Did someone mention Christmas!?…….
The festive season with a new baby and a newly postpartum body can be a bit challenging.
Expectations to have all the presents sorted, dress the baby in a different themed outfit everyday, play pass the tiny human with all your loved ones, prepare dinner or be out from dusk till dawn can be overwhelming -
But you still matter, your bonding time still matters, your baby still matters.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, you might find some of these suggestions helpful to protect your newborn bubble:
Plant the seed early, let people know before baby gets here that things will be a bit different this year. It’s o.k to limit visitors or travelling, or even not engage in the festivities at all.
Out source the cooking, whether that be having it delivered, or delegating to others if you want to. If cooking is something you love and you couldn’t imagine not being in the kitchen, have trusted people to hold the baby in between feeds or snuggle them in a sling. Which brings me to………............
Use a sling! Babywearing has lots of lovely benefits some of which include, keeping you both regulated and easy access to the breast. People will also be less likely to try and take the baby if they’re all snuggled against your chest in a sling.
Find a safe haven for you both to reconnect, somewhere away from the rabble so you can breathe for 5 minutes. One of my favourite things to do at family functions was to declare the baby needed feeding and squirrel away in a bedroom for half an hour, most of the time the baby didn’t actually need feeding, I just needed to reconnect and decompress.
Have a code word you can use so your partner or trusted person knows when you’re feeling overwhelmed or when it’s time to leave without having to say a million goodbyes and justify why you’re going so soon. Don’t worry it doesn’t need to be “Brussel Sprouts” it could be something as simple as "we’ve ran out of nappies".
Get off the socials. We all know Instagram isn’t real life, comparing your reality to someone’s highlight reel is a sure fire way to create negative feelings. I can guarantee their baby screamed for 95% of the time they were trying to get those cute
pictures with a Santa hat on while they were in their stocking sound asleep!
Rest! take a nap with the baby if you can. Get someone else to do the dishes, pop your new jarmies and fluffy slippers on and watch the king’s speech - if that’s your thing.
Seek support if you need it. Your trust will have community midwives working all the way through the Christmas period. If you need support don’t wait because it’s Christmas Day, your body and mind matter and so does your baby.
Enjoy! Soak it in, have a Sherry, eat all the pigs in blankets, do what works for you and your new family, next year will be a tornado of wrapping paper and chocolate coins, your tree will be bare from little hands pulling all the decorations off and it will be wonderful in a completely different kind of way.