New Parents Need Naps Too

No matter how smooth your pregnancy and birth go, your body had undergone some intense changes. You have been working very hard growing your new little person. In many traditional cultures, new mothers are cared for and given a month or more to recover. North American culture tends to forget new parents need for rest, trading the peaceful "lying in" tradition with numerous visitors, expectations to get your body back, and pressure to take your new baby out and about.

Postpartum expectations, both internal (the expectations you have for yourself and your experience) and external expectations (the expectations that come from society, family and friends) can wreak havoc on your need to recover from pregnancy and birth. You have so many demands put upon you, on top of learning to care for a baby, keep yourself nourished, sneak in an occasional shower and get the sleep you need. Let's face it, "Sleep when the baby sleeps." just isn't very realistic for most new parents.

At the very least, do your best to take it easy when your baby is sleeping. It may take some adjustment mentally to accept that you have a need for more rest that you are used to. Being unable to do it all is okay. Your need for recuperation is far more important than texting, phone calls, tweets, and even housekeeping.

As a new mother, you should feel confident letting others know you need a nap. Take your baby with you, or have someone else care for the baby while you get some quiet time or a nap in, any time you need.

Napping is harder for some people than others. You may not be used to sleeping during the day. If you're having trouble adjusting to short periods of sleep during the day you can try:

Lay down.

Take every opportunity to lay down in the early weeks and months. As a new parent, don't stand if you can sit, don't sit if you can lie down. Caring for a newborn is very draining and just laying down for a little while can go a long ways towards your sleep debt.

Enlist support.

Clear your mind by having someone else help with that mile long to do list. Family and friends who come to visit are happy to help with tasks around the house. If you don't want to ask for favours, you can hire assistance with the care of older children, housekeeping and laundry, and order takeout to save on meal prep time.

Postpartum Doulas are a tired parent's secret weapon. Families who choose doula support get more rest and feel better prepared to care for their growing family. At nap time (your nap time) a Postpartum Doula can care for your baby and older children, tidy up, and tackle on tasks on your to-do list. When you're awake, you can save your energy by actually utilising the unique role of your Doula by having her help with whatever it is you feel like you need. No one knows just how exhausting having a baby is like a Postpartum Doula.

 

You deserve to get proper rest.

 

You cannot genuinely care for others if you're not caring for yourself. You'll be happier and healthier if you make rest and recovery a priority during the postpartum period.

Scared To Have Sex After Baby?

If you've recently given birth, you may be wondering if you'll ever want to have sex again. Perhaps you're missing intimacy with your partner, but you're afraid it will hurt. If you had a vaginal birth with small tears, you would likely be advised to wait until you are six weeks postpartum to have sex. You might need more time if you experienced severe tearing, had an episiotomy or gave birth by caesarean. Be sure to use a condom if you're not yet on birth control, which will generally be discussed at your six-week postpartum appointment with your doctor or midwife.

First of all, it might be a little while after your baby’s birth before you’re ready for sex. That doesn’t mean you must miss out on intimacy with your partner. Start slow, with cuddling, kissing, caressing, bathing and showering together. Make time for each other either when the baby is sleeping or while someone else cares for your baby for an hour or two. Maintaining your bond with your partner is important for both of you and your baby. 

Once you are ready to have sex after your baby is born, there are a few things that can make it more comfortable:

1.     Make time for romance. Run a hot bath with salts and bubbles, pour a couple of glasses of wine and enjoy each other's company. Even a bath by yourself while your partner puts the baby to sleep can help you feel refreshed and ready to enjoy some serious couple time.

2.     Foreplay goes a long way. Think candles, massage oil, music and taking it slow. Hot and heavy make-out sessions, oral sex, lots of touching, eye contact and kissing.

3.     Use a water-based personal lubricant. Varying hormonal levels following birth and while breastfeeding can leave you feeling dry. Combined with tender tissue, dryness can make sex after birth painful. Many couples find postpartum sex is more enjoyable when using a personal lubricant. Use something unscented and avoid lubricants that tingle or have hot and cold sensations.

4.   Hire a postpartum doula. When you're feeling rested, supported, and understood, you're going to feel sexier and less "touched out." Your postpartum doula can help you throughout the day and even care for your baby at night allowing you and your partner some alone time and sleep.

The most important part of having a positive experience with postpartum sex is communication with your partner.

Let your partner know how you’re feeling. Share your fears, your frustrations and your hopes. Let them know how much they mean to you and be sure to show your partner affection in other ways until you are ready to have sex again.

It's a good idea to talk about the points above with your partner. Let your partner know that it's normal to need to take it slow. Explain that your need for a personal lubricant is hormone related and not because you lack desire for them. Ask them to be attentive and gentle. Plan a romantic evening together.

Postpartum sex doesn’t need to be scary. With communication, patience and these little tips, you’ll be feeling like your old self in no time

How To Feed A Sleepy Baby

 

It seems counter-intuitive to wake a sleeping baby. You were warned about how little sleep you'd be getting but now that you're settled in with your newborn you find yourself concerned by how much your baby sleeps. A sleepy baby can interfere with breastfeeding success or make it difficult for your infant to get enough formula to gain weight.

Your baby may be extra sleepy as a result of:

·       Not getting enough breastmilk or infant formula

·       A difficult birth

·       Medications you were given during labor or while you are breastfeeding

·       Overstimulation due to bright lights, noise, or interaction

·       Jaundice or other medical conditions

If your baby isn’t waking up to feed every 2-4 hours around the clock or has trouble staying awake to feed, you may want to try to keep your baby awake by using one of these tricks.

·       Unwrapping or undressing your baby

·       Talking to baby

·       Stroking or massaging baby’s body

·       Rubbing baby’s face (babies have a reflex that opens the mouth when the chin is touched), stroking the cheeks, circling the lips, kissing

·       Expressing breastmilk or dripping a bit of formula onto baby’s lips

·       Changing your baby’s diaper

·       Switching breasts or arm that you hold baby in to bottle feed

For babies that fall asleep too quickly at the breast, you can try compressing your breast to increase the milk flow which may stimulate your baby. Stroke your baby’s face, or nudge your baby underneath the chin. Keep your baby undressed and skin to skin. These techniques can be used throughout the feed to keep your baby eating.

Be sure to seek the support of your doctor or midwife if your baby is too sleepy to eat effectively. An infant that is not getting enough to eat can get sick very quickly.

Family Doulas of Ottawa is happy to offer suggestions and provide support for your feeding journey. Contact us today for information on infant feeding.

 

Do We Need a Night Nanny or a Baby Nurse?

night nanny

 

 

There are many reasons Ottawa families hire professional postpartum care when they have a new baby. Be it a desire to have an expert to look to, a lack of supportive family and friends nearby, or your independent nature, choosing to hire professional postpartum care can significantly improve your experience. 

 

If your birth was traumatic or you are struggling with postpartum depression you many have heard a Baby Nurse will aid in your recovery.

 

For families with multiples, an extra set of hands is always useful, especially if that extra set of hands is attached to someone experienced in infant care!

 

A Baby Nurse or a Night Nanny can be a helpful option. People who work under these titles specialize in infant care only. You can expect to have your baby whisked away and looked after. The Night Nanny or Baby Nurse manages newborn related tasks while you get much-needed rest or attend to your other responsibilities. If your goal is to have someone else care for your baby, a Baby Nurse or Night Nanny might be right for you.

 

But what if you want more? Or something different?

 

Similar to a Night Nanny or a Baby Nurse, a Postpartum Doula can spend her days and nights in the nursery with your baby if you’d like. She could also bring the baby to you for feeds if that is your preference, providing breastfeeding support and managing tasks while you’re feeding.

 

Unlike a Baby Nurse, your Postpartum Doula’s focus is on the recovery of your entire family. Her goal is to assist you in finding a new normal and smooth the transition taking place as you integrate your newest family member. She isn't solely focused on the baby unless that's what you need. She may assist with household chores, run errands, engage your older children, make meals, provide information for your physical and emotional recovery or even just be the unbiased listening ear who brings you a hot cup of tea.

 

For families that would prefer to care for their baby most of the time but would like additional support, a Postpartum Doula is an ideal option. A Postpartum Doula's broad scope of practice creates flexibility for your family.

 

 

With compassion, knowledge, and expertise on all things birth, postpartum and newborn care related, a Postpartum Doula will meet your needs day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.