1. Plan early
Decide early who would help with your confinement.
Family – your mother, mother-in-law, experienced aunt,etc
Having someone close to you during this time is extremely helpful. During this period as a new parent, you are probably experiencing a whole myriad of changes – to your body, your emotions, your role. Having someone whom you can trust goes a long way in helping you as a new mum settle down.
Hiring help – an experienced confinement nanny
Talk to mummies and get referrals so that you have first hand feedback on how the nanny is like and if she would be what you are looking for. This option sets you back easily by about $2000 and be aware that there will be an unfamiliar person living with you. If you are extremely particular about how things should be done around the house, you may like to have this person come in slightly before the arrival of the baby so that you can orientate the help before the baby comes home.
2. Get lots of rest
Resist the temptation of doing everything yourself
As a new parent, you are naturally excited and want to be involved in EVERYTHING! Everyone one around you will probably be offering help, accept it and rest as much as you can. The post-partum body needs recuperation and it’s important that you get as much rest as you can. I have come to realise that it’s probably the only time I will every get to rest! After the confinement period, the baby’s all yours and it’ll be much tougher (trust me! ) to even sneak in time for a nap!
Postnatal massages are also a great way to relax and to get the body back into shape.
3. Eat well
dont’t be obsessive about losing the pregnancy weight overnight
If you are breastfeeding, it is important to have nutritious meals. Naturally, if your body is receiving nutritious food, the quality of milk produced will be better for the child. I wanted to lose weight fast and thought that a good way would be to cut carbohydrates from my diet. As a result, my milk supply was low. Thankfully my confinement nanny gave me good advice and encouraged me to take at least some carbohydrates and indeed the milk supply increased.
4. To shower or not
Hygiene is important
Many of you probably heard that during confinement, there should be “no washing of hair”, “no showering”, etc. In my opinion, hygiene and cleanliness during this period is crucial for both baby and yourself. Since you carry and breastfeed the infant, you want to make sure that you are clean and fresh. Not to mention, a shower refreshes one and does wonders to uplift your mood during your confinement period. You just want to make sure that all the windows are shut tight and all the fans are off. A useful tip I got from my confinement nanny was not to walk around with wet hair, blow dry your hair when you step out from the shower. The key is to keep the body dry and warm.
Above all, during the period of confinement, be aware of the emotional and physical changes around you as you embark into your role as a parent. Understand these changes and take baby steps and realise that you are not perfect and still on a learning journey. Treasure the moments to bond to enjoy your newborn!