3 Simple Things I Learnt From My delivery | Part #3 of 3 | Recovering Postpartum

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After months of going through a difficult pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to look into my lil angel’s eyes and forget everything that had happened in the past 9 months. I was super scared for the delivery, and frightened to the extent of asking my doctor to just give me a General Anesthesia…knock me out…and hand me the baby like a pre-ordered much-awaited online shopping order. She wouldn’t have it. And I am mighty glad that my doctor had that kind of confidence in me…something which I lacked in myself.

You know how they say, that when you look at your baby…and hold him in your arms for the very first time…your whole world changes? It’s true. Within minutes I was a mother, taking charge of another Being (previously that would’ve meant looking after a drunk buddy post partying!). Each time I had hit panic button through my pregnancy, I distracted myself by dreaming about the beautiful phase awaiting. It was all going to be picture perfect from now on. I had everything organized in my head. I had a plan. And Oh!! How.Wrong.I.Was.

The first few days, are anything but easy. The following few weeks even tougher. If it’s easy making a baby, it’s a tremendous task in keeping the baby safe, healthy and thriving when they are out. I had faced a third degree episiotomy, breastfeeding was no walk in the park, getting up through deep sleep to calm an infant > change diapers > feed > burp > put them to sleep was all getting me brain fried. I was pretty close to punching faces who came to visit me and commented, “Isn’t motherhood bliss”. No. First month is anything but bliss. Its hard work, its crap. Yes, you see your baby and you WANT to do the best for them…but pushing your mental and physical abilities to endless limits is a test that requires a lot of patience….and a LOT of support from your spouse and family.

Here’s something I think that all women should be aware of post-delivery:

1.  Breastfeeding:

BreastFeeding is NOT easy, nor does the milk come in the way you expect. Don’t give up. Try try try and push for atleast a month before you give in to formula feed. I thought I was a pro after watching all those videos on YouTube, till reality hit home. Sore nipples, no ‘let down’ for a few days postpartum, everyone telling me that my baby was hungry so give formula, trying to pump milk to see how much I’m making (which isn’t even an indicator of how much milk one is making), major backaches due to constant bending over while nursing, and other such problems mounted. Not being able to even sit for nursing (due to stitches ‘down under’) just added to the whole stress. Correct latch was a problem for a month and I suffered!! Don’t do it to yourself. You will have other things to deal with as well. Remember…

  1. Please meet lactation consultants to help you and baby get a proper latch
  2. Use nursing pillows / lotsa pillows while nursing

2.  Support System:

I’m sure your spouse is going to pitch in as much as he can. But it’s an emotional and physical roller coaster ride for us. Boys can’t imagine what is going on, even when they ‘see’ everything and are a part of the whole journey with you. Be patient with him. But also TELL him what you want done. I think that the switch-over of roles (from being a daughter to a wife, and eventually from wife to a mother), comes much easier for women than for our men. It’s all too much to take in, and the lack of sleep is accompanied by a constant state of exhaustion with a ‘zombie’ like feeling. Brace yourself.

If you are lucky to have your mom come stay with you (which was in my case as I delivered at my parents home), she is going to be your bestest friend for some time. Don’t hesitate in learning from her. But also remember that at end of the day it’s YOUR baby, and they ALL have to follow YOUR lead. A lot of changes have come from when our mothers looked after us as babies, make sure you discuss how exactly you want your baby looked after and know what kind of assistance you need.

There are also many support groups online that provide you with an incredible amount of guidance and credible amount of information. I highly recommend joining them (search Facebook/Google).

3.  Always Remember:

We weren’t born pro moms. It’s OK to make mistakes, be unsure of what to do, and to ask for help and advice, from whoever you think will help you best with the particular issue you face. Everything will be trial and error till you and baby figure out what works best for you both.

Some Do’s and Don’ts At The End Of The Day :

  • Don’t EVER be guilty about not being able to keep everyone happy. The only person you need to think about is your baby for the next few months. Don’t even bother about what who thinks what. Haters will hate, talkers will talk.
  • Do take utmost care of your health too. If anything happens to you, who will the baby depend on? Your baby needs you for her existence, for a lifetime. Make yourself priority without any guilt!
  • Do Stay happy and healthy, babies pick up on positive vibes. And remember, each pregnancy is different.

So go without any pre conceived notions. Good luck and I’m very sure it’s all going to go smooth and perfect, as did mine ❤

READ 3 Simple Things I learnt From My Delivery | Part #1 of 3 | Pregnancy
READ Simple Things I Learnt From My Delivery | Part #2 of 3 | The Labor Room

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A Furrytail Of Babies

A long long time ago (4 years to be precise), there lived a husband and wife. Very much in love, very much the ‘newlyweds’, very much the travelers, and very much on their way to discovering what it was to live the life of an expat in a country far far away (Dubai) from their home (India)…

Time went by very fast, as they settled into their new roles (and lots of household chores). A little after the New Year celebrations of 2013, they decided to have a baby. It made sense, it was after all the logical thing to do. So they embarked on this mission with full gusto, and signed up on every ‘animal rescue’ site there was on Facebook (Dubai chapter). They didn’t have to search for long, their prayers were answered very soon. There she was… with the biggest brown eyes, a smile to melt your heart, and a tail that could wag faster than the propellers of an aircraft. It only seemed right to name her after the one store they loved the most. Zara.

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 The couple started spending much of their time training, feeding, grooming, loving their new Rottweiler. She was the best thing that had happened to them. Yes their travels decreased, yes their expenditures went up, but there was no denying that she brought in even more love and happiness than they had ever imagined. They did such a good job looking after her, that they thought to themselves, ‘What can be better than having this baby?’. The answer was pretty obvious, ‘Another one! This time around, the human kind. Now THAT would definitely complete this family’. They had, after all, mastered the art of sleepless nights, getting up anytime between 4 and 6am for walks and feed, and keeping this lil munchkin happy and healthy. A baby can’t be any tougher right? They won’t poo and pee all over the house, they won’t chew the furniture, and if you leave them swaddled in one place…they will remain there till you are back… Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.

One year after, they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. That’s when it all hit home. It was hard work. HARD WORK. The loving husband pitched in as much as he could, but it was tough. The wife juggled between baby, doggy, husband, house. And like all other fairytales, this one had a villain too – Time. There were not enough hours in a day!!! It was tough keeping Zara and baby apart, even tougher together .

The wife started losing her lovely locks, and husband started looking haggard. Both became whiney and started nagging each other all the time. It was turning into a nightmare. The only peaceful moment in the house, was when the baby smiled (or slept).

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It took a lot of patience (and discussions) to understand the whole family dynamics and the change. Slowwwly but surely, they set into a routine. Their lives started normalizing, they rediscovered their friends and favorite restaurants… House was again filled the sound of music, husband played the guitar again and the wife sang songs. Both babies started understanding their place in the family, and the house once more burst with laughter, mischief and play.

 And so they lived ‘Happily Ever After’

 Well, till the day they discovered a tortoise outside their house! They looked at each other cheekily and thought, ‘Hmmmmm, now what can be better than having 2 babies? 3 of course!!!’

The End.

 Stay tuned for the next article on ‘Introducing dog and baby’ 🙂

5 Basic Tips on Handling a Newborn | First Time Parents | All You Need To Know

Tips on handling a newborn the mommy blog india

If you haven’t already spent a lot of time around newborn babies, their fragility may be intimidating. But the newborn phase is one of the most cherished phases in any parents’ life. So today I’m a few basics to remember when handling a newborn. These tips are more of little lessons, I personally learned in the past years.

1)  Keep hands clean:

First things first, always remember to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your newborn baby. We generally don’t bother much about this. But then, newborns don’t have a strong immune system yet, so they are susceptible to infection. Also make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.

2)  Carrying your baby:

Be careful to support your baby’s head and neck. Cradle the baby’s head when carrying her and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.

Be careful not to shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration. Shaking that is vigorous can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. Try tickling your baby’s feet or blow gently on to the cheek when you need to wake her up.

Always have your baby securely fastened into the stroller or carrier whenever on-the-go. Limit any activity that could be too rough or bouncy. Your newborn is not yet ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.

3)  Feeding your baby: 

Breast milk is the best you can give your child. So stick to it unless there’s a reason. Newborns do not need anything expect breast milk or formula. So do not offer water or any juice.

Newborn babies have a very unpredictable feeding schedule. They need to be fed on regular intervals, starting from eight to twelve times a day. So may be every second hour or so. Or when ever the baby demands for it.

When hungry babies will show signs of hunger such as making lip movements, sucking thumb, stirring or stretching. Don’t wait for them to get cranky and fussy, because that’s the next level of hunger.

Stop feeding when your baby stops sucking or turns her face way from the breast, it means that he or she is full. As your baby gets older, he or she will take in more milk in less time at each feeding.

Formulas are not interchangeable. Once you have started on one brand and type, stick with it. Every change in formula sets off a 3-5 day adjustment period for baby’s digestive system that can result in increased gassiness and fussiness. All changes in formula should be approved by the pediatrician.

4)  Bathing your baby: 

As long as you’re doing a good job of cleaning your baby’s diaper area during changes, two or three baths a week probably are plenty for a newborn.

A sponge bath with water is usually enough, especially until the umbilical cord stump falls off.

In the winter season, when skin is likely to become dry or flaky, you may want to bathe her even less. Whether you’re giving a sponge or tub bath, always test the water temperature using your elbow or the inside of your wrist (the water should be lukewarm). Remember hot wash can cause major burns to your baby’s delicate skin.

Always keep your supplies like towel, washcloth, shampoo and baby soap within reach before you begin bathing a newborn.

Stick with mild, unscented products formulated for babies. Do not use any homemade or over-the-counter products when it comes to a newborn.

5)  Diapering your baby: 

By the time your baby arrives, you might have already decided whether you want to cloth diaper or use disposables. Either way, check out the best deals around and have loads and loads of them stocked up much before the baby arrives.

Change diapers frequently, every 2 hours whether you are using cloth diapers or disposables or after every bowel movement. Always wipe the area gently with a clean washcloth or a disposable wipe. In case of diaper rash apply coconut oil generously all over the area and let the baby remain diaper-free for at least a few hours a day.

If you are using cloth diapers and having diaper rash, then it could be due to detergent built-up. Trying stripping your cloth diapers and use detergents that do not contain any fragrance or dye.  In case of severe rash, always see your pediatrician.

So once you have these basics down, I’m sure you be one happy parent to you little bundle of joy. And of course it does call for some extra patience and time. After all your a parent to a brand new baby. 🙂

 

** The above post, as stated is purely based on my own experience and isn’t a proven one. Always remember that every child is different. Something that worked for us, may not necessarily work for you.

Simple Things I Learnt From My Delivery | Part #2 of 3 | The Labor Room

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This post is second in the series on posts I have written on Simple Things I Learnt From My Delivery. Read the first post {here}.

Every woman goes through her fair share of ‘lessons learnt’ during her pregnancy and delivery. During the 38 weeks of being an expectant mother, I faced:

  • Morning (read all day) sickness
  • Lack of stamina and exercise due to this constant eckiness
  • Miserably failing my glucose tests (to the extent I had monitor my sugar 6 times a day everyday)
  • Eventually going for morning walks in the freezing cold (and nearly having my toes fall off due to the chill)
  • Spotting and bleeding for no particular reason (my heart of course stopped each time this happened).
  • Everything coupled with the usual backaches, heart burns & constant wanting to pee.

If my pregnancy was tough, the recovery, postpartum even tougher. The only thing that went smooth was the delivery itself, something which I had been dreading since the day I got pregnant.

I was induced on midnight of 15th Feb 2015, second capsule given at 3 AM, that when I started dilating. However my contractions were still weak and I remember telling my hubby “I don’t know if I’m getting gas or if is it the real deal”.

By 6 AM, when I got 3rd dose, contractions started coming hard this time. And while the nurses prepped me, the frequency and intensity amplified by ten times. I yelled Epidural around 8 AM and finally peace prevailed in my labor room. My doctor came to check me and said I wouldn’t deliver before the afternoon, so I cheekily asked for a snack as well as took a nap. Got a rude awakening by one of the nurses around 10 AM who said I was going into labor, I could feel a pressure as versus the previous pain. At 11:51 AM, with one massive push, I had my baby in my arms…just like that 🙂

So here are some of the things I tell my pregnant friends not to worry about in the Labor room.

 1) The Machines:

 From the minute you walk into the hospital, there will some gadget or the other that will be attached to you. Some as simple as the weight and BP machine, which you are already familiar with. And then there are those that you may have only seen in the movies or on some episode of the TV series ER. Don’t panic, these are constantly monitoring a) Your heart rate, b) Baby’s Heart rate, c) Contractions – frequency and intensity. These are not just hooked up to your body in your room, but also being monitored from the nurse’s station outside. A cool thing which I was not aware of, is that almost all these machines have volume control! Incase any of the constant beeping is troubling you, they CAN be hushed up.

 2) Your Privacy:

Well, be prepared to have your modesty fly out of the window. Rest assured, everyone in that room has a ‘job’ to do, including YOU. Follow the instructions of your medical staff and just give in. Don’t sit and worry about who can see what. If anything bothers you, speak up.

 3) Walk:

 I took the wheelchair from my room to the labor room, made me feel like ‘the movies’. Realised it was a big mistake as I reached my destination. The head nurse bellowed at me “Are you sick? Why are you in a wheelchair? Walk!!”.

She also came back to shame me when I was yelling through the intense contractions, “Why are you lying down? Get up and walk around”. I can guarantee you, her pearls of wisdom made me bear the pain till the point that I could. Nothing feels better than walking and swaying and sometimes sitting on the exercise ball. So on the day, when the pain hits the roof, ask your attending nurse and walk.

4) Epidural:

 If you are open to taking an epidural, please request for one when you think you can no longer bear the pain. For some the pain is quite manageable and they go medication free. Then there are people like me who yell their lungs out and ask for epidural shamelessly. This reminds me, its ‘ok’ to yell your lungs out.

5) Skin-On-Skin:

Regardless of the way you deliver i.e. normal or through a cesarean, make sure your baby is brought to you immediately for a skin-on-skin. Your newborn bonds through touch and smell, and her senses are tuned in to respond to your unique smell and the feel of your bare skin. This experience also helps your baby transition from the fetus to a newborn. Try your best to breastfeed at that point. Some benefits of breastfeeding and information on Colostrum can be found {here}

Stay tuned for my experiences post delivery 🙂