At Home With Your Baby

Labor and birth are over, and now it’s time to settle into your new life with your baby. Be sure to continue your good eating habits and get the rest you need.

Continue Your Good Eating Habits
You’ll need all the nutrition you needed during pregnancy, and then some. So be sure to eat regular meals and snacks provided by your partner or other caregiver. Because many families live far apart, some new parents hire a postpartum doula, whose job it is to "mother" the mother and care for the family. If friends offer to help, take them up on it.

Get the Rest You Need
You and your baby will need peace and quiet, so limit guests to friends or relatives you feel comfortable asking to help with cooking and cleaning.

Try to stay in bed for the first few days or, if you’ve had a cesarean, for a week or two. You will need to recuperate from the hard work and physical changes of labor and birth, and people will not expect you to do a lot when you’re in your bedclothes.

Staying in bed will help you to follow the advice you may have heard before: to sleep whenever the baby does. It is essential that you get as much sleep as possible. It took nine months to grow this baby; now you must give your body time to adjust to its nonpregnant state.

Your bed is also the perfect place to cuddle with your baby. A crib can be lonely, and your newborn needs the closeness of Mom and Dad. You'll enjoy the closeness too!

Sigrid Nelsson-Ryan, RN, IBCLC, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, a childbirth educator and lactation consultant residing in Oceanside, CA, is a member of the Lamaze International faculty.


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