First things first, you did that! You grew and gave birth to another human being! …but now what? In this article, we’ll break down what to do literally as soon as you walk through the door and the very beginnings of settling in as a new family.

Hello there, new Mum! Congratulations! You have bought a new person into this world and we are so proud of you!

Your baby’s arrival and you guys coming home is exciting and perhaps brings a tad bit of uncertainty. You might be reading this cuddling your newborn, surrounded by an assortment of baby gear, perhaps a balloon and flowers, wondering what to do next. You’ve done the hard bit, got baby home safely, walked through the door…now what?

 

First things first… a drink!

And no, we don’t mean that kind of drink!

Take some deep breaths. Soak in this moment. It will come and go very fast.

Once you have done that, set down your baby (still in the car seat is okay!) and pop the kettle on. Even better, if your partner or birthing partner can get a cup of tea or coffee on the go for you.

Giving birth is one of the hardest workouts your body and brain will go through, so take the first 30-minutes of being at home again to sit in your comfy sofa with a drink and start the recovery process.

With your favourite drink in hand, we encourage you to reflect on how you and your partner (or birth partner) are feeling post birth. Some women aren’t ready to talk or think about the birth til after some time has passed, and that is okay, but if you are, we think now is a good opportunity to check-in.

Here are some prompts:

  • How are you feeling in this moment?
  • What was the best moment of the birth for you?
  • What are your worries, if you have any, right now?
  • What are 3 things you are proud of yourself, or your body, for achieving throughout the time of being pregnant and giving birth?
    (Bonus if you can name more than 3!)

Now is also a very good time to get something to eat, if you haven’t eaten for a while or are feeling hungry.

 

Get set up

Once you’ve had a little time to decompress, it is time to get set up. Feeding and changing are going to be a significant part of your daily routine, so lets get ahead.

If you’re bottle feeding, get the formula out and into a place that is going to be easy to access, and don’t forget about the bottles, bottle teats and muslin cloths! If you haven’t already, get the bottle maker going and the steriliser machine, if you have one. This will come handy later!

If you’re breastfeeding, get the muslin cloths, breastfeeding pillow and nursing pads at the ready. Put them in the place you think you will be most comfortable breastfeeding. If you haven’t already by now, get the breast pump out and remind yourself of how to use it.

The same goes for changing nappies. There will be many, many nappies…and more on top of that!

 

Top Tip: If you’re breastfeeding, always have some lanolin cream where you breastfeed at home. Put a thin layer of this on every time you finish breastfeeding. We want to avoid sore nipples as best as we can.

Send a text

Around about now could be a good time to let your loved ones know that you have made it home okay.

You might even want to take a picture of your new baby with a special gift that someone got you and send it to them.

Perhaps you want to announce to the world, via social media, that your baby has arrived?

Now is a good time to do that. You’ve decompressed, you are watered and fed, and can share this wonderful news!

A note on a text and potential visitors

The news that you are home can sometimes bring a stream of well-wishers and visitors to your door, wanting to get a glance at the newest addition! While this is lovely, it is equally important to be firm on your boundaries. Don’t hesitate to let people know when is a good time for visitors, and when isn’t.

 

A little TLC

There is going to be a lot of trial and error today.

Getting to grips with your baby’s feeding cues, feeding them, changing their nappy what will feel like too many times, in-between all of this, there needs to be an opportunity for a little TLC.

By that we mean some self-care.

This will look different for everyone, but from our experience, there is nothing like washing your hair at home and getting into a brand new outfit or set of comfy pyjamas.

You’re about to start the journey of a lifetime, why not go into it feeling as best as you can!

 

Before you go

Before you go, we want to take this opportunity to remind you of a few things:

  1. It is trial and error. There is no rule book for parenting and no one has it figured out from day one. You are going to make mistakes, and that is okay. Trust your instincts and the bond you will create with your baby. Remember that as Mum, you are the expert on your baby. Every baby is different, so what works for one may not work for yours. That is okay too.
  2. Don’t hesitate to ask for help! Really. Don’t hesitate to lean on your support system and if you have a partner, know that you are a part of a team and you will learn the ropes together.
  3. Take the photos, record the videos and treasure each moment. The smiles, the coos, and even the cries, it is all a part of motherhood. Your baby will grow so fast, you will blink and you’ll wonder where the time has gone. So be present, remember that you are your baby’s world.

Welcome to the extraordinary world of motherhood. Take it one day at a time and good luck on your first day at home!

What are some postpartum recovery tips?

  • Keep a bottle of water with you wherever you go, you need to stay hydrated for recovery.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Think more, not less. Get as many vitamins, minerals and proteins in your diet as you can.
  • Your first bowel movement is going to feel STRANGE. It is likely that it won’t be an easy bowel movement either, so speak to your midwife about the potential of taking some stool softeners to help this be a little easier
  • Keep your postpartum pads in the fridge, take one out right before applying it. The coolness from being stored in the fridge can be a relief on your perineal area.
  • Keep moving. It doesn’t matter if you have had a caesarean or a vaginal birth, you’ve got to keep moving. Think: increase blood flow and the delivery of healing properties to the area. Just keeping mobile and a short walk each day can make the world of difference!

Frequently Asked Questions

Read more about this topic

What should I expect in the first days after giving birth?
In the first few days after giving birth, you can expect to feel a little tender – and this applies for whatever type of birth you had! You will have a postpartum bleeding and mild stomach cramps. This is your uterus beginning to shrink back to its normal size.

You may also feel a little bit up and down, and overwhelmed. This is completely normal, but it still can be an unpleasant experience, so read our article about baby blues and postpartum self care.
What are some postpartum self-care practices for emotional and physical well-being?
For your physical well-being, we recommend prioritising your needs for healing like staying hydrated, eating as healthily as you can and doing some gentle postpartum movement like pelvic floor strengthening practises.

For your emotional well-being, it is important that you speak to people you can trust about how you are feeling, your experiences and what you’re going through. It is important to keep in touch with your loved ones and friends. If you can join any baby groups online or in person, this can be helpful too!

You can also implement mindfulness techniques into your routines, like guided meditations or some deep breathing exercises. Click here to try one of your favourite guided meditations.
How can I build a support system as a new parent?
The first place to start, is to lean on family and friends. Do not hesitate to ask for help or share your feelings with trusted loved ones. They care about you and your well-being, and want to help.

The next thing is to join some parenting groups. You can join online groups to connect with other Mums, or even find an in-person play group for your child, this is a great way to meet other Mums too.

Lastly, speak with medical professionals. And no, speaking to a professional doesn’t mean you aren’t coping or really need help. Health visitors, GP’s, lactation consultants and pediatricians are there to help you, too. They can offer you guidance and support whenever needed. Do not hesitate to mention anything.
What self-care practices are important for new mothers?
Read our postpartum self-care: start here when it comes to your emotional and mental health blog!
How can I seek support from family and friends?
As much as it may be uncomfortable, you have to openly share your feelings and needs with loved ones. They may not ask, or think to ask sometimes, unless we start the conversation. Do not be afraid to ask for help, especially for things like daily tasks or babysitting.

Equally, you must accept the help when offered. If it suits you. Support in the postpartum period is a two-way street, and accepting the help will make your family and friends feel useful. Show appreciation for the support you receive too, this will strengthen these connections.

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