The first week well where do I start. We had a very tiring week, had to take day by day hour by hour. the perseverance of breastfeeding was taking its toll and she wasn’t losing weight but we were not seeing a significant gain either.
My midwife wasn’t helping at all nor was my health visitor. especially as you would think that this was their field of work and that they encourage new mums to breastfeed. My only rock was my husband Alhamdulillah (“all praise is due to God alone”) he was carrying on with the stress of the home and children and I was just feeding and changing and sleeping whenever I could because my little madam was feeding every 10 minutes. Yes, you heard right every 10 mins. I was in pain from the constant feeding and lack of sleep but my perseverance levels were high I was going to make it work. Getting help from the family was a big ‘no’ as all I got back was instead of words of comfort or help was’are you sure you have enough milk’. How many times have all new mums heard that?
I did a lot of research and reading before I even thought of the idea and what it was summarised as was the more you feed the more you make so that’s what I was doing. She was having constant wet and soiled nappies and that was a sign she was getting enough and she wasn’t dehydrated in any way, its just I wasn’t seeing it. In my head, I’ve always heard and seen new mums talk about leaky breasts or seen patches. 7 days on I hadn’t needed to use a single pad for protection. As I couldn’t see it I started doubting myself. Then she started gaining weight and that was a sign we were getting there.
Everyone needs a little reasurance when you put your hands to a new experience but I wasn’t getting that especially from the health professionals. After searching for help I came across the National breastfeeding helpline. This is a helpline made up of trained volunteers who are mums and have breastfed so they actually know what you are going through when you speak to them about how the baby is feeding or when you feel something is not right. They were on the phone for a while and didn’t make me feel uneasy. They answered every silly question I asked and were very comforting. After my call to them, I felt so refreshed and had a path in front of me and a plan of action of what I was doing and how. I was even more determined to make it work.
It was a tough week, getting her used to the surroundings, making the siblings fit in, getting the breastfeeding right and fitting in visitors when we could. I tried to sleep as much as I could when she slept, as I felt like a zombie otherwise. As a new mother whos breastfeeding she needs her rest and stay hydrated along with a balanced diet of 3 square meals and snacking in between of good things, like nuts, fruits and slow energy release oatcakes.
The first week can be daunting for anyone new or old to parenting. You must be thinking how for an old as in a person who is a parent already, but what you have to understand that every pregnancy is different every child is different and every situation is different.
For a new parent, you’ve never experienced the 24/7 situation with an another being suddenly wanting all your attention day and night. At your beck and call for everything dependant on his/her every need. your basically moulding a new being into how you want them to be and in order for you to do that without a manual is to learn. so you’re not just physically, emotionally involved but also mentally. That’s tiredness at a whole new level. putting your things to the back of the list that’s never-ending. Ok, I best not say more to put you off parenting but the whole experience is too lovely and exciting that you will only know when you have experienced it your self.
A parent at the game again like I said that not everything is the same. The only advantage you have that you may know a few tricks of the trade to make life a bit easier but then again your responsibility had been added to the last. That when you have to learn a new trade of having to juggle more at the same time. You will get as tired and more than the last and that’s why you need time to adjust. It really gets to me that in this day and age we are left alone because we have had children because we know everything because we don’t. We learnt about that child and that pregnancy does not mean it is the same.
A lot can happen in the first few weeks. You stay under the midwife until shes satisfied the baby has settled, gaining weight and is healthy and the mum doesn’t need them anymore. You are then passed onto the local health visitor team who your child will be under for the first 5 years of their life. They are there for the health and well being of your child. In our religion and culture, a boy has to be circumcised and the best time is when they are small as they don’t remember it and because they don’t move around so much the healing process is fast.
The first few weeks can be hard but enjoy the time with the new baby without having to worry how the house looks, what a routine is, a bit about what your eating and when and just get to know them so you can start building that happy and healthy foundation for your baby.