This post is not to scare you mama! It’s to prepare! I didn’t know about night two with my first, so I broke down thinking it was my new reality. Going into night two with my second was so much easier, because I knew what to expect, and that’s my goal here for you. So let’s break it down, so you are ready for it!
First 24 hours
Let’s talk about what your newborn just went through.
Not only is the birthing experience exhausting for you, but it is for your newborn as well. It’s hard work being born, much like it is right after. They’ll be pulled, poked, measured, cleaned, fed, and much more. You’ll hear them scream, and that scream will sound good initially because it means they are here and healthy.
Let’s talk about you.
Generally, you’re still going on adrenaline here (and finally some food)! You’re settling into this new life, trying to figure out breastfeeding or the bottle and soaking in this beautiful new life. Meanwhile, everyone is coming in, checking on you, helping you, assessing the baby, calling, visiting, etc. It’s exciting and overwhelming.
Then typically, magic happens.
You get some sleep; your partner gets some sleep, the baby gets some sleep.
Then someone comes in for yet another test, and you want to scream because right now, everyone is peaceful.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like you are on a full night’s rest from night/day one. However, you got through it with some adrenaline; after all, you’ve been preparing for this for nine months.
Night two has a mind of its own. Suddenly, this baby is cluster feeding, and right when you close your eyes, they are up again. You seriously lack sleep and start wondering where all those nurses went. They aren’t checking on you like night one. The chaos from everyone else is gone, and the chaos from being a new parent is there.
You are going to feel overwhelmed- IT IS NORMAL!
Know you are not alone in this and understand it is NOT you! So what can you do to prep/get through night two?
Cluster feed that first day!!
Do not let that baby go more than two hours eating. I know it is hard, and I know you are sore if breastfeeding, but the more calories they can get in before the night, the better.
Let the nurse take them!
Once that baby is born, let the nurse take them from the room. When the nurse comes in for shots, baths, or whatever it might be ask if they can take the baby until the next feeding. DO NOT feel like a bad parent. Feel like a smart one! Task them to please take the baby.!! Use that time to rest; while you have help at the hospital. It’s better for everyone- including you!
Don’t get mad at your spouse if you are breastfeeding.
We are a team, feed the baby in whatever way you want! Simple as that. But if you chose to breastfeed, it can be hard to be the only one to feeding That baby is waking up to eat, and you’re the only one capable of doing it. Though it’s annoying watching them sleep while you feed, let them save their energy for when the baby isn’t eating. Now for the spouse- understand the exhausting job and let mama rest every time the baby is up and not eating. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Don’t be hard on yourself.
You can do this, and this night is going to be one of the hardest. Understanding this is so important. It will get better, and you will sleep again.
If only someone had told me about this night with my first. I remember crying, absolutely exhausted, thinking to myself- I couldn’t do this. I honestly thought this was how it would be from here on. Don’t do that to yourself, night two! You got this beautiful baby into the world; you are a rockstar, you are tough, you got this.