1. Sign up for a New Parent/Mommy Group (OH! you've done that already! Now USE IT!)
2. Worried? Contact the pediatrician. They are used to calming new parent fears so make that call.
3. Sleep when the Baby Sleeps! (Get shade darkeners if you have to!)
4. Accept Help! If someone offers, have them make you lunch/dinner, fold your laundry, hold your baby while you take a shower. It makes people feel good to help! Also consider a post-partum doula orbaby-nurse.
5. Utilize your support team. Your closest friends will give you lots of leeway and understand that you’re overwhelmed, but try to remember birthdays, special occasions and check up on them too.
6. Know when to say, “No.” If people are trying to be helpful and they aren’t, it’s okay to say that you want to do it your own way and that you don’t need their help. (This goes for family too!)
7. Foster the relationship with your partner. They may feel like they went from #1 to #3 and while all you may want to do is to stare at and be with your new child it’s important to take time for each other.
8. Leave! Get out of the house, take a walk (even in the rain, snow, cold) and get some fresh air. It’s important to get a change of scenery.
9. Write down your Birth Story while it's fresh in your mind
10. Boil some eggs. They are a great shot of protein with little effort
11. Call a lactation consultant if you are having trouble breastfeeding. Breastfeeding does NOT have to hurt! Also, there are lots of tricks to making it great so check out the breastfeeding support groups on PSP.com
12. Honor yourself the body of the women who just gave birth! What an incredible feat! Give yourself some breathing room: 10 months on (at least) 10 months off!
13. Check out your emotions. It's okay to feel overwhelmed (don't we all!). Get professional help if you have signs of post- partum-depression.
14. Do SOMETHING each day for YOU! Take a shower, wear your favorite shirt, watch a video that makes you happy. Visit the PSP Pampered Parent section on how to treat yourself.
15. Put aside the idea that you should be doing MORE. You'll have days when it seems like you haven't done anything, BUT YOU HAVE! You are an alien scientist doing a case study on a brand new life form, carefully learning its patterns and habits. It's a NEW job with a sharp learning curve that takes a lot of mental and emotional energy. Cut yourself large quantities of slack if you don't get your To Do list accomplished!
16. Just “be.” Enjoy this time with your baby. It’s over quickly so breathe deep and try to relax into it all.
Reminders about GREAT INFORMATION on PSP:
Expectant Parents: Everything from what to pack for the hospital to "don't freak out" advice
New Parents: Breastfeeding tips (lots of them), sleeping ideas, and more!
Hiring a Nanny: Everything from where to look to interview questions to ask potential nannies and their references!