In the life of a baby, all you have to do is eat and sleep! Do you find it hard to manage your baby’s frequent breastfeeding needs? You need to also wake up, breastfeed, and cook... But when we leave the postpartum care centre [MOU1] more difficult problems than feeding await us. There are days when you have to accept the baby's sleep struggles and bathe the newborn baby yourself!
If so, what kind of things can you think about and check before you leave the postpartum care centre to help you with childcare in the future?
4 Things to Think About Before Leaving
1. Shop for the necessary items in advance.
When you get home, you might be exhausted from taking care of the baby, and there comes a time when it is difficult to even eat three meals a day. If you have items that will help you with childcare, purchase them in advance. If you don't have a lot of milk, think about which brand of formula to stock up on.
If you buy formula, you will also need a bottle and detergent. Count out and shop in advance for nursing pads, breast milk storage packs, nursing cushions, nursing pads, baby handkerchiefs, and clothes that are appropriate for your baby's growth (a baby grows surprisingly quickly, so the clothes you have prepared may be small).
Tip #1: When bathing a newborn baby, two small buckets may be more convenient than a giant bathtub. Write down these small items and ask your spouse to do some shopping for you.
Tip #2: You may often receive small gifts such as baby bottles when you leave the care centre. Check in advance which items you will receive. Avoid duplicate purchases.
2. Learn to take care of your baby, such as the techniques for bathing a newborn baby.
When you return home, there is no one to help you. First-time parents have to take full responsibility for taking care of their children. So, carefully learn how to bathe a newborn baby, how to wrap undergarments, how to clip their nails, and how to change a diaper. It takes time to get used to how to wrap an undershirt or how to change your baby’s diaper.
It is also a good idea to set aside a day and try the mother-and-child room. This way you can ask questions and get answers right away from the nurses at the centre to help understand what you need to know when caring for your child at night.
3. Learn to take care of yourself.
Learning how to care for a newborn is important, but the most important thing is taking care of the mother's physical and mental health. Taking care of a child can make even the most mentally healthy person feel overwhelmed.
Basically, get an education on how to take care of your breasts, what to do if you have mastitis, and how to deal with stressful situations while breastfeeding. If you don't have training, make a note of it, and ask questions directly to experienced teachers. You will get a detailed answer.
4. Check the vaccination schedule.
You might have a hectic day taking care of your children and forget your vaccination schedule. Plan your vaccination schedule while you still have enough money to spare. It's a good idea to check on a small calendar or the like to see which hospital to take the child to and on what days in each month.
In addition, there may be situations in which your child suddenly becomes ill or has to rush to the hospital. In this case, it is good to plan out how to go to the hospital and which hospital to go to. Because mothers may also need obstetrics and gynecology facilities, it is recommended to visit a hospital linked with obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics.
#Parenting advice from Director Hyang-Hwa Kwon
It's normal not to be perfect!
When you return home from the postpartum care center after giving birth, you may feel frustrated or angry at yourself. Other mothers might seem like they’re quickly getting the hang of it while you feel clumsy, and it can be stressful because you might be struggling even with breastfeeding. It goes without saying that parenting is difficult for new mums and dads. Don't aim for proficient parenting like the teachers at postpartum care centers. It's enough to do a little better than yesterday.
Since you're new to newborns, don't forget that imperfect parenting is normal. Parenting is not mission fulfillment. Don't miss out on the little joys of being a family living together rather than simply raising children. Application of parenting knowledge is also important, but if you carefully observe and read your baby's expressions and signs, you will slowly begin to enjoy parenting.
Author: Kwon Hyang-hwa
- Newborn Childcare Coach
- IBCLC International Breastfeeding Specialist
- Worked as the director of a postpartum care center for 10 years.