Ease Your Transition from Expectant Mom to New Mom

Congratulations ‑- and hang on! The physical and emotional roller-coaster ride you're about to take will be dramatic, delightful and dizzying. Having a new baby will certainly trigger many lifestyles changes ‑- including some that you probably never dreamed of. But a little advance planning before your baby arrives is sure to ease your transition from expectant mom to new mom and help you enjoy all the challenges ahead.

You may already be juggling a career and home life, so now is a good time to think about and plan the significant career and lifestyle changes you and your partner may need to make to accommodate a baby. You need to plan for time off from work, arrange your finances, even research the possibilities for child care near your home or work if you'll need it. These may seem like daunting challenges at first, but taking time in your pre-diapering days and nights to organize yourself and your household will pay off later. In fact, it's the first of many ways in which you can treat yourself with a little extra care.

Easy Does It

Once your baby arrives, your joy will be overwhelming, but so, too, will be some of the new demands placed on you. These pointers will help you maintain a good energy level.

Pregnancy, labor and birth will, naturally, cause huge changes in your body. Don't expect to bounce back to your old self overnight. Be assured that, in time, your body, your energy level and your sense of emotional well-being will return to normal.

In the first few weeks, consider staying close to home. Even though you may want to show off your new baby, too many outings too soon can take their toll on your health and your baby's. (But do keep any appointments for newborn and routine baby checkups.) And keep treats on hand for guests so you don't find yourself cooking for them. You're better off saving your energy for your baby. It's important, too, to let your guests know when you're tired and need to rest.

During this time, you may be so focused on your baby that you forget to take good care of yourself. Be sure to make an appointment with your health care practitioner if you find you're not feeling well. It is important that you pay attention to your own needs as well as your baby's. You can do this by getting plenty of rest. Nap when your baby naps or use this time to do a little something for yourself such as trying out a new hairstyle, making a phone call to a friend or reading a book by your favorite author. These little "time-outs" will make you feel better and more able to attend to your new baby. Dirty dishes and housework can wait.

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