Welcoming a baby is one of the most incredible life events that your family will experience.  There is no way to sum up the amount of love and joy you will feel. Without proper preparation, you may be too overwhelmed and exhausted to experience this joy to the fullest.  After over a decade of supporting thousands of families through my doula agency, I have learned how to make this time more enjoyable and less overwhelming. 

Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. PREPARE! Knowing what to expect during the first few months with your newborn will be half the battle.  Knowing what is normal behavior for eating, sleeping, and awake times will help you to know how to prepare and what you will need.  Preparing can look like reading books, taking birth and baby classes, and planning for support.
  2. Set realistic expectations! Set realistic expectations for yourself, your partner, and your friends and family. If your partner is retiring to work quickly they may not be able to support you as much as you would love. If your family has never been helpful then chances are they will not be helpful now. It may be worthwhile to invest in support.
  3. Be gentle to yourself! You just had a baby and this is hard. You should be resting as much as possible and believe me this is easier said than done. Rest when you can and give yourself grace knowing that you are doing something hard and exhausting.
  4. Trust yourself! This is your baby and you will do things in a way that works best for you and your family. If you are doing things differently from your friends and family that is ok. You can make decisions that work best for you and your family.
  5. Enjoy this time. Clique, I know. This is a fleeting time. Your baby will grow so quickly and although this is a very exhausting and at times hard time you will also look back on this with fond memories and truly miss your baby. Do whatever you can to get rest and plan for help so you can enjoy this time to the fullest.

This blog is written by Anna Rodney, owner and founder of Chicago Family Doulas and Birth & Baby University. Anna is a mother of three, a Newborn Care Specialist, Lactation Educator, Lamaze Instructor, Happiest Baby on the Block parent educator, a former Hypnobirth Instructor and Faculty for CAPPA. She trains Labor and Postpartum Doulas and Childbirth Educators through CAPPA. She believes deeply in making learning palatable, fun and applicable. She has a deep knowledge and her incredible passion for all things birth and baby.



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