By Sue Pollard
Becoming a parent is a life-changing event to say the least. Add in sleep deprivation, sore breasts, cramping and a demanding newborn, and it’s no wonder new parents struggle at times. Here are 10 tips to help keep mum, dad and baby healthy through the first few weeks.
1. Expect that you will fit around the baby’s needs, and not the other way around. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to keep to your old routine.
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps—Facebook can wait. A proper rest will leave you feeling refreshed and better able to cope when the baby wakes.
3. Accept help when it is offered. Although many people in Hong Kong are fortunate enough to employ domestic helpers, there are still times that you need that extra pair of hands from a friend.
4. Sit in front of the TV with the family while feeding. You don’t need to live in the bedroom for months!
5. Go out for gentle walks. Getting out is good for you both physically and mentally, but halve the distance you think you can walk—your body has been through a lot!
6. Eat and drink well. Have healthy snacks and a bottle of water nearby when feeding. Give your body the nutrients that it needs to cope with the demands being placed on it.
7. Babies cry. Accept it.
8. There is no magic formula for sleeping and feeding routines. There are, however, many wealthy book authors.
9. Listen to the friendly, contradicting advice of friends and relatives, then take what you want and disregard the rest.
10. Babies are tiny for such a short time. Enjoy them. Remember everything is just a phase.
Contact Sue Pollard, registered midwife at Annerley – The Midwives Clinic and OT&P Healthcare, on 2468 3577, or visit www.otandp.com.