Carley & I met when she was interviewing Doulas & we both knew instantly that we wanted to work together. She had a powerful & amazing un-medicated birth last March. I've loved watching Carley's journey into motherhood & am excited to share her practical guidance with you today. Enjoy!
Spend at least the first few days home in bed with your baby and partner. Seriously! Everything else can and will wait. This is a perfect time for the three of you to just be. If you can only eke out one day of this (other kids/jobs/in-laws/laundry, I understand reality often creeps back in quicker then we want)...trust me, it is worth it. The ability to just snuggle, bond and breastfeed is priceless!
Ask for help! Some in-laws don't want to overstep their bounds, but do want to help, and unless your mother-in-law (and/or friends) has been brushing up on her mind reading skills, you will need to speak up...or ask your hubby to ask :) This goes for asking professionals as well. The Internet is a large and awesome place...but not for sleep deprived moms. Lactation consultants, post-partum doulas, friends, fellow moms, etc.
Cloth wipes in homemade wipe solution and a wipe warmer can be used for more then just dirty bottoms.
Cloth diapers are awesome AFTER the meconium has passed. (note from Lauren: you can always place disposable liners in your cloth diapers those first few days if you don't want to use disposable diapers.)
Time gets warped after you have kids! Some times it flies, sometimes it goes at a snails pace. Try taking everything in stride and don't forget to breath and smile!
Snack bars and water bottles can and should be stored everywhere. (From Lauren: I tell my clients this ALL the time. You never know when you're going to get hungry/thirsty... it could be while you're trying to get baby to sleep or stuck under a nursing child. Having a basket of non-perishable snacks within arms reach is a life-saver!!)
If your gut says it isn't right, then it's not! Find a different pediatrician/ lactation consultant/ friend to talk to...
Smile and say thank you! Everyone will have advice/comments, etc., just smile and move on. Save your energy for late night feedings and picture taking!