It’s really important that you look after yourself. Make sure that you eat regularly and drink lots of water – this is even more crucial if you are breastfeeding or pumping.
More information on feeding your baby.
It’s best to take things slowly and not worry about anything other than you and your baby. This will give you time for lots of cuddles and skin-to-skin contact. Babies have a powerful sense of smell and touch, and they love being close to you. Your baby will recognise your voice, so talking or singing to them can really calm them down. They also love movement and being bundled up, so lots of rocking and cuddles are very soothing for them and lovely for you.
Your baby doesn’t know the difference between day and night, so try to sleep when they are asleep if you can. If you find your mind is too active to sleep, try a shower, read a magazine or just rest. Remember it won’t be so intense forever. In a few months, parenting will be a very different experience. Having a few minutes to yourself each day will help you to relax and enjoy being a mum. Just a shower or spot of makeup can make you feel heaps better.
Keeping yourself comfortable will help you to enjoy your baby more. If you are in hospital and you are in pain or discomfort, talk to the midwives. They can give you medication to help. If you are at home, follow the advice you were given on discharge. If the pain is unmanageable, please seek advice from your GP. Don’t forget you can contact your midwifery team for further help and advice. After pains are caused by the uterus getting back to its original size – this can feel like mild contractions for the first few days, especially when breastfeeding. This is a normal hormonal response and will get better in a few days. It might mean you will get into your jeans a bit quicker! If you’re concerned about the severity of this pain, talk to your midwife.