February 25, 2013

5 Favorites from the First Few Weeks of Motherhood

I have to admit, these first few weeks haven't been quite what I expected. I guess I was just naive, but I had no idea recovering from childbirth would take so long. I thought I'd bounce back after three days or so, but it took three weeks before I started to feel better. I still can't stand very long before I start to feel sore. However, some things went better than expected, like the fact that I lost most of the baby weight in two weeks, despite barely being able to move. Plus, taking care of a newborn hasn't been nearly as bad as I expected. Evan is a pretty easy-going baby. It's all kind of balanced out I guess. Who knows, maybe next time I'll have a better recovery and a high maintenance baby.

Every mother has a different opinion about which baby items are essentials and which you can live without. I wouldn't call any of these five items essential, just things I was really happy to have as I stumbled through these first few weeks.

The tag on the Boppy depicts four uses of the pillow: feeding at 0 months, propping at 2 months, tummy time at 4 months, and sitting at 6 months. I discovered a fifth use: sitting during the first week...not for the baby, for the mother recovering from childbirth. It's also been great for nursing. I can manage without it, but it helps me sit with better posture.

Sometimes Evan just wants some kind of movement, which was difficult to give him when I could barely move. Evan loves being in his swing. Sometimes he goes to sleep, and sometimes he just sits there awake, looking at the elephants and whatever else is around.

If you want to use a smartphone app to track things like feeding times and diaper changes, I recommend finding one you like before the baby is born. I downloaded at least 5 others before finding this one. It's still not perfect, but it works for what I needed. It also has other nice features like information about your baby's development, a growth tracker, and even a baby book to add photos and milestones. 

Having a smarthphone in general has been useful for these weeks of not doing much other than resting and nursing. I've liked having the OverDrive Media Console app so I can check out ebooks from the library for one-handed reading. 

This book for ages 0+ has high contrast images of an animal on each page, along with the name of that animal. I was skeptical that a brand new baby could enjoy a book, but the first time Evan was really alert for a significant amount of time, at three days old, I decided to show it to him. Sure enough, he stared at the animals, looking back and forth between the two pages. It was a great moment for me. You could save money and just draw some shapes on paper with a black marker (which I've also done), but I love being able to "read" Evan his first book.

Hemorrhoids, swelling and bruising, episiotomies...I don't think any expectant mother expects to deal with any of these things, but if you find yourself faced with all of the above, you'll be glad you bought this. I was amazed at how well it worked. It seems to be more effective than any of the stuff I got from the hospital, and it smells much better too.

I'd love to hear from other mothers about what they found fun or useful with a brand new baby and/or recovering from childbirth.

1 comment:

  1. Great tips, thanks for sharing! I'll have to keep these in mind for when I'm finally a mom :)


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