No amount of reading,planning and classes can prepare you for this new phase of your life. There is nothing like experiencing it for your self!For the first two weeks I did not know what had hit me.Neither the docs nor the parents were easy on me as I had had a normal delivery.I delivered in Breach candy and rooms were given on first come first basis,even though I had booked a private room during registration,it was’nt available when I was admitted and I had to share room with curtain partition with 3 other women.No attendant could stay with me in the night as it wasn’t a private room.Slowly all my roomies were shifted to private rooms as the had had a C-section and I was treated as a poor cousin as I had a normal delivery.My worst nightmare was sharing a common bathroom and walking to the nursery in my stitches(yes ,you do get some even in normal delivery) to the nursery which was down the corridor.”Walk,it will help heal faster”,”Get ,back to exercise ,if you want to come to shape”,”Sleep ,while the baby sleeps”…….in flowed in advises,when I all wanted to say,just let me be and let me take the time to sink all this in.Maybe I should have had a C section just to get a little sympathy.
In a week ,due to sleepless nights ,I was a ghost of my earlier self and just wanted to run away.No ,motherhood isn’t some joy,why did they overrate it?Why did’nt anyone prepare me for what happens after delivery?All my prenantal classes did’nt even come close to explaining this.Though my lamaze teacher had asked me to come back to her once I had a baby for post natal classes,who had the time?Did I plan too early for a baby?
All I will tell you at this point of time is ,be ready for a commitment which is beyond work and marriage as this little angel,’bundle of joy’ is totally dependent on you for it’s life ,food and emotions.There is no space for you the first few months if you are not prepared with a support system.Everything will feel wrong if you don’t !I have had a difficult first baby and a really breezy second baby.The difference was that the second time I knew what to correct for.
The first 40 days you and your baby are recovering from the delivery process,while you are bleeding and healing your stitches and getting your stamina back,the baby is learning to breastfeed.Breastfeedingis new for baby as till now the baby did’nt have to work to get food,it takes days of practise and constant support from you for it to learn and don’t worry all babies learn.Also milk does’nt come from the first time your baby feeds sometimes it takes 48 hours or even more,but it does come so don’t panic.Breastfeeding can cause sore breasts and cracked nipples and to avoid that you can use lanolin which works great and though a little expensive one tube will last you forever.You can also use nipple sheilds.If you have had a C section,healing is slower for the stitches so if you have someone handy ,please shamelessly ask them to had over the baby to you for feeding.Take all the help and support of people around,as you need the rest.Do not exercise first 40 days,you have plenty of time later.
Massage is as important for you as it is for the baby,also in India you get these massage ladies who will come tie a saree tightly around your waist to tighten your tummy(helps when your uterus is contracting).If you don’t want a saree use a corset.If you have had a C-section avoid massage around your tummy and waist ,for stitches to heal and no corsets till the stitches heal.
Drink a lot of water and Coffee,if you have taken the epidural and are feeling nauseous, sometimes the medicine still remains in the spinal region and u feel dizzy and you need to flush it out from your system(but please check with doctor)
All of us have our mommies giving us some ayurvedic stuff like ‘Harira’, ‘gond ke laddoos’ etc to help us heal and strengthen our systems.I would suggest to eat it even if they are laden in ghee.These things are meant to cleanse your system and they surprisingly also help you lose weight.I did not take it with my first baby as I was too scared to put on any extra weight,but second time around I thought it’s worth a try .I lost two kilos ,just with massage and these medicines and no exercise.
One more thing I will share is that ,it hurts a lot when you have to use the loo,so much so that I used to dread it.My doctor had given me some ointment for local application to reduce the pain,but did’nt help much.So ,I figured the second time around,that you can use a suppository like Jonac as much as 3 times a day and the pain relief is amazing.
Apart from this ,there are things you will need to buy and keep for the new baby or ask someone to buy for you(as most Indians don’t buy baby things till baby is born).I am putting a list for the new angel in your life;
ITEMS FOR BABY ( OTHER THAN WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THE HOSPITAL)
To carry the baby
• Strolley/ Pram
• Baby strap carrier
• Infant rear facing car seat which doubles up as a baby carrier
To carry baby supplies
• Changing mat with pockets
• Baby bag
To bathe the baby
• Baby bathing chair
• Bath tub
• Baby supplies – soap , shampoo , liquid talc ( can get all at Mothercare )
• Swaddle cloths-Mothercare or get from the US for better variety.
• Towels with soft fabric
• bath toys but much later
Other essential items for baby
• Baby thermometer
• Baby nail cutter
• Medicine dropper
• Baby gym -not essential(the attention span of the baby in this is about 15-20 min)
• Baby cot
• Mattress and pillows + bolster
• Rubber sheet under bed (2)
• Sheets – 5-6 sets
• Sheet stitched with bolsters and pillow
• cot mobile
Diapers and cleaning
• Cloth diapers initially(this is personal,u can straight away start with diapers but most Indian mommies go for cloth initially as baby skin is soft)
• Nappy pads -dont use i dont like them,can cause rashes
• Disposable diapers ( Pampers size 0)
• Mothercare nappy rash cream -very good
• Rubber sheet + cloth for changing baby
• Baby wipes-johnsons,very good-better than mothercare
- Breast pump
- Breast pads
- Nursing bras
- Front opening gowns
- Sterilizer – Avent ( along with 4-6 bottles ),For travel Pigeon compact sterliser is great.
- Burp cloths
- Bottle cleaning liquid and brush
- Nursing pillow
- For later – dining chair (high chair)
- Avent milk powder container with 3 compartments
- Breast milk storage containers
• Many clothes sets needed
• Night suits
For mommies post baby
• Corset belt
• Nipple cream
• stretch mark cream
• feeding bras
• Feeding cover(fabric to cover you while feeding),try smart pink from mothercare.
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