Many moms arrive home from the hospital with help from friends and family, and a sleepy baby who has to be woken for feedings. During the second week postpartum, the feeding routine stabilizes, baby continues to sleep well and mom feels pretty good. But the third week postpartum turns everything upside-down.
Partners return to work, parents return home, friends return to their lives and mom’s left on her own expecting to manage the house and meal preparation as before. Likewise, babies become more accustomed to life outside the womb, waking up, demanding more attention, experiencing a growth spurt and feeding more often and irregularly.
These abrupt changes frequently leave new moms feeling like “failures”: “I feel like I get nothing done all day”, and “All I do is breastfeed the baby. I’m lucky if I can squeeze a shower in”. While these are normal feelings during this period of transition, don’t despair. Try these recommendations to ease your stress.
- Enlist help with housekeeping and meals during the week.
- Embrace the mantra “This will pass. There will be a new normal.”
- Enjoy this time with your baby and lighten up on your expectations of yourself.
Today’s guest author is Jamie Bodily, a Postpartum Doula and Master’s Level Counselor. Jamie helps new mothers and families adjust to postpartum changes with classes and in-home help and guidance. Jamie has been a Postpartum Doula for nine years and serves families in the St. Louis, Missouri area. For more information, go to www.parentscount.com.