The first weeks at home are likely to be challenging. Not only are you and your baby recovering from birth, you are getting to know each other and building a family. New parents often feel overwhelmed and out of touch with the rest of the world. You can help ease the stress of this time by planning to have some support.
- Who will help you after you go home?
- What will that person do? Meals? Laundry? Errands?
- What time of day will that person be available?
- How soon will that person be available? (Earlier is better.)
- How long will that person be available?
- Who is a good listener and will want to hear your birth story?
- Who can you contact for breastfeeding help?
- Who can give you emotional support and reassure you about your ability to parent?
- How will you maximize your time with your baby and minimize other demands on your time and energy?
- How will you handle phone calls and visitors?
- How will you get to sleep during the day? Do you need to restrict calls and visitors?
Make an appointment to meet with your baby's health care provider while you are still pregnant. This will give you a chance to begin getting to know one another. You can also ask any questions you have about your baby's care, such as:
- How soon after you're discharged from the hospital should you bring your baby in for a first visit?
- Does your provider's office have scheduled telephone hours for non-emergency questions?
- Who helps with breastfeeding? How should you contact or make an appointment with them?