You have just given the birth to the most precious baby you have ever seen and experienced something so magical that it changes you forever. Those first couple of days with your new baby are so wonderful. Regardless of how your baby was born you are still under the hospitals care for at least a day or two. breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered to your room, constant monitoring of you and your baby, help with a shower (because you're gonna need it), and the overwhelming amount of love and joy that fills your hospital room. After it is all said and done its time to take baby home, return to the regular routine and do this thing! Leaving your labor and delivery nurses and getting into your vehicle can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some ways to stay calm and relaxed in those precious first moments with your baby.
DO WHAT IS COMFORTABLE FOR YOU. If you want to straight up wear your hospital gown out of the hospital, DO IT. Don't feel pressured to get yourself ready or in a cute outfit. Don't feel like you have to fix your hair or put on makeup. If you need 1 day of silence at your house with no visitors, TAKE IT. If your visitors care about you they will wait. If you want to buy 14 extra fluffy memory foam pillows for your bed and couch for you and baby to snuggle on, BUY THEM. You deserve it.
GET YOUR BABY NECESSITIES IN ORDER. After your baby shower you are left with an enormous pile of baby items to last at least 3 months. Now to just figure out what they all are needed for. Start testing out some products and see which ones you like. If you are nursing, test out your breast pump, check out your storage bags, read up on storing and preparing frozen breastmilk, learn about milk production, doing all of this before can save a lot of stress and tears. Test out some bottles with formula and heat up times. If you breastfeed or not a boppy is an amazing item. BRING IT, KEEP IT, USE IT. It allows your baby to comfortably lay close to you while you feed them, also relieves some of the weight off your arms and shoulders. Lay out your diapers and wipes in a easy accessible area. You don't want to have to go digging around and prying open boxes and container for wipes with a screaming baby with poop on them.
ACCEPT THE HELP. You are going to need it. Your body needs it. You need the sleep and the help with cooking meals, caring for baby, doing laundry, caring for other children in the home. Even if you are married and your significant other is there. They are tired as hell too. Let the people help you, you will thank me later. If you start feeling not normal or like you aren't getting back to your old self, don't be ashamed to talk to your doctor about it or family member, or even a close friend. Child birth rocks your body mentally and physically and sometimes you will need help to recover. ACCEPT THAT HELP.
TAKE A BATH OR SHOWER EVERY DAY. I know this seems like common sense right? Like why are you telling me to take a bath. Well it gets crazy. You are going to be tired and that baby will demand all of your attention. Every morning, find a way, to get yourself a shower, rinse the milk, spit up, food, blood, and everything else from the day/night off of you. It will ALWAYS make you feel better! Even if you just put your wet hair up into a top knot, just take the shower. I even took a shower at night as well to help me relax and sleep better.
BUY SOME OLD CLOTHES. Hey child birth aint pretty. It gets a little messy during and after. Grab yourself some comfortable pants, underwear, shirts and bras. Walmart, Target, Goodwill. Doesn't really matter, they will be stained with milk, spit up and blood so..yeah. Also get a little larger size, it ain't forever, and it will be comfy :)
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. whether it be a walk around the neighborhood or a trip to Target. You need that breath of fresh air. You need to see the world again.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED AND NOURISHED. It is easy to forget about yourself when caring for a newborn. You will stay busy feeding the baby, you may forget breakfast and lunch. Make sure you are staying healthy, eat nutritious meals and protein. If you are breastfeeding ESPECIALLY. It takes a lot for a womans body to produce milk, and it can really drain you if you aren't keeping up the calories and water.
MOST IMPORTANTLY - RELISH EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT. because it is gone in the blink of an eye. Those precious moments between you and your baby will soon be gone. So snuggle, kiss, co sleep, bottle feed, wear them in a wrap, breastfeed, put them in a crib, whatever you do just love. LOVE HARD.