First Week Survival Guide

It’s hard to believe that a week ago today we welcomed Henry into the world. To describe all the ways that his birth has changed our lives would be impossible.

I’ve put together this list of the things that have helped us transition into parenthood during this first week and I hope it helps any of the expecting moms out there.

1. Tucks

Hello, my little God send. Friends of mine recommended stocking up on these and I’m so glad I did. If you’ve had any tearing or an episiotomy these are a welcome relief.

2. Witch Hazel and Heavy Flow Pads (Sanitary Napkins)

Recipe for relief – Take some witch hazel, pour it on the pad, place in freezer for 30 minutes or so. Voila.

This may sound like torture, but in the first few days these were blissful.

3. A Good Lactation Consultant

Between 48-72 hours after birth, your milk comes in. This is when engorgement becomes an issue and when getting your baby to latch can get complicated. After a day of feeling like my baby was going to starve to death, I called Starfish Lactation and made an appointment.

I’m so glad I did. Speaking to someone on the phone was a big relief as she reassured me that my baby wasn’t going to starve and they got me in the next morning to see the consultant.

Within an hour and half she helped us to relearn latching techniques and prescribed a regime for the engorgement. Getting this boost of confidence was huge to helping us to continue to breast feed. And talk about relief. I finally felt like the two boulders on my chest were becoming normal boobs again.

4. Pacifiers

Our first night in the hospital I nursed Henry on demand. Little did I know that he was using me as a human pacifier. The next morning I woke up with cracked, sore nipples. Yeah, that was a lesson learned.

A lot of people will tell you not to give pacifiers because of nipple confusion, but our lactation consultant and pediatrician both said they don’t believe in nipple confusion and we’ve had no problems.

5. Nipple Cream

See above.

6. Swaddlers

We’ve used both blankets and the swaddlers that are sold with the Velcro shortcuts. I like the shortcut version. It’s easy to get a squirmy baby into and you can assure that they are tight. We also use the Sleep Sack swaddler every night and it works really well.

7. Breast Pump

When the engorgement happened my precious baby boy stopped latching. This left me with two breasts full of milk and no consumer. The lactation consultant recommended pumping to relieve the engorgement and feeding all of the milk that I pumped to the baby using bottles. This was such a relief as I was scared to give him a bottle because I feared he would never take the breast again.

8. Google/The Baby Book by Dr. Sears

If I told you how many times we looked up baby care questions this week it may set a record. We were habitual Googlers before having the baby. Now? Fuggedaboutit.

I also reference The Baby Book by Dr. Sears about 400 million times a day. It’s comprehensive and easy to find answers quickly.

9. A really super amazing husband

In one week my husband became a labor coach, lactation consultant, master diaper changer, preparer of quick delicious cuisine, psychiatrist, and all around all-star father.

I’m lucky. I couldn’t imagine doing this without him.

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One thought on “First Week Survival Guide

  1. Kiki says:

    I love #9…nothing like a supportive partner who gets it! I’ve had both…one who was less than supportive and one (my one and only) who took 12 weeks FMLA time off, after I took mine. What a godsend!

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