In the early weeks of postpartum/early parenting, you will be adjusting to tremendous changes in your life. Just as you had a helpful goody bag for labor, it is now important to have one for postpartum/ early parenting. Following are some helpful thoughts and suggestions that you might include in your goody bag.
Rest is especially important for the mother but also necessary for the father. Without rest, there will be fatigue, irritability, and a slower recovery process.
Quiet time when you can think, reflect, and relax. If you have a baby that sleeps a good deal, this will be easier, but even if your baby is awake a lot of the time, every new mother should try to find at least 15–20 minutes each day for quiet.
Talk about your birth experience with friends and family, since this is a healthy way to begin your parenting experience. It is especially advantageous to talk with other new mothers or someone else who has had a child.
Organize your priorities so that you do only what must be done initially. It is important for your well-being that you do not attempt to be a super-woman. Being good to yourself will enhance your early enjoyment of your baby. Willingly accept offers of help from family and friends.
Accept the positive and negative feelings that may arise from caring for the new baby and initiating your parenting responsibilities; these feelings are normal.
Be realistic in your expectations as a parent. Childbirth is only the beginning of the long process of parenting. It is a myth that you will be filled with parental feelings and love instantly at the birth of your baby. In reality, parental feelings and love develop gradually through physical and emotional care for your baby. Each baby is a unique being, and you need time, practice, and patience to get acquainted.
Open communication between mother and father is essential in experiencing the new joys of parenthood and coping with the accompanying frustrations and tension.
A sense of humor will go a long way to ease frustration and tension in new parents.
Keep a diary of the early weeks of postpartum/early parenting. For some mothers and/or fathers, writing is very therapeutic and may be fun to share with your child in future years.
If you have other children, spend special time alone with them and try to involve them in the baby’s care. Time, patience, and understanding will help to minimize jealousy and foster friendly