant is available through the hospital.
What to Expect at Home
Once you return home, you will be left without the helping hands of nurses. This means you and your spouse will be solely responsible for the care of your little one, and that can feel pretty overwhelming.
Preparing and freezing meals ahead of time, cleaning the house, and making sure you have plenty of diapers can all help this transition. However, the reality of the matter is that this won’t always be enough.
Many new parents return home only to find that they really should have lined up some sort of assistance in order to keep everything running properly while adjusting to their new baby. Fortunately, there are options for those who do need an extra set of hands.
How to Find Help
So you’ve decided you need a bit of help? Well, good for you for seeking it out!
In this situation you have a few options:
Call on family — This is the cheapest and sometimes the easiest option. However, it isn’t always the best option. For those who live far from family it just isn’t practical, and those who have very different parenting techniques from their loved ones may find that calling on family is not ideal. Additionally, many new parents don’t feel right about accepting too much help from family.
Hire a sitter or housekeeper — A run-of-the-mill sitter is, of course, always an option. However, there is no guarantee that your sitter will have any experience at all with newborns, nor will they be likely to help with nursing relationships, postpartum encouragement, or housekeeping.
A housekeeper is another option, and can be helpful if housework is the main concern for new parents, but a housekeeper won’t be able to help with baby at all. This means a housekeeper is not an ideal solution for nervous new parents who feel they may want help with the baby as well.
Bring in a postpartum doula — A postpartum doula is, for many, the best option overall. A doula can offer support and encouragement to the new parents, give them the opportunity to shower and sleep, and help keep the home tidy. Additionally, she is well-trained in newborn care, so new mamas and daddies can rest easy while their little one is in her care.
When to See a Professional
It’s important to keep in mind that none of the helpers listed above can replace professional medical help. Therefore, even if you do choose to hire a helper of some sort, it is still important to talk to your healthcare professional about anything that may be concerning to you.
This means you should:
- Keep all postpartum appointments for yourself and communicate any concerns clearly.
- Keep all appointments with your baby’s pediatrician.
- Seek out medical help if you experience signs of postpartum depression.
I hope this post helps you understand the importance of finding helpers for the weeks following your baby’s birth. I also hope it helped explain your options when it comes to seeking out these helpers.
If you’re interested in hiring a postpartum doula, I’d love to speak with you. Please contact me today for more information!