The First 48 Hours with a New Baby!
I’ve got a friend expecting a new baby very soon which made me reflect on what those first 48 hours after giving birth were. For me, it was equal parts magical and equal parts sleepless, nipple leaking, shit show! While we are all going to have a different experience, here are a few things that I am almost certain you will encounter.
Sleep; you are not going to get any of it! First because your new baby is going to be waking you up all hours of the night to eat, poop, be held; that should be no surprise. What you may not realize is that you will also be cautious about sleeping because you’ll constantly want to check that the new baby of yours is breathing. Don’t worry, they’ll be fine….sleep when you can!
Your body is going to be a mess. I honestly didn’t know all of this before my first was born, but my boobs turned into watermelons as they were finding their way with milk production and all. My belly still looked like I was 5 months pregnant because well it doesn’t just go away when the new baby comes out. And I was leaking pee, oozing other yucky stuff (that is the official medical term by the way) and I was sore. There is really nothing you can do about that, but what you can do is ensure you have all the right products ready to support you. In my hospital bag I had a mix of Poise pads and Depend Silhouette underwear. Depend underwear is a new trick I learned this time around from some mommy friends; they loved the full protection and the ‘I don’t feel like I am wearing a diaper’ feeling. That was something I could get behind so I tried it for myself and I totally agree! I found Depend underwear great for wearing around the house and overnight as they really did feel thin and discreet (not that I really cared in my current state), but I preferred Poise pads when going out as those were easier to change. Note, I can’t speak for those we have had a c-section, but I am sure their bodies are equally a mess!
Breastfeeding; it’s not a sure thing. I hope you’ve heard this before, but it’s important enough to remind everyone that FED is BEST! I had trouble the first time around and was so adamant that I wanted to keep trying and that I didn’t want to give my new baby any formula, but he was starving and it took some nurses and a lactation consultant to tell me that. Of course, then my tears for lack of breastfeeding turned to ‘I am starving my child’ tears. Luckily for me, I had a great lactation consultant who set me up with a plan and I was able to breastfeed after a short while, but at the time it felt like an eternity! You can read more about that experience here
YOU HAVE A NEW BABY….So I may have described some of the challenges in the first 48 hours, but to be clear you have a sweet new baby and you will forget all the craziness noted above! One way to continue the bonding with your little bean is committing to skin to skin. Remember that amazing feeling in the hospital when they put your baby on your chest? That doesn’t need to stop when you get home. There are so many benefits for newborns with skin-to-skin contact from improved sleep to faster weight gain to healthier brain development. So part of your first 48 hours and beyond should be a skin to skin Hug Plan! In fact, Huggies launched this awesome initiative to ensure that you don’t forget this amazing opportunity to connect with your baby and you can even put together a Hug Plan to take to the hospital with you (Get it here!). With so much on your mind at that time – a little cheat sheet is probably a good idea!
Whatever your first 48 hours are like….embrace the craziness, the love and amazing new experience of having a new baby!
NOTE: I received products from Kimberly-Clark for this post, but the opinions are all my own.
Photo Credit: Krista Lii
League of Moms / 03/26/2018