Tiny little vests, outfits, socks, hats, mittens are washed delicately , ironed, folded and put in beautiful order in the baby’s room. Kitchen cupboards are cleared out, cleaned and put back together with the scary look of something out of Sleeping With The Enemy. The garage/loft/shed suddenly in urgent need of being sorted even though you haven’t stepped foot in there for the last 12 months….
We spend around 2 hours a day cleaning, washing, ironing, decorating etc before our babies are born. This is affectionately known as “nesting” and is one of the strongest maternal instincts we experience as women before birth. It’s like we need to know that the cleaning is dealt with, so that we can rest up and enjoy those first few weeks with our newborn, without having to worry about what is going on down in the kitchen.
But for some people the birth is where this nesting instinct stops. What???? All that work for nothing? Are you mad? Get home, get your bedside table sorted (preferably by a willing helper) with all your necessities, get in bed and get comfortable, this is where I order you to stay for at least the next 2 weeks. Hopefully you have someone around to help out in those first couple of weeks, a husband, a mother, a doula, a friend, and you can have the chance to enjoy being in your newly cleaned, fluffed up, well feathered newborn nest.
Sleep, feed the baby, sleep, change the baby, sleep, have some skin to skin under the covers, sleep…. Does that not sound like the most perfect day ever? You need to rest after the energy used during your birth and your baby needs to feed pretty regularly at this point to get all of that “liquid gold” colostrum and encourage your milk to come in. Visitors should be asked to bring meals, make their own drinks (and one for you while they are there), and maybe run the hoover round downstairs.
This newborn nesting time doesn’t last that long, please, please try and make the most of it; skin to skin, good initial feeding and great sleep sets up a fab foundation for the coming months.
Happy, rested, calm mums make for happy, rested, calm babies.