When you are pregnant with your baby, lots of daydreaming will take place - you imagine what life will be like, once your little one is here. Many images that come to mind will be peaceful, loving, restful, happy, laughing and joking.
You plan for where your baby will sleep, how you will feed, how you will birth, you organize; clothing, diapers, towels, bedding, you read on how to labour - you think your prepared, but really you're not.
It's nothing like you imagined.
Once you are through labour (and believe me, it can take a while!!!) you work on letting the baby latch. For some, things can go swimmingly, the baby does take to the breast like a duck to water, and for others - it's just the beginning of a long battle which can take an emotional and physical toll.
There can be a lot of pressure to breastfeed your baby, and a sense of feeling like a failure if it does not go well. Issues can stem from painful latching, to milk production, cracked nipples, clogged ducts & mastitis.
Luckily there are many resources available to support you through this and for most, eventually things will calm down and become a habit, but for others, they resort to offering their baby a bottle. If you do resort to bottle feeding, IT'S OKAY, it will not effect your ability to bond with your baby, the most important thing is your baby is fed.
Next up will be the lack of sleep! As the saying goes, you don't know how much you will value this, until it's gone. We live in a society where people boast about how little sleep they need, but poor sleep or NO sleep is torturous. Sleep is so important for your mental, physical and emotional health. Without it, you will start to slowly feel frustrated, lonely, emotional, on edge, panicked, with a baby who is not sleeping or having a 5pm witching hour nightly. Lack of sleep not only affects you, it can also effect your family dynamic, and take a toll on your marriage, or partner. No one acts rational when sleep deprived.
I find that these 3 things are the most intense in those first few weeks and they are all hurdles which are overcome for most parents. But those first few months can drag - make sure you keep the expectations of yourself realistic. You are not super women, you have spent 9 months growing a human being, it will take some time to get to know your little one, and iron out the bumps.
Don't be afraid to ask for parenting help. This is not a sign of being a failure. Things are new to you. My only advice, is make sure you get your answers from a reputable source. You can find any answer you are looking for on the internet, but it doesn't mean it's the right answer.
If you are ready to make some changes, and get some order in your life around sleeping habits in your home, book a sleep consult with us, we can have your sleep turned around in a week!
Confident parents, connected Happy families.