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Old 26.12.2010, 01:27
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After Birth help and tips

Hello,

Merry Christmas by the way!

I am having a question that I believe a lot of people here will be able to help me with.

For those of us who had kids and had no family around to help with in the very first days after the birth, how did you managed it?

Did you prepared and freeze a lot of food before? Did you have a cleaning lady to come over to help?

Did you get some help from the insurance that I don't know about?

The first time, my Mother-in-Law came to help. Bless her heart she did well but I didn't appreciated to have my household took away from me and not be master in my house and feeling unconfortable the whole time. This time, after this christmas vacation, I realised that I don't want my mother to come to help either (I thought I wanted to... but nooooo way!!!).

All my friends have small kids to deal with so I can't ask them to come to help me. So my options are to hire someone for cleaning and to look for all options and possibilities to help me in the first few weeks at least.

Any tips, any suggestions and experiences will be very welcome and appreciated.

Nil
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Old 26.12.2010, 01:56
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Um....about your thread title.....'post' would have possibly been more appropriate than 'after'. That's all the help I can provide. Too late, as it happens.
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Old 26.12.2010, 02:27
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Re: After Birth help and tips

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Um....about your thread title.....'post' would have possibly been more appropriate than 'after'. That's all the help I can provide. Too late, as it happens.


yeah, i came here wondering if she was after recipies
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Old 26.12.2010, 07:12
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Merry X-Mas to you and your family.

I managed as following:

- Depending on how long you stay in the hospital, you are entitled to 10 days help of a midwife. E.g. 6 days hospital, 4 days at home, 3 days hospital, 7 days home.

- Ask your insurance if you receive "Haushaltshilfe", as such they can pay a certain amount towards help in the household. I also organized a cleaning lady, because I completely hate it when the flat is a mess.

- Food: yes I did cook some very nutritious things and froze it. My little one was really active and slept only in my arms (screamed at the very second when being in the crib), as a result I spend some days without eating anything, just because I could not do anything in the kitchen. This was a real problem.

- It also helps a lot if someone can watch over elder siblings. Or just go out with them once in a while.

- Most important thing: Involve hubby.

Besides those generic tips, I just survived and took it day by day.

Good Luck
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Old 26.12.2010, 10:09
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Send me a PM and expected birth date and I will bring around a meal the week of the birth.

Likely a vegie curry and rice, you can see my other posts for what that looks like, or something else on request.. lasagna goes a long way, vegie of course.

CK
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Old 26.12.2010, 10:25
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Re: After Birth help and tips

My colleague at work took 3wks off when his wife delivered - to help her and all. I guess that would be a good solution... He seemed to have enjoyed it as much
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Old 26.12.2010, 11:06
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Re: After Birth help and tips

IS your partner entitled to maternity leave ( is that a right, in Switzerland?) In which case, see that he takes it.

I am curious as to what your m in l did that was so bad, or what you think your Mum would do so bad, that you do not want either of them to come and help. Last time, did it not mean that you were able to just relax and spend more time with your baby? Does it matter if they cook a bit differently from you? Fold the laundry a different way? Having the grandma there so early will also help her to bond with your child - much harder to do that from the end of an email attachment photo. If you make the request with a " Please, the help I am expecting to need is...... and what I don't need help with is.... It is important for me to ......... "you are starting with an open line of communication.

Sorry, as I know that you have already stated not wanting either mother around, but...maybe... :-)
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Old 26.12.2010, 11:31
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Nil just get your husband to help. We didn't have any help and didn't really need any, between us we managed not to starve. We just ate lots of quick pasta dishes rather than cooking complex meals etc... I know with already having a little girl it might be a little harder but I am sure you can get by.

I was told that with a C section i could possibly get some help in the form of a cleaner etc... paid by my insurance but I didn't need any help
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Old 26.12.2010, 12:29
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Re: After Birth help and tips

I agree get your other half to take as much time off as possible, mine took holiday as well as paternity leave. We froze a lot of meals in advance but actually spent more time eating ready-cooked stuff from the fridge - cooked meats, bread rolls, salad, etc. Quicker than defrosting!

Our cleaner was a great help but if you don't have a regular one make sure you get one that speaks the same language as you so you can say exactly what you want doing. I got irritated when I had tried to say no vacuuming (for my benefit not the babys!) so she avoided vacuuming around me but did the rest of the flat...

I understand the mil/mum issues, I had my mum over from day 4-12 of babys life and she was wonderful, a great help, but i also felt that I wanted her to have a good time in Switzerland, and also to spend a lot of time holding her granddaughter but then I got a bit upset that I wasn't holding my baby. Head and heart in conflict. I think it's easier to have paid help for a little while or just you and your hubby so you can be more emotionally stable by the time family come round.

Most of all make sure you take time to recover. Even with subsequent babies I think you forget how much of a physical trauma it is and your body needs to recover. Whether c-section or v-birth it takes a big toll on your body. Lots of bed rest and sleep. I just wish I could take my own advice :-)
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Old 26.12.2010, 12:42
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Re: After Birth help and tips

hey Nil, hope your Christmas was a blessed one. When are you do to have your bundle of joy?
I would say the same thing as armandair and duncheg
My mother came to visit me in the US right before my son was born and stayed 5 weeks she was supposed to stay 6 weeks but she could not "take it anymore" I could not do everything to cater to her, so helping me with my household etc was to much for her. So no, I would not want for her to stay with me anymore since it was way to much stress and tear shed on my behalf.
I would bring you food and help you out but i`m in ZH..
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Old 26.12.2010, 12:44
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Don't have much to add, there's lots of good advice here.
Just a note to say, hope you are well
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Old 26.12.2010, 13:20
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Ok I won't repeat what has been said, but I would say first understand what you can let slide.

Think about how often you change the sheets and towels, how often you clean the windows/walls/fridge/oven etc. Can you let it slide for just one week after you get home from the hospital? Sweeping the house is quick, but the full vacuum and mop takes more time and effort. Plus you can sweep any time you want and it won't wake the baby.

Be prepared beforehand. You have mentioned prepared meals in the freezer. Also stock up on your groceries before you go into hostipal - well the things that keep. Tinned food items, soup, some bread you can keep in the freezer and bake for a few minutes. That way you can avoid going to the shops in the first week or two.

If you have another little tot running around make sure that they can get to their own food. Have a lunch box full of nutrious treats and a water bottle within easy reach of him-her-them.

At bathtime I plan to have all kids in bath at same time. I have 5yo + 3yo + will also soon have a newborn.

As for hubby, build on his strengths but I don't recommend stressing him on his weaknesses. If it stresses him to bath the kids then don't force it. If he is a terrible cook - well you might want him to stay out of there.

Baby comes first afterall, but you also need to feed and cloth your family. Breastfeeding baby, although recommended by the doctors, has one really practical benefit - no formula to prepare and bottles to clean/sterilise. This saves so much time.

Oh, and thank your hubby when he does anything around the house. That way he knows his efforts are appreciated and he won't feel like a waste of space wishing he was back at work...
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Old 26.12.2010, 13:51
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Re: After Birth help and tips

A lot of good advice has been given here. One more tip: don't sweat the small stuff. If you are utterly exhausted and you decide to give your toddler cookies and chips for supper one night, don't feel bad. If your home is a more messy than usual, so what. The first three months will be all about adjusting and learning. After that, it's way easier.
One more thing, try and set some time aside each day to be alone with your toddler while your baby sleeps.
Oh and lastly, it's all about your frame of mind. Your hormones are going to be all over the place and you are going to be tired... Be calm and peaceful and play silly games with your toddler to have laughter in your home

P.S. If you are planning on nursing, be aware that sometimes, a mothers milk supply is not as much as it was with the first baby. Consider replacing a feed or two with formula or uses a pump.. whatever.. Just do whatever is easier for you that will make you less stressed.
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Old 26.12.2010, 19:18
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Nil, you will be pretty tired so the last thing on your mind would be to nourish yourself with good food. But do plan for it 'coz you need to regain your strength after childbirth as someone has already mentioned.

This is why the Chinese have the tradition of having a post-natal helper cook for the new mum and look after the baby for six weeks. They try to maintain this practice as much as possible wherever they live.

If your husband does not cook, hope you can get someone to prepare nutritious balanced meals (made from scratch with the freshest ingredients) for you at least a few times a week if not every day.

All the best! It's so exciting for the whole family, isn't it?
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Old 26.12.2010, 19:40
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Re: After Birth help and tips

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.....One more thing, try and set some time aside each day to be alone with your toddler while your baby sleeps....
P.S. If you are planning on nursing, be aware that sometimes, a mothers milk supply is not as much as it was with the first baby. Consider replacing a feed or two with formula or uses a pump.. whatever.. Just do whatever is easier for you that will make you less stressed.
I did the opposite to that: I encouraged my little boy to have a nap at the same time as the baby, so that I could also grab a little extra nap time for me. I couldn't have survived night feeds without that prescious daytime sleep as well. It worked for me. :-)

I agree totally with your comment regarding doing whatever makes for less stress. However, (slightly off topic) if ones wants to establish successful breastfeeding, then replacing feeds with formula is not going to help. It works on demand and supply. One of the advantages of breastfeeding for me, was that it gave me the excuse to sit down and relax with my babies regularly. When I was feeding my second baby, it also became major story reading time with my older child.
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Old 26.12.2010, 19:54
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Re: After Birth help and tips

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I did the opposite to that: I encouraged my little boy to have a nap at the same time as the baby, so that I could also grab a little extra nap time for me. I couldn't have survived night feeds without that prescious daytime sleep as well. It worked for me. :-)

You were lucky.. From around the age of 1 1/2 some toddlers drop daytime naps. This was the case with my little girl.

I agree totally with your comment regarding doing whatever makes for less stress. However, (slightly off topic) if ones wants to establish successful breastfeeding, then replacing feeds with formula is not going to help. It works on demand and supply. One of the advantages of breastfeeding for me, was that it gave me the excuse to sit down and relax with my babies regularly. When I was feeding my second baby, it also became major story reading time with my older child.

Establishing milk supply takes time and not all kids are happy to sit and be read to and/or page through books or any other activity for that matter while the baby is feeding or while you are pumping. The whole experience of having a new baby in the house can be traumatic for older children, especially when they are used to getting all of your attention and most importantly, depending on their personalities. They could become more possessive over time with you than before and possibly regress to wanting you to feed them again (as opposed to feeding themselves). Once again, you were lucky with your situation and your advice to Nil is really good as it gives a different perspective to her.
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Old 26.12.2010, 20:48
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Re: After Birth help and tips

I think a lot of it will depend on whether you are having a c-section or not. A c-section involves a lot more rest and a lot more assisted help with the small tasks.

I had our 4th (& final) child here in Switzerland. I had only been home for a week when hubby had to go overseas for 3 weeks for work!

I did a lot of pasta dishes and easy meals. I also ensured that I had a few frozen meals in the freezer. There is also nothing wrong with nuggets/fish fingers/pizza etc for a couple of weeks. If you are feeding Princess yoghurt and fruit through out the day she is getting essential vitamins etc.

I didn't sweat the small stuff but I was lucky that the 3 older children did go to Krippe twice a week. This meant I could get the housework (minimal!) and shopping done with only one extremely portable baby. I also used these days for catching up on lost sleep!

I ensured that I rested every afternoon, even if it is on the sofa while a movie is on for the other kids.

Keeping the same/similar routine that you have now with your daughter once the baby is born. If you go to playgroup once a week etc, ensure you still get yourself out the door on time to attend. It may be hard but it will give you adult conversation and a different four walls - this is vital for your sanity

I also found that bathing the kids some days before dinner (4pmish), meant that when bubs woke and wanted fed at dinner time I didn't need to stress about what still needed to be done.

Don't expect too much of yourself and if friends (with or without) young children offer assistance accept it. They wouldn't offer unless they wanted too

You will be fine and if you find you are struggling reach out and ask. You will be amazed who is lurking in the shadows just waiting to help.

Last edited by ka pai; 26.12.2010 at 20:52. Reason: grammar!
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Old 26.12.2010, 20:48
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Meisie, No, no no! Sorry if I sounded as if it was all easy. I am the first to acknowledge that I found having two little ones around, was the hardest time of my life. The bit I was lucky with is that my second baby was a reasonably calm one. Perhaps that is actually one of the problems we have as mothers: we set very high standards for ourselves, based on how we have preceived other mothers coping ability. Part of that perception is perhaps based on those of us who have been through it all, tending to just try to recall waht waorked - rather than dwell on the days when we were too tired to get dressed, or even have a shower; when peeling a potato was just too damn tiring after months of broken sleep and babies who had their finicky time just when we were starting to wonder what to cook for our husbands.... laundry that never quite got folded, ironing that....oh heck, I was so thankful that my husband started to wear noniron shirts around that time and non iron t shirts were invented. And why was the baby crying? Weren't they supposed to just sleep after being fed and changed???? Chips and cokkies for tea? I once left half a packet of chocolate biscuits in the crib, in the hope that upon waking they would keep my toddler quietly occupied long enough for me to have a few more minutes of much needed sleep. ( they did. She was smiling happily through the finger piant of chocolate icing when I went in to her) Actually there was one thing I was lucky with: my mother, who was the one who drove across town one night to see if a drive in the car would soothe my sick little boy to sleep after midnight and who had her bag packed to drive for hours to mind him as soon as I went into labour with my second baby, staying for the two weeks until I was at least able to walk properly again. .. which , I guess, is why I was suggesting ways to perhaps include mothers in the process now.

Okay, after all that, I hope I havent put anyone off considering starting a family. Yes, it's hard work. Yes, I have no regrets at having decided to have my children. Now they are having their own...Smiles,
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Old 26.12.2010, 21:46
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Re: After Birth help and tips

Wow! I knew I will have plenty of good tips here! I will try to answer and give as much informations as possible.


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Send me a PM and expected birth date and I will bring around a meal the week of the birth.

Likely a vegie curry and rice, you can see my other posts for what that looks like, or something else on request.. lasagna goes a long way, vegie of course.

CK
I love you! My due date is the 5th of May.

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My colleague at work took 3wks off when his wife delivered - to help her and all. I guess that would be a good solution... He seemed to have enjoyed it as much
With our first, my husband was 3 weeks off from work. He tooks all his vacations during that time and it was great. I have the best Hubby in the world. He cleans, he cooks, he wash, he bath our daughter... He can do everything!

This time again, we plan to do the same but we don't know how it is going to work....

You see, we are going to move for the next role in the company. We know it will be in a different country but we don't know when and where... If we are lucky, by February we will know if we will move before or after the birth. Since I can't travel by plane after February, we will have to know!

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IS your partner entitled to maternity leave ( is that a right, in Switzerland?) In which case, see that he takes it.

I am curious as to what your m in l did that was so bad, or what you think your Mum would do so bad, that you do not want either of them to come and help. Last time, did it not mean that you were able to just relax and spend more time with your baby? Does it matter if they cook a bit differently from you? Fold the laundry a different way? Having the grandma there so early will also help her to bond with your child - much harder to do that from the end of an email attachment photo. If you make the request with a " Please, the help I am expecting to need is...... and what I don't need help with is.... It is important for me to ......... "you are starting with an open line of communication.

Sorry, as I know that you have already stated not wanting either mother around, but...maybe... :-)
My mother in Law is a nice woman but a control freak and she can't stop herself to tell us what to do and how to do it. Having someone looking over my shoulder telling me that what I am doing is not the proper way gets really, really, really on my nerve.... especially with all the hormones going mads...

Plus she is doing great food. I love it like crazy but after the birth, my stomach and digestive track where in very bad shape, I couldn't eat any of her very spicy food. And you should have seen how my daughter was crying because of the milk... This time, I am not going to breastfeed (I have some meds that pass throw the milk and it is very bad for the baby).

My father in law was taking over the TV and I was stuck in the bedroom at every feedings because of their culture, I couldn't do that in the same room. So I spend a full whole week in my bedroom without being able to sit down in front of the TV to watch what I wanted, when I wanted. Sounds childish but believe me, after you give birth, you don't have much else to intertained you...

For my mother:

She is as bad as my M-I-L for the control freak part. The difference is she is more rude and direct in the way to tell us. I am actually at my mothers now in vacation. We were suppose to stay there for 4 weeks and I am going back home this week (2 weeks earlier). She told me to not expect any help from her, she won't clean, she won't cook. She will take care of my daughter only. I don't need my daughter to be away from her new brother (yeah.... it's a boy ) au contraire, I believe the first days and weeks are crucials for the toddlers to ajust and accept their new siblings.

Being around my mother is stressful and disturbing. She gets into me in a way that brings back to me all my bad souvenirs from my childhood. We just spend a couple of thousand on tickets to give her the chance to see her grand-daughter but the way she treats my husband and I makes us believe that she didn't diserved it. That is not going to happened again.If she wants to see them, she will have to come over and organised herself.

I am pretty miserable right now in this vacation. I don't want to feel this way right after I gave birth.

Anyway, this is a whole story on itself. I don't have the same luck then others who do have a great mom.

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Old 27.12.2010, 00:27
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Re: After Birth help and tips

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Wow! I knew I will have plenty of good tips here! I will try to answer and give as much informations as possible.

But don't follow my action of leaving the chocolate biscuit packet in the cot
Nils. I am going to send you a PM. Look after yourself.
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