The first eight weeks after the baby is born are a transition to a whole new life. Not only that of the baby, but also that of the whole family, the siblings, the parents, is upside down - and first has to rearrange itself.
This time is so magical and ends up going by so quickly! It's best if you enjoy it, even if it still stutters a bit here and there. Very important: take your time!
Here are a few postpartum tips, drawn in part from hard-learned lessons from your own postpartum period:
CHILL, CHILL, CHILL. You never believe how incredibly important it is not to have stress as a mom. Otherwise there is a risk of breast engorgement, menstrual flow problems, mastitis and the like. Your body has the task of regenerating itself, which is hard work.
Capitalize SELFCARE : Treat yourself, Mom. Treat yourself to rest, treat yourself to this chocolate cake, treat yourself to sleep as much as possible. Treat yourself to a coffee, a shower, wash your hair... Above all, treat yourself to many hours of cuddling with your baby. It's good for both of you: baby is thriving much better and your recovery is even faster.
Treat dad and baby to cuddles too. The two should also do bonding. Baby also wants to sniff daddy's smell.
Hygiene: Self-care in childbed also means: Take your weekly flow seriously. If it stops abruptly or if it degenerates, definitely let your midwife know, if not even call your gyn/delivery room. If you have a fever or chills, go to the clinic. There is a risk of uterine inflammation. And yes, even through overexertion.
Also, change your diaper as often as your baby's. The last thing you want is to get yourself another mushroom after all that's going on down there that needs healing. Use calendula tinctures and make diluted douches with them. There are now also postpartum pads without plastic, and period panties are also an alternative - preferably without silver.
Write a lot, journal a lot to process everything: the metamorphosis to the mother, saying goodbye to the belly, the new life with a baby and all the feelings that go with it....
Setting limits: without a guilty conscience. And that's hard! You remember it from pregnancy, and that's the good thing: you've already had practice setting limits.
You know how to turn down party nights and invitations, how to turn down alcohol, how to turn down offended friends in a pinch... now on to bedtime visits and invitations to show your child around.
If you manage to stick to your confinement for a week without anyone wanting to see you and baby and you have to fend them off - tell me how.
By the way, you can find out here how not to be an annoying childbed visitor.
Instead of going to bed at home: Meet up for a walk instead. When you're feeling ready and you're feeling better about it - maybe by week three or four - suggest a little walk around the block to the impatient bedtime visitor. Or meet up in the café for an hour. Then you and baby get some fresh air, you don't have to tidy up your home beforehand or have coffee and cake ready. You are not the hostess. And you can leave at any time.
drink fennel tea. In general, drink a lot. If you're breastfeeding, you can stimulate milk flow by drinking fennel tea, fennel aniseed caraway tea, or fenugreek. Malt beer is also good or non-alcoholic beer.
speak well to you you are a great mom You're gonna rock it all Don't beat yourself up if things don't go the way they should right away. Being a mom is the craziest job you've ever had in a whole new industry, and you've been promoted to CEO from day one with no onboarding. Everything is learning by doing. And for baby you're the greatest anyway.
Take care of yourself like you take care of your baby. Take care of yourself on an emotional, physical and mental level.
Running too much at the beginning: You will be amazed at how shaky you are on your feet in the first few days after the birth. Please don't go for long walks just because you're feeling so strong right now. Already your cycle.
If you are breastfeeding: No peppermint or sage tea. You won't believe how quickly these herbs work to stop breastfeeding and milk flow. Herbal teas with mint also reduce the flow of milk. However, if you have too much milk, you can use it to regulate it.
Working. Really now.
Stressing out about birth cards. In the first confinement I was totally stressed because we apparently still owed the whole family official birth cards and photos. At least thank you cards for the gifts and birthday greetings! After all, Uncle Dieter dropped the 20 euros a long time ago and still didn't get a thank you! And your parents are already asking if you've thought about your great-aunt too! I still remember how I was getting ready day after day for having only managed four maps again today. In short: it was a mammoth project. The postpartum bed is there for rest and for the baby - and not for the new parents to make their relatives happy in the timely manner in addition to their sleepless nights.
Listen to Aunt Anneliese's opinion. Your 90-year-old grandpa giving you instructions on how to breastfeed? Your relatives are telling you newborn jaundice is because you can't feed your child properly? A strange woman on the street runs towards your pram and reminds you without being asked that you have to take care of your baby? (Everything already experienced!) The opinions of others are really the absolute pitfalls of everyday mom life. At the beginning you still howl with anger and doubts about yourself. Later you smile mildly and say: Thank you for the tip, I will discuss it with my midwife. She's an expert in the field.
Doing things you really don't want just to please others. For example, allow visitors or visit others even with a baby. This can be the direct route to mastitis.
Feeling guilty because you said no. If you can do it, tell me how.
Have a bad conscience at all. Because you missed a shitty diaper. Because you don't (yet) know how to calm your baby down. Because you feel overwhelmed. Because your baby is more important to you than your older child (nature arranged it that way, by the way: focus on the offspring that could not yet survive on their own to bring the brood through!) Because sometimes you miss your old life. Because you have to work through the birth again in peace. Because breastfeeding doesn't work (yet). It's all normal and part of it.
The doctor at the Charité Berlin maternity ward dismissed me with the words: "If you never doubt yourself in childbirth, please contact me. Then you would be the first in 15 years."