People tell you having a baby is hard work, and nobody is going to deny that but the first 6 weeks is something i wasnt prepared for as a first time Mum. I went in to see my Obsetrician not long after Cassia was born for a follow up appointment and i rememeber exactly what she said ‘you will be fine, the first 6 weeks is hard work but after that everything will fall into place’.
As you probably know Cassia isn’t a very good sleeper. I’m sure there are worse out there but i can count on one hand how many times she has actually slept through the night at 7 months old. In saying that it’s not all bad, we get lots of cuddles during the night which I absolutely love since during the day I am working most of the time. So there are pros and cons. Cons being I usually don’t sleep for longer than a three to four hour stints however in saying that I think the universe has been preparing me for this child for a long time because I never actually slept well myself. So thank you universe, I think!
The things I struggled with in the first 6 weeks
1) Breastfeeding – Usually you don’t know what you’re doing to start with and you and your baby are just learning the ropes. I have a grazer she will have milk every hour or two but just small amounts, so that was hard because I couldn’t really go anywhere without her (which was fine for the most part anyway!) but your independence is shot a little for the first 6 weeks. In saying that Breastfeeding has been an incredible journey so far and I would always highly recommend it if you can do it.
2) Lack of sleep – If you’re one of those people who sleep a solid 8-10 hours you will struggle, you will absolutely get used to shorter bursts of sleep (very quickly, I might add) but it will be a shock to the system. I never slept a lot before Cassia but I do remember in the first 2 weeks waking up every 2 hours feeling like I may drop dead today. After the 6 weeks passed and she slept 4 hours straight (some nights) I felt amazing! So you do adjust.
3) How bub should sleep – Cassia of course hated being swaddled, sleeping bags she would scream. Eventually I got her used to swaddling but as a new Mum I was always asking myself “ is she hot? Cold? Comfortable?” I ended up reassuring myself that if she was hot, cold or uncomfortable she would let me know. I know it sounds funny but it’s likely you will go through the same thing. They are fine 99% of the time. If they are uncomfortable they will let you know.
4) Recovery from labour – Every labour is different I think I was relatively lucky with my four hour labour but I did get second (boarder line third) degree tears which was painful stuff. So finding the time to sit in a salt bath with a newborn and business wasn’t easy but let me tell you when I did it made the world of difference for healing. I will write a separate blog about my labour/recovery journey down the track.
5) Baby sounds like their chocking in their sleep and while drinking – This was something nobody warned me about and let me tell you it also added to the reason I didn’t sleep the first 6 weeks. Babies sound like they are choking through the night and while having milk and 95% of the time it is totally normal and due to the fact that muscles haven’t developed properly yet. Always ask your MCHN if you’re worried (as I did) but rest assure it was normal and I wish someone told me this during the first 6 weeks.
If you’re a new Mum reading this enjoy the newborn bubble. Spend every minute you can staring at them and taking it in because that beautiful newborn stage doesn’t last long and although everyday they get older it gets more beautiful (the first time they smile, or roll over etc). Nothing beats a beautiful newborn.