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So I'm reading and hearing that after the baby comes, I'm going to need "help." Lots and lots of help, apparently. I'm thinking, what kind of help am I going to need? Is this just normal stuff like laundry and cooking, or something I can't foresee?<br><br>
I'm lucky - DH will be off for the better part of 4 weeks after Miss Baby is born, so I am thinking he will really be able to do the majority of the grunt work that needs to be done so that I can lounge around in bliss and breastfeed ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> ). But am I missing something? I'm feeling a little paranoid about all of the warnings I've gotten! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut">
 

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Yeah I'm a bit curious about that myself. My MIL is in town here and she's said she'll help out, but she also said I probably wouldn't need much help and only for a day or so. I am inclined to believe her since she knows me and how independent and generally capable I am. Although maybe (given that) the thought of trying to do stuff for me with me there gives her the screaming willies, so she's trying to get out of it :LOL<br><br>
Then there are the (apocryphal?) women in third-world countries who have a baby and go right back to work in the field. I am inclined to think that if you have a normal, vaginal birth with no intervention or tearing and you are healthy and fit to start with you will probably be up to at least laundry in a couple of days. But, what do I know, I've never given birth!
 

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Hi ladies!! I'm not expecting in November, but thought I'd help ya a little! Well, the first few days/weeks are a transition, where everyone is getting used to everyone else. With my first baby, I was very sore and very tired, so it helped to have someone running things behind-the-scenes (laundry, some cooking). With #2, I was ready to conquor (sp?) the world the day after. The first day or so after you need to relax, and rest when baby is resting. By all means, if someone wants to do your laundry, let them! Also, I made up some meals to keep in the freezer for those days my schedule was just completely off. It'll probably be enough if your dh is around to help out =) Good luck!!!
 

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I think if you can get help, you should. That person could do the grunt work while you and your dh could cuddle with your brand new baby. Having meals frozen is a great idea too. I am going to have a post partum doula for about two weeks. I have two older kids and they'll be in school, but I need help around the house the few days after. It is nice to have someone wait on you and the baby. I think it really helps, it gives you time with the new baby. That's just ny opinion . . .
 

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I don't know about the needing lots and lots of help. We managed to move to a new house 2.5 weeks after DS was born and even with that craziness things went okay - but I wouldn't reccomend it! Just be prepared to let things slide a bit for the first month or so after the baby is born. Laundry won't be done as promptly, the floor might not get swept much, and take-out becomes more common. BUT - you've got a new baby, so who cares?!<br><br>
Of course, I had a 7-hour natural labor and left the hospital the next day - so I had it a lot easier than many women. It depends a lot on how much recovery you need after birth. Plus, my DH works at home and my sister lives with us, so I had some built-in help.
 

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I used to do postpartum doula work, and my experience is that people generally have no idea how much help they will need afterwards--it depends on their birth experience, their baby, their family situation, etc. This went both ways--some people lined up my services and then found that they didn't need as much help as they thought they would. Other people thought they'd be fine, and then ended up with some unforseen circumstances (c-sec, difficult birth, big episiotomy, breastfeeding difficulties, etc.) which made them suddenly scramble to get some help, ANY help!! One of my first clients was a woman who had a very long painful labor and a very big tear or epis with a very painful 2 hour repair. It was very hard for her to move around, sitting was uncomfortable, etc. Her DH was a lawyer with a really high pressure job and could only take a week off from work. She got some weird respiratory infection during the end of her pregnancy which persisted after the birth, and she actually was still sick. She ended up with postpartum depression, and decided after a few psychotic episodes and panic attacks that she should go on meds, which her doc made her stop breastfeeding for. Then, to top it off, a day or so after I started working for them, the baby started coughing and choking and turning blue--he was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with whooping cough, which turned out to be what she'd had all along!! I ended up staying a few nights per week at their house and monitoring the baby so they could get a little sleep and be sure the baby was okay . . . .<br><br>
Sort of a long story, but my point is, how the heck could she have predicted THAT?? It's almost impossible to know how things are going to be!! In our case, we don't have any family nearby at all, and not a heck of a lot of a support system that we can count on. We can't afford for DH to take much more than a week or so off, and even then he may be working one or two evenings at his other job during that week. So, we are hiring a postpartum doula. She didn't make us commit to any specific number of hours, and she will do stuff like laundry, cooking, errands, light housekeeping, help with baby care, help with older kids (including our "fur-babies") etc. If we don't need her, we won't have to have her for too much time, or we can have her do some "extras" like lavishing some extra love on the doggies! But I feel much better knowing that we have someone "on-call" in case we need more help.<br><br>
I'm also planning on stocking some meals for the freezer, both home cooked, and things like frozen pizza and potpies that we like to eat.
 

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Well, for us, there was this huge adjustment to caring for another person, figuring out his schedule, learning to breastfeed and dealing with lack of any decent sleep. (I need my REM sleep! :LOL ) So that took up about 97% of our mental and physical enregy stores. What was left was hardly enough to keep up with those ongoing chores like laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, etc.<br><br>
The stuff like vacuuming could be skipped. But when you are out of food, someone needs to muster the energy to get to the store and DH and I just werent feeling it.<br><br>
So I would recommend having people on hand who can help out with those little chores that you cannot let go, and beyond that, you and DH should be fine. With him being off 4 weeks, that's wonderful!.
 

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My dh will be here alot after the birth...he's a student and a pastor, so he'll just be gone to class a few hours a week and then he's busy on Sundays. But, if I had to rely on just him, I'd go stark raving mad. I ended up throwing a huge fit last night just to get the floor swept and mopped (which he said he'd do since Saturday). This was after my fit b/c he wouldn't make dinner unless I asked him too (I'm quite sick with a cold, btw...though I do feel better today).<br><br>
After my little fit, he cleaned stuff up, and generally he will eventually do whatever task I ask him to do, but I have to ask. He apparently can't see that the trash is overflowing and take it out accordingly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
My mom will be here before and after the birth to help keep things on an even keel. And a bonus is dh does alot more when she's here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> If she weren't coming, I'd have to enlist friends or hire a postpartum doula. I think 2 weeks is good, but I won't be ready for mom to leave at the end of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Christa
 

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Thanks mamas, that is really helpful. I guess what I should do (short of hiring a PPD) is ask my 3-4 good friends in this area if they would be willing to be "on call" for us during that time. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't mind doing a grocery store run or taking our doggie for a day of quality play time.<br><br>
Worst-case scenario (bad tear, c-section, etc.), DH's mom has nothing going on in her own life and I'm sure she'd be here in 5 seconds if we invited her. The thought of that, though, seems worse than not having clean laundry and fresh food!! :LOL
 

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You don't *need* help, but it can be very nice. I unfortunately got an epidural with my first, which led to an epidural headache which lasted 2 weeks. What this did was force me to continuously lay down, if I raised my head at all I got severe neck and back pain. My DH was off for a few days and helped a lot, plus my MIL brought lunch for me a few times. I wish I had frozen foods and planned meals beforehand, I think that would've been the most help. I do remember thinking that the first month was the hardest time I've ever had in my life. It was a HUGE adjustment. But also keep in mind I was not prepared *at all*. Plus, you become Super Woman, and find you can function off sporatic catnaps throughout the day and night, and somehow keep going!!
 

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This is our 3rd baby and 2nd UC. Despite the type of birth we had and are having, post partum exhaustion and concern for me became an unfortunate surprise. I learned the hard way that I was anemic. I lost a good deal of blood and about 5 days after dd2 birth, began suffering bouts of headaches from the loss of blood.<br>
I am plannig on having at least 4 weeks of help. 1 week of my dh, then 3 weeks pp doula. I just feel I really need to go slow this time around, even if my anemia gets under control.<br>
I was up and about 1 week after dd2 was born and that was a big big mistake. I needed to rest and heal.<br>
as mentioned before, you never know what will happen or how you will feel.<br>
All my best.
 

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Here's my two cents:<br><br>
After DD was born, I really didn't think I wanted (or needed) help. I wanted us to be a little family, and to do everything myself. Physically, I felt able...although my body soon told me to slow down. Mentally, it was another story. One of the most challenging things about the whole birthing experience, for me, was the mental and emotional transition into being someone's mother. As an older mama, it was a bit challenging to me to suddenly see that I was on call for another person 24/7. Breastfeeding went well, but was exhausting, as DD nursed constantly. If someone else hadn't been around to bring me food now and then, I would never have had anything to eat.<br><br>
I did not need as much help as my MIL wanted to offer, in the ways she thought I needed help. I did not, for example, need her to come in and clean my fridge, or even to vaccuum. The house could wait, although it was nice to know that someone else was taking care of it. No, what I needed was support. I needed to sit in my bed with my babe, getting used to the whole thing, and talking with my mother, sister, friends who'd been there. I needed people to bring me food, and to remind me to be gentle with myself. I needed other people to help me honour the amazing change that had just happened in my life.
 

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mental help! :LOL I needed a LOT more help than I thought I would- I figured my dp could do the housework and that was it- NOOOOO- not even close- it turned out ds had colic, BF 24/7, and I felt like I was going to go <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br><br>
I actually ended up moving so that we could be closer to my mom and my grandma so they could help me more and my quality of life has improved IMMENSELY!!! I actually take showers every other day now and sometimes get to go out to eat! My mom and dad took turns coming to help us every other day while we still lived an hour away from them- so that I could go to the store, dp and I could go out for a drive just to get away from the house, etc.<br><br>
my best advice is pray you don't have a high-needs/ colicky baby (if you do make sure to read "The happiest baby on the block", line up lots of help, and be prepared to do pretty much nothing except nurse for about 2 months.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">my best advice is pray you don't have a high-needs/ colicky baby (if you do make sure to read "The happiest baby on the block", line up lots of help, and be prepared to do pretty much nothing except nurse for about 2 months.</div>
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Question for you: did you ever try to nurse with the baby in a sling so you could do stuff WHILE you nursed, and if so, did that work??? I have seen slings advertised with "nursing positions" intended to allow mama to actually be up and moving around while baby nursed, and to my inexperienced brain it LOOKS like it should work, but I've never heard of anyone actually doing it. My DH was a very colicky baby so I am trying to prepare myself for that possibility and I am hoping that I can manage that without going completely batty. Is using a sling for hands-free nursing actually practical? Does it depend on your boob configuration at all? What's the deal? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I needed to sit in my bed with my babe, getting used to the whole thing, and talking with my mother, sister, friends who'd been there. I needed people to bring me food, and to remind me to be gentle with myself. I needed other people to help me honour the amazing change that had just happened in my life.</div>
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I feel like this transition to being a mother is often the most ignored part of a "babymoon", and often in our (my) culture in general. I've spent most of my life trying to be a strong and independent woman, and turning down offers of help of many kinds- and now I'm supposed to need help to look after my own baby??? Luckily I've swallowed a bit of my independence and will have my mil staying with me for a week afterwards- as someone who is willing to do laundry and make meals if that's all we want/need, but also as a woman who has been through the experience of becoming a mother, of nurturing and breastfeeding a baby for the first time, who knows the ups and downs, the sleep deprivation, etc. Someone who can at times nuture me while I become a mother.<br><br>
Then I'm gonna kick her out and do it on my own!!! (I've had a friend who's mil stayed for three weeks after her birth, and she was so fed up of being told what to do/how to raise her baby by the end of it) Actually my sister (who has no kids) is going to come and help for a week or so after mil needs, but I know that my sister has very little experience with babies, so she's mostly going to help out with practical stuff- cleaning, laundry, etc. I think it's a great combo for us-- a week of experienced help and a week of help with other stuff while we figure out our own way of doing things... My husband's work schedule is flexible, so he'll figure out how much/little he works in the first month based on what baby and I seem to need.<br><br>
After that we're planning to be on our own, though we do have lots of friends nearby who have offered to help if needed. And I plan on having a well-stocked freezer...<br><br>
Thanks to all of the replies to this thread. I've been getting so much "you're in for it" advice from people lately that I've been thinking a lot about support after the baby is born. I appreciate all of the responses from experienced mamas!
 

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With my last baby, I had an easy birth, no tears etc, was up 2 hours later in the shower & ready to go home (!). I pretty much put him in the front carrier (didn't know slings existed back then, much to the dismay of my back), & went back to my usual daily cleaning & shopping. My dh didn't have any time off of work at all & no one came to help. I remember fantasizing about someone coming to hold Mr Fussy Pants so that I could SLEEP. I did stop what I was doing to breastfeed & nap with him when he did, but it never seemed enough. ANYway, after a few weeks of this Super Woman routine, I started passing clots & bleeding more heavily AND getting bouts of mastitis. My caregiver said "Too much! You're doing too much! GO TO BED!" :LOL I rested for a few days, then went right back to my busy routine. More clots, fatigue & clogged ducts. Then my caregiver gave me the silliest sounding but awesome advice, she said "Don't get dressed. Leave your pjs on. That will remind you that you are supposed to be *taking it easy* & will remind other people that you are, too." It's so funny what wonders that worked for me. :LOL I just left the 'ol pj pants on & took this resting business seriously. Thankfully I FINALLY stopped bleeding (8 wks after birth) & my boobs started cooperating.<br><br>
I'm going to remember that this time! Resting is good! Getting dressed & going shopping all day is bad (I actually did that when my son was 5 days old)! PLUS, I have my 14 & 7 yr olds here to help!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Question for you: did you ever try to nurse with the baby in a sling so you could do stuff WHILE you nursed, and if so, did that work??? I have seen slings advertised with "nursing positions" intended to allow mama to actually be up and moving around while baby nursed, and to my inexperienced brain it LOOKS like it should work, but I've never heard of anyone actually doing it. My DH was a very colicky baby so I am trying to prepare myself for that possibility and I am hoping that I can manage that without going completely batty. Is using a sling for hands-free nursing actually practical? Does it depend on your boob configuration at all? What's the deal? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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I think hands free nursing can be done, but I would not count on it right away. Those first few weeks (months) its like you wish you had 7 hands, just to hold the baby right, keep his/her arms out of the way, hold your breast up, adjust the pillow, take a drink and figure out this whole mess. Then once the baby and you get your nursing groove on, you would start working on hands free, etc.<br><br>
I did mostly one handed in the sling. I still felt like I need to keep a hand on the babe and kind of hold his head close, to make sure he wasnt pulling too hard on my nipple or getting a sloppy latch. YMMV.
 

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You can do one arm nursing fairly early, but it's hard with the early letdown reflex... Not drowning you and choking the babe. It's easier after the first 6 weeks.<br><br>
I did the super mom thing after the first 3 kiddos (because I felt so good, easy birth,etc). After #4 and 5, I chose to try and stay in bed most of the day for 2 weeks!! No easy feat, but over the long haul I really recooperated so much better. Bleeding stopped earlier and I felt much stronger when I did return to my routine.<br><br>
Help is great if it's not incredibly intrusive. If Dh is good about feeding you and taking care of basics, then I think you should be set!!
 

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Zejande: Thanks for that story, it was actually really affirming! My big post-partum plan was that I would buy a half-dozen sets of men's flannel PJ's and stay in them for the entirety of my (miserly, unpaid) 6 weeks maternity leave. If I couldn't do it in PJ's, it wouldn't get done. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I'm curious and would like the input of some of the more experienced mamas and doulas: I'm really scared about the fact that we just plain don't have a whole lot of PP support around us. Family is far away, and there are a lot of tensions with our friends right now for various emotional and baby-related reasons. Other than a rank, screaming emergency there just doesn't seem to be anyone I could call for help.<br><br>
I'm wondering what I can do NOW, while I'm still pregnant that will help in the immediate post-partum period. I have some ideas, but I don't know if they'll be helpful or not:<br>
-Set up grocery shopping/ordering on-line through the delivery service.<br>
-Switch to paper plates/cups/silverware<br>
-freeze food like there's an ice age coming.<br>
-diaper service and drop-off laundry service<br>
-auto bill pay<br>
and, I don't know what I can add to that list. I've got some feelers out for PP doula services if I need them, but I'm not entirely sure what a PP doula does and what kind of services we'd need...
 

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It depends - with my Emma I was all alone as a single mom and both my girlfriends had new born babies of their own! Needless to say not much housework got done at first... as I was trying very hard to BF after breast surgery and was breastfeeding every hour - meaning only a 20 minute break in between feedings... which was a nightmere - I barely had time for a shower or sleep or to make myself a meal. But I had BFing issues due to a bfreat reduction surgery - which btw in the end I was forced to suppliment because of her weight loss and severe hydration at which point she quit nursing and I suddenly had lots of extra time.<br><br>
I honestly think that the amount of time you will have will depend on your babies sleep and nursing habits - and how much help your partner provides.
 
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