Start a routine
Well, as much of a routine as possible. Your new baby needs a few things pretty much on schedule: feeds, baths and sleeps. As your own routine will revolve around your baby’s needs, make sure you schedule time for some gentle exercise and a little “me-time”.
Seek out a specialist
Struggling to breastfeed? It happens to many new mothers, so don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek out help. Lactation consultants are there to offer tips and advice, and will be able to answer all your questions.
If you can afford a night nurse, why not get one? No-one can do it all and there's no shame in admitting it. A night nurse, even for just a few days, will give you support, encouragement and reassurance, ensuring that when you're alone, you will be more confident in your abilities. And, on that note, accept all offers of help! Say yes to friends and family offering to babysit, clean or cook. New moms need all the help they can get, and knowing that supper is sorted for a week will give you more time to bond with your baby.
Expect a few tears (or more)
You've just had a baby. Your body has been through an ordeal, and you may have residual pain or C-section stitches. The road to recovery can be challenging. It's natural and expected that you will be on an emotional rollercoaster. Have a good cry, take a deep breath and move on.
Chances are you and baby will be fine, but it's always a good idea to be prepared. Have emergency numbers at hand – print a list and stick it on the fridge. Keep the numbers of the paediatrician, local hospital, and your husband/wife. It’s amazing how quickly you can forget these in an emergency, as well as your medical insurance details.
Taking care of a newborn is hard work. It can be physically and emotionally demanding. This isn't the time to starve yourself to get back into your skinny jeans. You need nourishing food, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Fruit and veggies, substantial portions of protein and wholegrain carbs for energy should be part of your eating plan. Be sure to keep up your vitamin intake as well. Now is when you need a great multivitamin more than ever.