Ten ways to get through those first ten days of post-partum!

Mama, you did it. Or maybe you’re about to do it. Either way, no one’s sugar coating it: those first 10 days with a new-born are H-A-R-D. Maybe even harder than labour (yikes). But it’s okay because women have been bad-assing this mum gig for thousands and thousands of years and I doubt they got given peri bottles or perineum ice packs! Plus, we’ve pulled together 10 must-know tips (cue you, bookmarking the heck outta this blog post #babybrain) to survive the first 10 days with your new-born bundle of joy.

 

  1. Prepare your home for postpartum. Put together a breastfeeding caddy stocked with nursing pads, nipple balm and other essentials, freeze your icepacks well in advance and organise medications and vitamins into weekly pillboxes so it feels easier to take care of yourself.

 

  1. Have a mental game plan in place. It’s science: once you’ve had that baby, our Progesterone hormone levels plumet (bye-bye placenta!) and this is what leaves you feeling emotional, a little irrational and teary… Share this information with your partner before birth, so you can discuss additional support or interventions, chat with your GP or midwife and prepare yourself in case things spiral beyond the baby blues.

 

  1. Step awayyyy from the kitchen! If you have Excel-spreadsheet loving-totally organised-friends, they may have already set up a meal roster. If not, now’s your chance to speak up and ask for homecooked meals to be dropped off as a token “congratulations on giving birth” gift. Or delegate the task of dinner times to your partner. As a last resort, park the guilt and order Ubereats: you really don’t need to be concerning yourself with pots and pans when your baby isn’t even a week old.

 

  1. Prioritise your recovery. I know having this sweet little (totally reliant on you) babe at your every beck and call can be confronting and very, very time consuming, but you can’t look after him if you are totally burnt out and always putting yourself second. Soak in a healing sitz bath, do a face mask, take a nap even though the living room looks like a disaster. You matter, mama!

 

  1. Drink water like your life depends on it. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. More water = more milk. Plus, even the quickest, most straightforward births result in around 500mls-1000mls of blood loss, so get sipping!

 

  1. Invest in the creature comforts. They may seem a little “extra”, but you’ll thank us every time you have to pee or settle in for another marathon feeding session if you’ve got a peri bottle and ice packs. Not only do they promote healing, but birth was enough pain for like, ever #thankyouverymuch.

 

  1. Be kind to yourself, mama. You just gave birth. Your snuggly little bun is a testament to just how incredible our bodies are: you made her! So don’t pick a part how you look or scrutinise your tummy. Stash the scales, step away from the mirror and focus on healing yourself and loving your baby.

 

  1. Hire a cleaner. And if that’s out of the question, work out which jobs around the house actually need tackling day to day. If your partner is wheeling the mower out of the shed, gently* redirect them to the mountain of laundry sitting in the hallway – you need to prioritise when in survival mode! *redirecting not required to be done gently if sleep deprived.

 

  1. In the spirit of Tip 8: accept that sleep is pretty much out the window. This one’s a tough pill to swallow. Even if you’re sharing the night wakings with your partner, chances are you will be wide awake as soon as baby stirs (mothers’ instinct or something crazy like that!). Mentally prepare for hourly wake ups and if you are lucky enough to get a decent stretch of sleep, it’ll feel that much sweeter.

 

  1. You set the pace. For everything. For when you leave hospital, for adventuring outside the house for the first time since giving birth and when it comes to inviting friends, family and guests into your home. If it involves you and/ or the baby, it’s time to voice what you want and put your wellbeing first.