Today I take you into the period after the birth: the maternity week. Often, during the end of the pregnancy, only one thing comes to the fore: the birth. Here you prepare extensively for it and you are hopefully well informed about what to expect and what choices you can all make. However, preparing for childbirth often takes up so much space, especially in your head, that preparing for what comes next often gets in the way. For instance, you can already prepare what kind of food you want to feed your baby. If you want to start artificial feeding, you can read up on the different brands and what nutrients they contain for your baby, so you can make an informed choice. Do you want to breastfeed? Then you should prepare yourself well. For example, I chose to breastfeed and because of my experience and education, I knew what I was getting into. After all, the beginning is not easy and it takes time, rest and patience to get breastfeeding going properly. By preparing well for this, you know what to expect and what is normal. This gives you peace of mind and confidence. What also helped me a lot was including my partner in this decision. For me, it was especially important that Jordy was behind the decision to breastfeed and that he supported me where necessary. With breastfeeding, many people already think that all the "burden" then automatically falls on the woman's shoulders. This does not have to be the case! We picked it up as a team and went for it together. In the beginning, for instance, Jordy did the nappies and I did the feeding. As Maas reported for feedings every 2 hours, including at night, we ended up dividing the tasks differently. So I did the first part of the night feeding and changing nappies so Jordy could sleep and the second part of the night Jordy gave a bottle of pumped milk and did the nappies. Then I could sleep for a while. In the first weeks, a baby doesn't really have a rhythm yet and they often sleep longer during the day than at night. They have then reversed their day-night rhythm and this takes some time. So in the beginning, with both artificial and breastfeeding, it is accepting your "fate". Exactly what the difference is between artificial and breastfeeding will be discussed in a later blog. So you have prepared in pregnancy for the feeding you want to give and can start this period confidently and well-informed. Besides feeding, you can also make a conscious choice in the care products you use for your baby. This starts with the maternity package. You can opt for the standard maternity package that is sometimes reimbursed by your insurance, but you can also choose a natural maternity package. You can order this from Dalalou. It contains the same products as the standard maternity package, but all of them are organic. Furthermore, it always includes a cordring to clip off the navel after birth. In some standard maternity packs, the navel clamp has also been replaced by a cord ring. Would you like the navel to be clamped with a cordring? Then check with your insurance company to see what is included in the package. You may also be able to order the cordring separately. Are you now thinking: a cord ring? You can choose to have the umbilical cord clamped and cut after the birth (if you don't do this, it's called a lotus birth and the placenta will remain connected to your baby via the umbilical cord until the umbilical cord is released by itself). To clamp off the umbilical cord a blue plastic clamp was used as standard, but they now have an alternative for this and that is the cordring (there are more alternatives so read up on them!). This puts a small rubber ring around the umbilical cord instead of a large clamp.
Another thing that can influence your experience of the maternity bed is the maternity nurse who comes to the house. Preferably, maternity care is requested before 16 weeks of pregnancy, so you can think about this early on. Think carefully about what you expect from a maternity nurse and ask about experiences of people you know. You have "normal" maternity care but also natural maternity care. Read about the differences and make a conscious choice. Furthermore, you can choose to register with a maternity care agency or look for a freelancer. Because there is so much to tell about the maternity period and this story is already getting too long, we will split up this blog into several parts. We will talk about vitamins, the heel prick, nappies and much more!