What to Expect on Your First Night Home with a Newborn Baby
Newborn babies are some high maintenance little creatures. They can give you a sleepy smile and melt your heart as they drop a steaming pile of fresh deuces that stinks up the room! It is true, babies can be the joy of your life, however, like most things that are worth it in life, they are not easy. In this article I will walk you through your first night at home with your squirming little mini you.
If your baby came into this world via a natural vaginal birth, then chances are that you and your baby will spend the first 24 hours at the hospital where they can monitor both of your vitals and bodily functions. Nurses will check in periodically to ensure timely feeds and will also check in on your first urination and excrement. You will probably be in diapers and sleep deprived and exhausted. However, that will probably be the easiest night in the foreseeable future, because then you come home.
Home at Last
Most first-time parents double up on the anticipation and excitement by reading everything baby related that they could get their hands on. You have probably already set up the baby’s nursery and bought all the required baby products such as muslin baby swaddle blankets, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, baby wash cloths etc. By this point you probably think that you are prepared. You are not. While you may be ready, nobody really warns you about how haywire your emotions will be.
- Be prepared to cry. A lot! After a woman gives birth, vaginally or via C-section, she undergoes a massive drop in her hormone levels. This not only affects her physically but takes a huge tole on her emotions. New moms can feel overwhelmed by the fact that their bodies feel bruised and broken owing to the stitches and possible hemorrhoids. She may feel ugly as her body doesn’t instantly bounce back to its prior perkiness.
One in eight women undergo postpartum depression due to their hormone levels and this can include intense feelings of guilt, anger, irritability, and hopelessness, all while suddenly being responsible for a completely dependent tiny one. Fathers, please take this time to treat your partner with extra kindness in these difficult times.
- The pain. Everything will hurt. From the stitches in your vagina or across your belly, to your breasts during the initial feeds. Breastfeeding hurts! For the first few feeds. Don’t be fooled by glossy pictures of women smiling while feeding their babies as the wind blows back their hair. Breastfeeding can be a painful experience for a lot of women initially. The baby may take time to latch on, your nipples may crack and bleed, and all this pain can magnify at night. But don’t be alarmed, this is normal, and it gets better quite soon for most women.
- You may find it hard to fall asleep, even if your baby is asleep. Despite being exhausted and sleep deprived, the fact that your life just took a 180-degree spin can be overwhelming and you should pretty much forget the concept of day and night for a little while.
- You may wake up to night sweats. This is a phenomenon that occurs for a lot of women after giving birth, however it is usually not talked about in reference to the post-partum journey. It is related to the hormones raging inside a new moms body as it adjusts back to not harboring a baby inside it.
You may freak out a little bit or a lot. It is very normal to feel overwhelmed and think of worst-case scenarios, that is our minds way to prepare us for the worst, however, keep in mind that this is a feeling almost every new mom goes through, no matter how prepared they may be. However, every day gets easier than the last as the pain subsides, the hormones go back to normal and you start to understand your baby’s subtle gestures, coos and the different kinds of cries.