We adore Sasha Romary, an expat entrepreneur who recently left Paris for Singapore with her husband and baby boy. Instead of chilling in her fabulous new city, Sasha started The Modern Mama, which offers maternity, postpartum and doula support to international mamas. For Baby Week at LES LOLOS, she graciously answered our call about what to do with a newborn once you bring him/her home from the hospital. Especially for a brand-new parent, there’s almost nothing as overwhelming. And if you’re looking for more support, don’t be shy about reaching out to Sasha!
5 Tips For The First 6 Weeks With Baby
Those first few weeks home with your little one are filled with so many emotional highs and lows, physical exhaustion, body aches, and stress over whether or not you’re doing everything right. It can be a rocky road getting to know this little person you created—all while adjusting to a new schedule (which doesn’t involve a lot of sleep!) and recovering physically from the birth.
As a postpartum doula and consultant, I see so many women and families struggle in the early days, weeks (and sometimes months) of new parenting. It’s definitely a challenge and an adjustment, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Here are my Top 5 tips for the first 6 weeks—and beyond:
1. Work With A Lactation Expert
Breastfeeding is natural but that doesn’t mean it comes naturally. Moms and bubs have to learn the skill of breastfeeding and how to latch correctly. Prepare as much as possible by taking a class or by reading articles like this one on what to expect. Whether there’s a lactation consultant in the hospital, a doula with lactation training or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), having an expert help you and your little one get a good start with breastfeeding could save you many woes in the future.
2. SO Much Skin-to-Skin
We’ve all heard the value of skin-to-skin contact right after birth, but baby and mom benefit from skin-to-skin contact in the postpartum weeks and months as well. Many moms worry baby is nursing constantly; maybe she needs the nutrition but maybe she’s just craving the comfort of being with you. Have baby nurse in only a diaper when possible and let them doze off skin-to-skin with you as often as you like those first few weeks. Skin-to-skin contact helps your baby regulate her body temperature and heartbeat. Additionally, it helps mom with hormonal lows by releasing oxytocin, the “happy hormone” that lifts our spirits!
3. Get Outside
Many new moms worry about taking their babies out in public for fear of germs, infections, colds, etc. Fresh air actually does wonders for mom and baby! Getting sunlight once per day naturally lifts your mood. Fresh air soothes a fussy baby, too. If your little one is having a rough day then stick her in the wrap, carrier or the stroller and head for a stroll around the neighborhood. Keep it to a short 10-30 minute daily walk and stay away from crowded places—no public transportation—for the first month or so while baby builds up his immune system.
4. Morning “Daddy Time”
During the first few weeks (ahem, months!) after baby is born, mom will be up throughout the night feeding baby and recovering physically from the birth. My best piece of advice for postpartum survival is this: When baby wakes up anytime after 6am, mom gives him his first feed while dad brings mom breakfast. Giving mom some fuel to start her day after a long night can go a long way! Once baby is done eating, daddy-baby time kicks in. Dad takes baby into the living room or even out on a short walk while mom showers, puts on some fresh clothes and maybe even does her hair or makeup. Taking time to care for yourself in those early weeks will help you feel better physically and emotionally. This also gives daddy some time to bond with baby.
5. Trust Your Mommy Instinct
You read all the books, listened to the (sometimes unwanted) advice from your mother-in-law and friends, but your baby just seems to hate the swaddle or being flat on his back to sleep. Don’t stress and follow your instincts! No one knows your little one better than you do. What worked for your friends and their children is not necessarily the right thing for you and yours. The first few weeks, you and your baby are getting to know each other. Test some things out and see what he likes and what works for you. Give it time, trust yourself and if something doesn’t sit right with you then it isn’t the right thing for you and your baby
The postpartum period tends to hit mamas out of left field as many expecting moms focus so much on the birth and not enough on the support they need postpartum. Prepare by making sure you have a great support system to help you and baby during (at least) the first 6 weeks postpartum. Educate yourself as much as possible beforehand, too. This article has some helpful tips and tricks to make those early weeks a bit easier. And don’t forget to always reach out for help when you need. Especially for expats, it’s not always easy to get a support system in place—which is why I’m here!
Baby Week continues with everything you need to know about being pregnant in Paris, the only packing list you need for the French delivery room, and a chance to win two stunning MORI sleep sacks.
What’s some of the best advice you received about bringing home a newborn? Share them in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And please sign up for our newsletter for more articles and advice about life, love and parenthood.