In celebration of National Women”s Health Week, we are pleased to introduce our Guest Blogger, Katie Moore. Katie Moore is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, and childbirth. She loves being able to share her ideas with others, and while she enjoys writing, her real passion and full time job is being the best wife and mother she can be!

Welcoming a new baby is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Upon meeting that special tiny person, your life will never be the same. Although you know life will be different, you may not be sure exactly how things will change. Here are some ways you may have to adjust, along with some tips for enjoying your first moments and days with a newborn.

Long labors are tiring, but nothing will re-energize you more than the feeling of finally having your newborn in your arms! So that you can give those first moments with your little one your undivided attention there are a few immediate postpartum decisions that should be made ahead of time. These include:

• Feeding method. Are you planning to breastfeed or bottle feed? It’s important to figure this out beforehand, especially if you feel strongly about nursing your baby. Babies are ready to nurse almost as soon as they are born, so knowing what you prefer is important.
• Cord blood banking. If you are planning to bank your baby’s cord blood, it needs to before before your baby’s birth. Cord blood banking is where the umbilical cord blood is collected after birth and stored for your family – to provide the unique benefit of being available as a potential medical resource, should the need arise in the future.
• Routine newborn procedures. Most hospitals routinely give babies routine tests and screenings as well as both erythromycin eye drops and a Vitamin K injection shortly after birth. Be sure to research these procedures and tests to be sure that you feel comfortable with them before you go into labor.

After you’ve gotten through the initial postpartum phase at the hospital, it’s time to take your baby home and adjust to caring of your baby without the help of ever-present nurses and doctors. Although every newborn is different, there are some common factors that tend to surprise most new parents. For instance, you may have heard that you lose a lot of sleep when you have a newborn. This is true, but it may shock you how much your baby sleeps during the first few days at home. Newborns need a high quantity of sleep, but do not always have quality sleep, as they have to eat and be diapered frequently.

So how do you best adjust to these changes? Sleep when baby sleeps, accept help from loved ones, and do not forget to eat! You should try to already have some healthy and quick meal options on hand. That way, you can feed yourself while you keep up with the frequent feeding needs of your sweet baby. Care for yourself during this special time!