Last week I had the honor to follow up on my sweet mama friend and provide a postpartum check in and visit to connect and see if I could help her in any way.
I brought food and was so pleased to see both her and her husband looking awake and alert (if you have had a newborn you will understand how great it is that they didn’t look like total zombies) and their house was so peaceful and positive. I washed my hands and offered to hold the baby and oh my goodness he was sooo precious!
Mama said he was eating well, and the pediatrician advised the baby was gaining weight and looking great and had a beautifully shaped head (something to be proud of!).
My friend did mention she was having a hard time healing due to having a minor vaginal tear in labor, I offered sitz baths as an idea for helpful healing as well as continuing cold packs as she had stopped.
I congratulated her in her breastfeeding and asked if I could support her in that area in any way, and she mentioned on one breast when the baby latched she could feel an intense pinching and had to breathe through the pain until it went away… I advised her that discomfort when breastfeeding at first is normal, but intense sharp pain was not normal. I offered the help of a breast shield (see here) and she said she would definitely try it. You can always wean off of a breast/nipple shield! Do not be discouraged if you need to use one, baby sometimes needs help latching until their mouths get bigger and can effectively latch the way they need.
Overall I stayed an hour and encouraged mom and dad that though they may not FEEL like they are doing well, they ARE. It truly is survival mode the first few weeks, and then you find a rhythm and start to learn your baby and they learn you… then the magic happens and everyone falls deeper in love with one another and the family dynamic blooms.