Ensure that the bedroom, clothes and layout of the bathroom in order to safely change and wash baby are prepared prior to departing for the maternity ward. This will help expectant parents achieve a sense of calm. Since you can never be sure of the exact date you will depart for the maternity ward, it is prudent to complete your home's new organisation by the beginning of the seventh month of pregnancy.
The mother is often tired when she returns home. She needs time to recover from childbirth and experiences the stress caused by baby's arrival and the change of pace set by nights that are often short in the few weeks after birth. This is a time when she needs the father's active presence even more than usual. Whether or not the mother is breastfeeding, a division of tasks may be established. Indeed, the father can take care of his little one by bathing, changing and taking the baby for a walk… and thus allowing mother to get some rest.
For the mother, the most important thing upon returning home is to avoid becoming overtired. This specifically leads to her needing to focus less on general household tasks (cleaning, ironing, cooking...). She must instead refocus on the basics and take opportunities to rest when the baby is napping. During those moments, she should not hesitate to seek help from loved ones (family, friends, neighbours) for a helping hand that they are generally pleased to provide. One useful tip: do your shopping online and have your groceries delivered rather than go to the supermarket! For visits, there is no well-established rule. However, if the mother is very tired, it is sometimes better to postpone visits to a time when she will be more well-rested so that everyone can fully enjoy it.
Also, take note that during the period when the mother must be monitored, supported and advised upon her return home, midwives often make home visits and always provide good advice on the organization of everyday life with baby.
While returning home with baby is always somewhat stressful, this is normal and only lasts as long as it takes to establish a new rhythm and a new organization where everyone is able to find his or her place. This often only takes a few weeks... and then life becomes a real pleasure for three… or more!
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