FTM wondering how much help to have first couple weeks after baby is born — The Bump
2nd Trimester

FTM wondering how much help to have first couple weeks after baby is born

I'm due in February with my rainbow baby and this is both my husband's and my first baby. We've never taken care of a newborn before or even had much experience around babies at all. I'm not sure yet how much time my husband will get off work, but he'll definitely be home at least the first 2 weeks with me. At first I thought it would be helpful to also have my mom stay with us in the beginning, but now I'm wondering if it would be more helpful for her to come once he has to go back to work. I'm really close with my mom and my husband also gets along great with her, but I don't know if we'll want our privacy and special bonding time just with the baby, or if we'll want her there to help us from the start since we've never done this before.
To complicate matters a bit, I have a history of bipolar disorder, and one important thing I need to try to figure out is getting long enough blocks of time sleeping, in order to help stave off a manic episode. That means a combo of breast feeding and pumping so that someone else can bottle feed while I sleep.  
Any advice?  If you've had a baby before, would you recommend having someone else stay with you in the beginning to help?  Thanks!

Re: FTM wondering how much help to have first couple weeks after baby is born

  • I would have hated if my mom or MIL (or anyone really) stayed with us in the beginning. DH only got a week off, then I was alone, but I was fine with it personally. I didn't have to worry about conversation or entertaining, if I wanted to nap all day with baby, I did. It can be really tiring in the beginning as you adjust to having a baby to take care of though, so if you think that you would benefit personally from having another person there then I say go for it since it sounds like you have good relationships with her. Personally, I'd wait till your DH is back at work. Also, It's really not suggested to pump before 4 or 5 weeks so that you and baby can figure out BFing and so you avoid oversupply, so ideally you'll be BFing baby every time in the first few weeks since there will be no pumped milk to use in a bottle. We did have some formula on hand that I had DH use one night because I just needed a break, but I know some people are opposed to formula, so that's totally up to you. Just another idea. Good luck!
    DS1 born 2/28/16
    DS2 due 12/12/18

    stardustskies[Deleted User]
  • If you are seeing a Dr regularly for your bipolar disorder then I suggest asking them for guidance on what may be best for you in regards to having some extra help. If you are concerned about lack of sleep causing a possible manic episode then you should talk to your doctors about whether breastfeeding is right for you since you and only you will  have to wake up about every 2 hours for feedings. You and your doctor may decide that it is necessary to have your mom stay from the get go or decide that it's best to let you have some space. I personally suffer from depression and anxiety so I am working with my doctor on a similar plan and it has eased my mind about a lot of things related to the baby. 
    Me: 36    DH: 37
    Married: 5.27.16
    Baby Boy Due: 3.18.18
    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy Tracker

    petethecatJennyColada[Deleted User]
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  • How far away does your mom live? If she’s close enough perhaps you could have her come right after baby but ask if you can keep it day-by-day so if you end up feeling like it’s too much you can ask her to come back in a few days.  I am a FTM too and although I’m not dealing with this issue there are a thousand other plans I need to make and have no idea how to handle because I have no idea what it’s going to be like. It makes planning for anything, especially your mental health, very stressful. I’m trying my best to make tentative plans for family that plans to come help and being very open with them now about it needing to be flexible so I’m case I get in it and realize I need something different I can ask for it and they will understand. 

    <3  Me: 30 | DH: 28  <3
    Together since 2013 | Married 2014
    TTC since March 2016
    1 cycle of Clomid 50mg and TI, unmonitored by OBGYN= BFN 
    Dx: unexplained & mild MFI | Rx: Femara w/ trigger & IUI
    1st IUI:  BFP. Chemical Pregnancy
    2st IUI: BFN
    3rd IUI: BFN
    1 round femara 7.5: BPF!
    Due date March 2018
    [Deleted User]
  • If you get along great with your mom I dont see why she shouldn’t come before or after 
    one thing from my ftm experience my husband was not very helpful he was more skeptical n I was super moody so that didn’t help us 
    so your mom being there can help him help you maybe teach him and you how to do certain things even help with your sleep 
    I also think maybe she can come the first few days stay a week or so then leave and then come bsck when your hubby returns to work 
    [Deleted User]
  • I would have her check in at the beginning but not stay.  Find your own rhythm before you let someone in that already has a way they want to do things,  that way your established and she isn't just doing it for you. If she does things her way you might find yourself even more lost when she and your husband are gone. 

    The first few days home alone can be really difficult, that's when I felt like I needed the most help.  
    [Deleted User]
  • Those first days at home are SO overwhelming that make sure if you're bringing someone into your home to help out, that you are going to let them help and not just have someone that you feel like you need to entertain while you're trying to recover from childbirth, get used to not sleeping, learning how to nurse and take care of a newborn. My in-laws have come out both times when baby was born and I am very thankful for the help and support they gave us, but it made it harder to do a few things - especially nursing because my FIL was not a big fan of the open nursing situation.  But, I was also very happy to come home from the hospital with #2, feed baby and hand him over to MIL along with the 2 year old and tell her I was going to sleep for 3 hours and to leave me alone. :)

    EDD 6/18/18
    DD=10/5/10 DS=4/9/13
    [Deleted User]
  • I’m so glad we had the bonding time the first 2 weeks with just DH and I and the baby. I needed that. It’s a personal decision on what will be best for you though. 

    On the pumping and bottles you should talk to a LC bc it’s really important to breastfeed as much as possible in the beginning to establish a healthy supply. Even if you did want someone else to feed the baby ideally you’d be pumping then to help your supply come in. I’ve heard that you can skip one pump and be ok but didn’t test it personally and everyone is different. Also they recommend waiting 4-6 weeks to introduce bottles. A LC will prob be able to help you more! 

    Good luck!
    Me: 30 | DH: 31
    Married: October, 19, 2015
    EDD 2/22/17 <3 DS1 born on 3/2/17
    EDD 3/8/20 <3 DS2
    (Formerly Marriedhamstermom Feb ‘17)

    [Deleted User]
  • llipllip member
    Having my mom with me after birth will not happen again. I felt pressured into giving up breastfeeding, and she did not give me time to bond. My husband and I feel my postpartum depression would not have been quite as bad if she hadn't been there the first two weeks. 
  • nackienackie member
    I think it depends a lot on your baby and your relationship with your mom. My first never slept as a newborn unless he was being held and the person holding him was moving. Even then he only slept for 30-40 minutes at a time. My mom came to visit for a couple of hours every day for weeks after he was born. She brought us food and sent me to bed immediately after I finished nursing so I could get a two hour block of sleep in. I’m pretty sure her visits were the only way I survived once DH went back to work. 
    But if your mom isn’t going to be nothing but helpful or your baby actually sleeps occasionally, things might be very different for you. 
    Like others have said, if you’re planning on breastfeeding, getting blocks of sleep longer than 2-3 hours is going to be very hard even with pumping. You really need to express milk (nurse or pump) every couple of hours in the beginning to establish your supply.  
    [Deleted User]
  • I want to reiterate that if you’re planning on feeding your baby primarily breastmilk (whether directly from the breast or from a pumped bottle) you will not be able to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time probably for the first month...then 4-5 hours at a time if everything us working great and your baby is a great sleeper. 

    The milk has to be removed from the breast that frequently to establish supply, and once established to prevent being over-engorged and to maintain supply.

    Essentially, pumping to be able to bottle feed breast milk is usually more work and more exhausting than exclusively breastfeeding without pumping!

    If you have a medical condition requiring blocks of uninterrupted sleep, and you have help with the baby, you may need to make a tough decision about if breast feeding is right for you.
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