Prepare for your postnatal babymoon By Babiesinwaiting | 18 / May / 2017
The first 48 hours for me post birth is a bit like settling into a foreign holiday destination. You have looked forward to it for such a long time. You have visualised it, planned it, packed a bag for it and now you are finally there! You feel a bit woozy from the travel and a bit disorientated. The excitement and relief at reaching your destination is amazing but you still haven’t quite got your bearings. Like when you arrive at your holiday hotel abroad, you need to explore and suss things out. The baby is unknown territory and you need to become accustomed to their noises, smell and stare at every single part of them. It’s a brand new adventure.
Your journey has left you requiring rest and recovery time. You are hungry, thirsty and weak. But you don’t want to waste any time sleeping because you are so bursting with excitement about learning about your destination, your baby. You don’t want to miss a moment of the experience. You feel jealous of the relatives that are fresh and have mental clarity as they spend time with your baby while you feel jet lagged. Like arriving at a foreign place you feel as if time is slipping by although you aren’t really sure what time it really is. Did the clocks go back or forward? How long were you labouring for? The baby certainly has no idea of the time of day as they sleep all day and have eyes wide open staring at you at night. There are magical moments at night when there is just the two of you, Mother and baby - tired arms lovingly rocking.
Unexpected guests can give you that feeling of bumping into people from 'home' while abroad on holiday. You aren't prepared to see them, they catch you by surprise and you feel exposed. It is perfectly acceptable to make sure that family and friends don't just pop in unannounced at Hospital or at home. Anyone to your babymoon has to be invited.
It helps during this unique and amazing time to be prepared – to have your bag well packed as it were. But if you have never been on holiday abroad, how would you know what to pack? It’s helpful if people tell you what they found useful and gave you their tips isn’t it?
So, for those that have never had a baby before and haven’t yet experienced the crazy first 48 hours with a newborn, this is for you!
My self care top tips for the first 48 hours –
10 old towels (for after you shower and to protect your floor, sofa, or bed. Blood loss is heavy after birth – old towels are great because you can just bin them without worrying)
2x packs of Maternity mats (20 mats in total)
3x packs of Maternity towels/pads (30 towels)
6 x big, baggy nighties (comfort is key. Stay in bed during the first 48 hrs, sleep, feed baby and bond with them skin to skin. Have fresh nighties or pjs to hand for after you bathe or shower or to freshen up after a nap. It’s quite common to sweat a lot post birth as it’s one of the ways that the body gets rid of the extra water you retained during pregnancy. You may also have a baby that frequently likes to leave your shoulders with a sick patch so it’s helpful to have clean comfies to change into. Leaky boobs can also be a reason to reach for something fresh to wear.
6x extra large knickers
Hammamelis cream (for haemorrhoids)
Arnica (to support your blood loss and the uterus to return to its normal shape and size)
8x breast pads (leaky boobs!)
4 x sleep bras
Epsom salts for bath (support natural healing and recovery)
Constant supply of drinking water (you are thirsty and you need to stay well hydrated especially while breast feeding)
Healthy, nutritious meals and lots of snacks including lots of fresh fruit (you are ravenous after birth and at random times of day and night while breast feeding.)
If you are birthing at home you can have all of these items ready and waiting for your post birth recovery in your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. If you are birthing in Hospital or birth centre you will need to think carefully about how long you are likely to be there for taking some of these items with you and having some prepared at home for when you return.
Being prepared and knowing what items are going to make your life so much easier in those first 48 hours will mean that you can enjoy the experience even more. It is such a special, precious time.
Talk with your birth partner about your expectations for after birth. Ask them to prepare your meals, keep on top of the household chores and look after you. You will need to recover and acclimatise. You will do this much more quickly with love, understanding support and nurturing.
Pretty soon after the first 48 hours - a bit longer for some, you will be more familiar with your new adventure. You will know a bit better how things work and where things are. You will wonder why it was all so strange when you first arrived. People will ask you how things are and you won’t remember what life was like before arriving/having the baby. But this is one amazing trip that you will never return from, life will never return to how it once was. Instead your old life will be a distant memory. New adventures will come your way and will continue to shape you but you will be forever transformed by the amazing experience of first becoming a mother.