Baby's 1st Year
Taking Care of Baby, Taking Care of You
No matter how long you were at the hospital, whether you had an easy or difficult birth, coming home can be tiring and emotional. Your partner, family and friends can help by doing the household tasks, making meals and running errands so you can rest, sleep, hold and feed your baby. They can also make sure you drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water a day, eat healthy meals, stay in bed or in a comfortable chair much of the day, and feel loved and comforted - so you can recover and adjust to the rhythms and needs of your baby. If you have had an episiotomy or C-section, you will need additional care to be comfortable.
Becoming a Mother
Not only are you recovering from birth during these first two weeks, you are also becoming your baby's mother. It is perfectly normal, in these early days, to feel unsure and upset at times as you care for your newborn. The change in your hormone levels can also add to your emotions. You will learn much of what you need to know simply by keeping your baby close, watching and loving him.
During the first two weeks after birth, your arms, breasts, voice, scent and motion are your baby's home, just as your womb was during pregnancy. As your baby's body learns to keep its heartbeat, breathing, appetite and temperature steady, your baby needs your help eating, burping, staying warm, waking and going to sleep. Even though he exists outside your body now, you are still not quite separate people. This feeling of oneness can be a powerful sort of bliss - or it can feel limiting. Experienced mothers know babies grow up and become independent all too soon. They are newborns for just a few weeks, changing and maturing every day. Immersing yourself in his/her tiny world is okay. The outside world, and the rest of your life, will wait until you both are ready to meet it.