Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. And typically, after our big, elaborate weddings we take a fantastic, relaxing, expensive honeymoon that is focused on bonding and having fun with our new partner.
The birth day of your baby is also one of the most important days of your life. Yet, typically afterwards, we are sent home in a whirlwind of questions. Instead of bonding and having fun with our new baby, we find ourselves surviving on granola bars, not showering and sometimes crying for no reason.
Why? Why? Why?
Why is there such a disparity between the way we celebrate these two major life events? I don’t know – that’s the topic of a separate blog.
One study showed that in the last 3 months leading up to their wedding, brides spent an average of 11 hours a week working on wedding details. Devote some time to planning your Babymoon.
Here’s my top 5 tips for taking a Babymoon and how hiring a postpartum doula can help.
- Sleep. Did you sleep in every morning on your honeymoon? Take a nap before going out to dinner? Sleep is of the utmost importance on your Babymoon. A new baby needs to eat every 2-3 hours around the clock. The sleep deprivation that comes along with a new baby can really take a toll on your mood and your health. And this is not one or two nights of bad sleep, this is a long haul! It’s really important to “sleep when the baby sleeps” throughout the day. Nap whenever possible. A postpartum doula can watch the baby while you nap during the day. You can also hire an overnight postpartum doula to help you get the most sleep possible at night. Postpartum doulas can also educate you about newborn sleep patterns and help you maximize the sleep you and your newborn are getting.
- Pamper yourself. Did you have a massage before or after your wedding? A pedicure? Treat yourself to some pampering and self-care. Whether it’s hiring a massage therapist to come to your home or just taking a really long hot bath with some candles and the door closed. A little self-care goes a long way for a mom. A postpartum doula will care for the baby while you take some time for yourself to nap, shower or whatever it is that makes you feel better!
- No guests allowed. How many people did you invite to come with you on your honeymoon? In the first few days home on your baby moon, just let it be the three of you. Naked in bed. Focus on breastfeeding, bonding and recovering from birth. Your baby will still be super cute a week or two from now and you can invite friends and family to come then. A postpartum doula often “runs interference” with family and friends, making sure that no one is overstaying their welcome.
- Good food. Was your wedding catered by a top, local chef? Were there decadent dinners and drinks on your honeymoon? Then why are you surviving on granola bars and frozen dinners in the first weeks home with your baby? Take the time to enjoy nutritious and delicious snacks and dinners. Nourish yourself so you can nourish your baby. When a friend asks, “Is there is anything I can do?” Say, “Yes, please drop off a healthy dinner.” Keep a list of healthy take out options nearby. Hire someone to stash your freezer with healthy meals. A postpartum doula will be sure to provide you with healthy snacks throughout the day and light meal preparation.
- Enjoy it. The focus of a honeymoon is to have uninterrupted time with your partner to have fun, build wonderful memories, and create a bond that will last a lifetime. Do the same with your baby! Turn off the phone, the computer and the to-do list and snuggle in with your amazing newborn. Take time to examine every cute little roll of glorious chubbiness! Notice how intently his eyes look at your face. Sing her some songs. Snuggle him on your chest and inhale that intoxicating newborn scent on the top of his head. A postpartum doula will take care of your laundry and dishes so that you can focus all your time and attention on the fun stuff!
Bonus. Don’t stress. Did you spend time on your honeymoon worrying about whether or not you were a good wife? Or did you live in the moment and enjoy long walks on the beach with the love of your life? Spend your babymoon enjoying your new baby and falling in love. Don’t waste one second worrying that you are a bad mom or that you’re doing it wrong. You’re not.
And finally, just like you did on your honeymoon, TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES! And make sure that you are IN the pictures. You may not feel as beautiful as you did on your honeymoon, but trust me, you are.
Darcy Sauers owns Dover Doula and is a certified postpartum doula and certified lactation counselor. She is the mother of three children who didn’t take the time to plan a Babymoon and really wishes that she had. She is now passionately committed to helping new moms really enjoy the first 12 weeks home with a new baby. Since 2010, she has helped close to 100 Seacoast, NH area families with their Babymoons.