Thursday 27 October 2016

Top 5 priorities for expecting mothers

Published 24/06/2015 | 09:15

After all that time carrying your baby around, and then the birth itself, it’s easy to forget that there’s more – a lot more – to come. Most new mums feel totally overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin.

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Aptaclub created a list of 5 actions to take when your baby is born. Learn them, live them, love them...your new mum priorities:

1) Eat well

For the first few weeks after giving birth, you’ll be getting to know your baby, learning how to be a new mum and possibly welcoming lots of excited visitors. All of this takes a lot of energy especially if a) you’re losing sleep and b) you’re breastfeeding. So make sure to get plenty of nourishment and eat a healthy, balanced diet to keep your energy levels up.

2) Establish a feeding routine

Feeding your baby will take up lots of time at first – after all, newborns need frequent feeds (normally every 2–3 hours). It’s important to keep up the night feeds during this time, which are essential for your baby’s nutritional requirements. The best food you can give him/her is your own, as breastfeeding provides many health benefits.

3) Sort out a sleeping routine

Newborn babies grow and develop rapidly. And all this activity means they need a lot of sleep. Your baby will take smalls naps throughout the day, waking only for a feed and change (well, that’s the ideal!)

Since your baby won’t know the difference between night and day at the beginning, here’s a few tricks you can do to familiarise them:

●     Interact with your baby as much as you can during the day

●     Keep rooms bright and include some background noises such as the TV or radio

●     During the night, keep the lights and noise down

Follow these tips and your baby will soon learn that night time is for sleeping! Remember also that when your baby naps, you should too.

4) Beat the “baby blues”

Lots of mums suffer from the “baby blues” during the first weeks after the birth. It’s an emotional and physically demanding experience, not to mention the stress of minding a newborn or the hormonal imbalances afterwards.

It’s perfectly normal to feel tearful, anxious, hypersensitive and even alone in the world, whether you’re surrounded by family and friends or not. With rest and support, these feelings will gradually melt away. If you’re still feeling alone, speak to your healthcare professional – he or she will listen without judgement so you can get back to your old self. And if you need advice down the line, register with Aptaclub – we’ll send you weekly development updates and give you all the support you need to enjoy being a new mum.

5) Say yes to help!

It’s only natural that you’ll want to do everything for your baby but it’s actually a good idea to share the workload. This helps your baby to develop relationships with others and to recognise the important people in your life. Let the baby’s dad bond with activities that involve skin-to-skin contact – changing nappies, giving baths or even just reading in a chair while the baby naps on his chest are all great relationship builders. They’ll give him and the baby a chance to be alone together and he can really enjoy being a dad.

Once you get used to handing your baby over to someone else for a while, you can catch up on other activities. It might be tempting to do chores like cooking and cleaning when your baby naps during the day but at first, it’s best to rest and sleep if you can. Finally, remember that nobody expects you to be perfect. If anything, now’s the time in your life when you can be anything but!

If there’s anything you want to know, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Talk to family, friends, your healthcare professional, the Aptaclub team or the direct Careline – there’s all kinds of support available to you if you reach out.

Psst… Find out how people just like you coped with being new parents.

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