Leaving the hospital can be un-nerving especially if it is your first baby. Your will likely still be feeling physically tired and emotional. Some new mothers cannot wait to leave hospital and return to the familiarity of their own home especially if they have good support from other family members and partner; for others it is frightening to leave the care team and assistance and advice on hand at the hospital and be in full charge of their new born baby. This can be overwhelming but this feeling will soon pass.
One problem with leaving the hospital environment can be an influx of visitors wanting to see your new baby and to congratulate you. This can be a lovely time but also can be very tiring and interrupt your time of bonding and settling into a feeding routine as well as tiring for you. It is wise to limit visitors in the first weeks so that you can concentrate on yourself and your baby as a priority.
Newborn babies sleep on average eighteen hours a day however this will not be for very long at a time so it is a good idea to try and get into the habit of sleeping or at least resting when your baby sleeps. Let the household chores wait and get as much help with this as you can so that you can regain your strength. You are likely to have at least eight to twelve weeks of broken night’s sleep so get used to resting when you can.
Tasks like bathing your baby for the first time at home can seem daunting so don’t feel you must rush, your baby will be fine with top and tail washing for the first few days whilst you find your confidence.
If you have other children at home they will be excited or perhaps a little jealous of the new arrival which adds another challenge. Arranging for help to entertain other children and care for them in the first few days is a good idea but don’t forget to give them some love and attention too and allow them some time to bond with their new sibling also.
The first few days at home with your new baby will be a challenge but as long as you look after yourself and accept offers of help where you can life will soon settle into a routine and seem less overwhelming.