Bringing mum and bub home from the hospital is a very exciting time. It feels great to be back at home, but it also feels different now that you have an extra human with you.
After birth, mums can be discharged from the hospital quite quickly with it becoming more common for women to be sent home the same day they give birth. While it can be great to settle back into home quickly, this means that many women are still recovering while at home and will need to rely on their partner or family to help them for a while.
During this time, it’s important that you’re an attentive and supportive partner. There are a few things you can do to help.
Heat packs – Warm up the heat packs and keep ‘em coming. Some women experience cramping pains in their lower back or belly in the first few days after birth. Sometimes even being stuck in the same position to nurse a fussy bub can be the cause of back pain too. You can’t take the pain away, but you can offer to help by bringing things that may ease the pain.
Help create the perfect sleeping environment – It’s no secret that bringing home a newborn means cutting down on your own long sleeps as they settle in. In those first few months after birth, bubs are heavily reliant on their mum, especially if she’s breastfeeding. This means that she’ll often be the one to get up during the night for feeds. Not to sound like a broken record but: sleep when the baby sleeps. If bub is down for a nap during the day then you can help by making the house a dark and quiet environment. Close the blinds, switch phones to silent and let the lead caregiver catch up on sleep.
Prepare meals with lots of veggies – It’s important to stay well-nourished even when it feels like you’re being run off your feet. There may be a million things happening, but it’ll feel easier if you’re eating right and staying nourished. It doesn’t have to be an Instagram-worthy acai bowl or kale salad; it can be as simple as adding zucchini and carrot to your spag bol.
While it’s good to have a few ideas up your sleeve, staying supportive of each other is the number one tip I’d offer to new parents. At the end of the day, parenting is a partnership and you’ll need to help each other out. Keep in mind that while you’re both adjusting, it’s normal to feel various emotions, ranging from happy to sad, stressed or frustrated. As you get to know bub and find your feet in the parenting world, things will settle.