Learn how to navigate early infancy like a pro.
All throughout your pregnancy, all you can think about is bringing your baby home. Once you're there, though, the days quickly blend together in a combination of sleep deprivation and emotions as you wonder what you're supposed to do and how best you can care for your baby. We have some advice to get you through those early weeks.
Sleep when you can
It might be tempting to catch up on e-mails, bills or laundry while your newborn is sleeping, but you’re better off catching some sleep of your own. Interrupted nights and frequent feedings can take a toll on you, and you need to recharge.
It's difficult to have a full meal when you’re busy caring for and feeding a small baby, but it's important for both your energy levels and your milk production. Keep snacks around the house, including at your breastfeeding or feeding station. Try things you can eat with one hand, like bananas, energy bars and granola snacks. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Help can come in many forms. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, call a lactation consultant. If you’re worried about your newborn’s weight gain and development, call your pediatrician. Accept offers of help around the house, with meals, and with the care and feeding of your newborn. Talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Trust your instincts
You are probably trying to process a lot of conflicting advice about caring for a new baby. Every day, you’ll have new experiences and questions. Trust your instinct as a parent. If you are concerned, don’t be afraid to call your doctor. If your baby is eating well and wetting and soiling diapers, trust your gut that he’s doing just fine.
Walk away when you need to
Crying can really wear on a parent. If you feel frustrated or overwhelmed, place your baby in her crib and walk away. Take deep breaths, have a cup of tea or a glass of cold water. Call a friend and vent. It’s perfectly normal to need to wind down when your baby winds you up.
St. Lucie Medical Center will get you off on the right foot with parenthood. Our obstetrics services start with prenatal classes on breastfeeding, infant care and siblings. Our caring and experienced staff will be with you through labor and delivery and help with post-partum care. For information or a physician referral, call Consult-A-Nurse at 1-800-382-3522.