After discovering you’re pregnant for the first time your life is quickly consumed with learning about the stages of your baby’s growth, taking all those pre-natal vitamins, preparing for the arrival and trying to curb those peculiar cravings. Before you know it, pregnancy is over and you’re holding your new baby in your arms. Once your bundle of joy arrives, then the fun really starts, but for many new mums it’s also a scary time as you venture into the unknown. There’s plenty of advice out there on ‘what to expect when you’re expecting’, but what about after? When it comes to you and your baby, here is what you can expect for the first few days.
After you give birth, your body is flooded with new emotions, and the biggest one is the overwhelming love you have for your new baby. This feeling is powered by the rush of oxytocin – the love hormone, which is fundamental in forming an emotional attachment. In fact, some new mums worry they love their baby so much they want to eat them– again, totally normal! Embrace the feeling – there’s nothing quite like it, and until you experience it yourself it’s hard to explain.
The side of pregnancy which still has some taboo around it is that of post-partum depression, even though it is estimated that it affects 1 in 10 women. Symptoms include persistent sadness, a feeling that you’re not bonding with your baby and withdrawing from other people. These symptoms normally manifest sometime in the first year after giving birth, but can come on quite gradually. Immediately after the birth, you can also suffer from some ‘baby blues’ but these feelings normally go away in a week or two.
If you feel like you are suffering from postnatal depression, don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to your partner, a family member or your GP for help and support. This feeling is not a sign of failure on your part, and you should never feel ashamed of talking about it. In fact, some high profile celebrity mums have made great strides recently in being open and honest about their own struggles with it, encouraging other mums to do the same and share their story too.
Taking every opportunity to bond
Bonding with your baby won’t be difficult – in fact, you will probably think about little else but your little bundle of joy. Bonding can happen at any time but feeding is especially important for building bonds of trust between parent and baby. For this reason, it’s important that dad feels involved in the process too, so even if you have chosen to breast feed, if you express milk into a bottle he can get involved too.
Don’t forget ‘me time’ and time with your family
You’ve had a baby, and although they feel like your whole world, don’t forget that you can’t completely neglect yourself and your other family members. It’s important to have some time to yourself, even just 15 minutes to catch your breath and enjoy a cuppa or a meal with your family. Unfortunately, due to the demands of your new arrival, it’s not always possible. Many babies who suffer from colic or reflux refuse to settle unless they are held in your arms which makes any ‘me time’ very difficult.
That’s why so many parents love the babocush comfort cushion, as it replicates that ‘over the shoulder’ position that babies love so much but allows you both your hands free for a short time. The cushion is designed to be safe and secure and provides lasting relief and comfort to colicky babies thanks to the relaxing vibration and built in heartbeat simulator. It also holds baby at the perfect angle to prevent reflux, providing peace of mind for you and a relaxing place to settle for your baby – perfect for a few precious minutes to congratulate yourself on handling this new mum thing like a total pro.
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You and your baby – the first few days