I always thought the term babymoon sounded a little bit odd, the sort of thing only hippies would do, locking themselves away from the rest of the world with their babies for days after the birth. I wanted to show my baby off to the world, I wanted to get back to normal and most importantly after the birth of my firstborn I wanted to hit the sales, you see he was born in July the day before most of the summer sales started! So, with my two day old baby in tow we trudged around the high street so I could fill the car with baby bargains. By the time he was seven days old I was hosting a coffee morning for my antenatal group, complete with home baked cake and quiche, a full face of make up and an immaculate house.
I look back now with dismay at what I did. Why? Because those first few days and weeks after your baby is born are precious, you know that old saying “they grow so quickly”? It is irritatingly true. Newborns change literally every day and I missed some of that in my socialising and shopping filled days. More than that though, although my birth was a normal delivery I had still needed stitches and my body needed time to recover. What I really needed was to spend a week or two curled up in bed, a magazine in hand, a baby by my side and good food made for me.
There will be plenty of time for socialising, those first few days are precious and they are also vital for bonding with your baby and getting the hang of breastfeeding. I did things very different with my subsequent babies and these are my top babymoon tips:
- Don’t be afraid to say “no” to visitors. Tell them you are tired and need to sleep and ask if they could perhaps come next week instead.
- If visitors do come ask them to bring food with them for you or perhaps prepare food for you at your home, under no circumstances should you play the host!
- Consider limiting the amount of people holding your baby, as I mentioned above physical contact as much as possible with your baby is one of the best ways to bond, recover from the birth and help breastfeeding, not only that when your baby is passed around like a game of pass the parcel it must be scary and over stimulating for them, all of the different smells, touches and noises. Consider holding your baby in a sling when you have visitors, this way your baby can’t be passed around and held by everybody!
- If you are tired when you have visitors tell them! Don’t be embarrassed to ask them to leave.
- Go easy on yourself, even if your birth was natural and straightforward your body has still been through an awful lot and you need time to recover.
- Try to sleep whenever you can, not just at night
- Try to eat well balance, nourishing food. Batch cooking and stocking your freezer beforehand is a great idea.
- Forget the housework, it can wait. So can the washing and supermarket home delivery service is your friend!
- Don’t worry about your hair or make-up. For a midwife it is more alarming seeing a mum in full make-up the day after giving birth than it is one with none on, in fact they positively expect to see you bare faced in your pyjamas.
- Enjoy every single minute!