|I think I am very organized. I have packed my bag for the
hospital, perfected my birth plan, filled the house with supplies
and the freezer with frozen meals. I have a Doula coming to
the birth and am very happy with the hospital that I have
chosen. Anything else I should do?
Congratulations on your planning. It really
will pay off. But there is one more thing you should organize.
You need to make provision for some support after the birth.
Sometimes it is easy to get so focused on the birth process
itself, and forget that you will then have a tiny baby to
care for and may need both help and training.
Perhaps your doula also does post natal support. If so discuss
the options, and whether she is able to give breast feeding
support. Learning to breast feed is a skill and having a teacher
will make your life considerably easier. She will be able
to provide you with tips and hints that you could not figure
out yourself. In addition a trained breastfeeding councellor
can anticipate problems and so save your hours and days of
misery. Even if this is not your first baby, you should consider
that you may need help to get the breast feeding started.
Do not rely on the hospital staff to give you the support
you need. You may be lucky and get that support from them,
but a more common story is that the staff were so rushed and
busy, even in the best private hospitals, that you may be
left to struggle. So line up the troops, perhaps the La Leche
league have a councellor who could visit, your doctor may
know of a midwife who does postnatal visits, or ask your friends
about the support they got.
It is also common for the hospital to let a new mother go
home very quickly, if the birth was straight forward. In this
case the need for support is really strong. It’s a big
responsibility to go home with a brand new baby, and if you
get the correct help it will prevent you from being overwhelmed.
Once you’ve made a plan for this contingency, you should
pat yourself on the back and rest as much as possible. You
are going to need it.
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