Inside the baby bubble: balancing your needs with your newborn’s
Few things are more eagerly anticipated than the arrival of a new baby. From the moment you know that your baby is on its way, life takes on a whole new meaning. Anxiously waiting for hospital appointments or excitedly buying first baby clothes; new parenthood sits you precariously on an emotional rollercoaster. In awe of your brand new baby as you try to function through what will be the most exhausting phase of your life, it is small wonder that your own needs may be neglected in your baby’s first few precious weeks.
Most parents agree that the time spent in the new baby bubble is all too fleeting and advise you to enjoy every moment. It’s true that bringing your baby home is a magical experience and you will always remember that time spent woozily bonding with your newborn, safely ensconced in the warmth of your home. But the reality of looking after a newborn means you will have very recently put your body through childbirth, may be trying to perfect breast-feeding and are probably being woken up every couple of hours. It’s important that you are kind to yourself and do what feels right for you. Many women feel pressured to instantly morph into supermum but don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you can’t stand another relative giving ill-advised tips, there’s plenty of help online. Breastfeeding support groups such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association can answer questions and help you feel less alone.
The influx of well-wishers is another trial that new parents have to bear. Undoubtedly, you will want to show off your newborn; it’s nice to hear people coo over something you’ve created and your baby is sure to reap in some great gifts and enough clothes to last until they’re crawling. Try not to fall into the trap of playing hostess to people coming to see you and your newborn. Some visitors will make themselves quite useful (hello, Grandma!) and you shouldn’t turn down any offers to do some cooking or cleaning. If you don’t want to feel like you’re feeding the five thousand, ask guests to avoid mealtimes or encourage them to bring something with them. Takeaways are a godsend for new parents and can be the perfect solution to eating well without having to slave away in the kitchen. A healthy diet is particularly important for nursing mothers and Chinese food is packed with nutritious vegetables. In Brisbane, Madame Wu offers a delicious Asian fusion menu in an alluring setting. Or if you prefer to stay in your baby bubble, Deliveroo now delivers from a range of premium restaurants.
Take advantage of any shortcuts that help life with your new baby to run smoothly. Looking after yourself is the key to your happiness during this unique time for your family. Loved ones won’t care if you answer the door in your bathrobe or don’t offer them a sandwich; this is your time. Take lots of photos and make happy memories to last a lifetime.