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Support when baby is born(33 Posts)
This is really a question for those who are already Mums!
This is my first baby and i'm dreading how I will cope once the baby is here- although of course very excited for the experience! We don't really have family we can/want to rely on heavily near by (more people who will pop in an out, put a few dishes in the dishwasher etc) and i'm thinking we are going to need additional support.
I want to be heavily involved in my child's upbringing from the start- but I am considering getting a maternity nanny. Does anyone have any experiences they can share? As I said I want more than anything to be a very big part of my child's life and I plan on breastfeeding (how will this work with a maternity nanny?) but it would be nice to have the opportunity to be able to take 10 minutes to have a shower and put some clean clothes on!
Also how do people cope housework wise?? I cannot live in clutter and dirt- nor can my husband (it would be very unfair to rely on him to do it as he works extremely long hours and it's doubtful he will be able to get time off work even). Do you hire cleaners? Learnt that once baby was born it didn't matter (I really can't imagine this being the case..)
I guess my ideal would be someone who would come in for a couple of hours during the day- look after the baby while I catch up on sleep/bathe and do some housework while i'm taking care of the baby- but I don't know if such a person exists?
I would love to hear other peoples experiences- either positive or negative.
Of course it is nice to have people to rely on but it isn't necessary. The closest friend or family member lives a 3 hour drive from us. I had a DS last year and had absolutely no help from anyone other than DP who works full time. It wasn't easy but it was perfectly doable.
honestly i wouldn't worry about any of this right now. I think you will be surprised at just how well you will cope.
Forgot to add, no we didn't hire a cleaner. I do all the housework myself. If i keep on top of it and we tidy up after ourselves it doesn't take very long at all.
Besides whilst babies are time consuming. They are not that time consuming that you never get a spare minute to do normal everyday things
until they are older and you need 4 sets of eyes
Don't fret it and of course congratulations and good luck!
I live overseas so don't have family nearby but have survived the first year without a nanny, cleaner etc.
I haven't found that a baby creates much additional clutter or mess (well, now when the contents of you boxes etc are emptied but that's not the same). Chucking crockery on the dishwasher, hoovering, wiping counters, laundry in washer etc are all one handed tasks.
Babies do sleep or sit in bouncy chairs and watch the world go by (perhaps not a first, but after a while) which lets you have a shower.
Honestly, don't stress. Babies and every day activity can work together just fine
Two friends have had maternity nurses and found it reassuring and helpful. Overnight, both breastfed and the baby was brought to them for feeds. The nurse dealt with any wakings/colic and they got some rest while the baby was at the needing to be held all the .time.
I imagine it's an enormous help but it's quite expensive and it's possible and completely normal to do without. If finances are not an issue, then by all means look into it. Tough when they go though!
I didn't feel I needed a maternity nurse. The night waking scare hard but as I needed to express, I would have had to be awake even with a nurse to help. I showered and got dressed every day. The first weeks are undoubtedly hard but you get through them. I had no help from family or friends (apart from my husband) and that was fine.
I had a cleaner before the baby and that continued so the place got a decent clean once a week.
(Ftm to a 16 week old.)
*the night wakings are hard.
There is no scaring, even over Halloween!
If you can afford it I'd get a cleaner as that sounds like something that will bother you. Babies don't make much extra mess but you will have less time to tidy and clean.
You won't really know until baby arrives how youwill cope some ffeed constantly and want to be held 'll the time others don't.
Can you partner be of any help, will he pitch in when he is Home? If not then I would get someone again if you can afford it.
I'm living abroad, no family near by and we coped fine with OH working 7 days a week and me 3 days a week from a week after the birth. But I had an easy pregnancy, labour and a sleepy baby. Plus neither of us care about mess or fancy meals.
I'm going to go against the grain and say if you are saying your DH is not going to take any leave then you need some hired help. Establishing breastfeeding in the first few weeks is extremely time consuming, new babies often don't sleep as much as the books say and not always when you'd like them to, and you might be recovering from birth or Csection.
I have three children and each time I've had DH around to help for 1-2 weeks of paternity leave then my mum for a further week.
I'd really encourage your DH to take time off though, that time is about bonding with your new baby as well as looking after you.
I have 3 children, youngest is 5m and don't have any help, manage perfectly well to keep the house going, cook dinner, do the school runs, even when I'm back at work (25 hrs a week)
If you are struggling you can find a cleaner later on. I would have a serious talk with DH and see what his plans are around the birth, and if he's not going to be your support look into hiring some, but I'd be pretty upset if he won't step up and be there. Different if you genuinely can't afford for him to take time off but if your are talking of hiring nurses that obviously isn't the case.
Have you considered a post natal doula? You can negotiate hours with them and they can help with all aspects of postnatal care, giving you time to shower but also being able to help with breastfeeding or answering questions if there are things you are worries about. I think it might be more help to you than a maternity nurse.
Our nearest relative who would be close enough to us to do housework etc lives 100 miles away, I exclusively breast fed and didn't hire any support. I lowered my standards for housework in the early weeks and H and I organised our tidying better so we shared doing the essentials. Otherwise I enjoyed my baby and let the other stuff slide.
Really no one expects you to have a spotless house when you have a newborn.
As for showers Eric is take the moses into the bathroom so she'd lie there while I had a quick shower, went to loo and brushed teeth etc. as she got bigger I had a bouncy chair in there.
I'll be honest and say I did find it tough. She did not sleep well, fed a lot and I was sore after birth. When H went back to work it was hard. We wouldn't have had the finances to hire someone but I did wish we had family on the doorstep a lot more than I do these days.
A lot will depend on your baby (some are much more easy going than others) and potentially how you're feeling post birth - a tough vb or section can restrict your ability to move and lift stuff. So it's worth having phone numbers to hand but seeing how you do. A sling can really help to give you both hands free. Getting a freezer full of food to reheat in advance really helps, as does getting guests to bring food. For me the most crucial thing was time to have a decent sleep for an hour or so between feeds - it's amazing how much difference even a short nap made. You could try a post natal doula, particularly if the father can't take time off during the tough first weeks.
I have had three dc with no "help" be it paid help or from family
Dp also took next to no leave
Fair enough I didnt bf but I don't think help is really needed in most cases I'd consider it more a luxury
I have a 9 week old and no local support. My husband did take a few weeks paternity and that was great but since then we've coped fine. I do housework when the baby sleeps and bath when my husband gets home (I know you say he works long hours but surely he'll want some time with his baby?)
In my opinion a cleaner/ nanny is not necessary but of course great if it works for you. I personally wouldn't get the nanny as I'd feel a bit redundant as I'd feel she was doing 'my job'.
It just depends on your baby. I had a difficult newborn who either fed from me or slept on me. I couldn't do anything. Now its a toddler it's much much easier as she can toddle around destroying everything while I get housework done. Fingers crossed you get one of those ones you can put in a moses basket/bouncy chair. But to be honest if you can afford it get help! Why make things harder than they need to be.
I think the key issue here is your DH being unable to take any leave. Is this set in stone?
In some cultures women are looked after and expected to do nothing except look after the baby for the first 40 days. The other women in the family and community rally round to do all the other stuff.
You will get some comments on here along the lines of "I had my dd at 2pm and was the up and about to pick the 4 other dc up from school within the hour".
You must do what you feel comfortable with. Looking back, I would have loved someone like the traditional "mother's helper" to come in for a few hours a day. To help keep on top of all the house stuff etc.
It totally depends on the baby who turns up. You could get a placid, sleepy one who allows you to get on top of the house, or you could get one who takes enormous effort to even get two naps out of a day, who cries whenever put down and screams blue murder if you try to shower, even with them right there. I had the latter. My husband didn't take any leave, so I was on my own. I waited till he got in to shower.
I'd say some help would be great, depending on the kind of baby you get. Also, sometimes they seem v sleepy at first while they recover from birth and then their real temperament becomes apparent after a week or so......... Good luck x
If you are in the UK your Dh can take paternity leave to let you all bond as a new family. The majority of new mums cope perfectly well without maternity nurses etc, if you can afford a cleaner then go for it. As for dressing and showers just make sure baby is fed and clean then pop them in their crib and get on with showering etc.
My 4th baby was a nightmare! Couldn't put her down for 5mins, she never slept in the day so I could get the smallest thing done, everything was half done! I had to have dinner at 9pm most nights as that's when she'd finally nod off. Then I could shower or bathe. The house was a shit pit for a while. My other 3 were quite content in watching me move about doing chores, so it does depend on the baby. If I had the finances I'd of definitely hired at least a cleaner twice a week. Currently expecting baby no.5 and I'm really hoping he's not a fuss pot.
we have a 3 month old dd, and like you, no nearby family or friends to help at all. But it's been manageable, although if dh's job was less flexible (he's an academic, and is not teaching this year) then I might have considered a cleaner! The first six weeks or so were definitely the hardest and there were times I would have loved someone to sit with dd so I could nap, but it has got a lot easier. she's now content to sit in her bouncy chair while I do stuff, she quite enjoys watching me iron for example, and I shower in the evenings when my dh is around. Getting food for myself was hard in the early weeks as it felt like she was constantly feeding so I set up a little table of snacks and drinks so there was always something on hand. also, as I'd had a c section, we set up a changing station in the kitchen so I didn't have to keep carrying dd up and down stairs. Just small things to make life easier!
I'm a little envious at being able to afford a maternity nanny without it being an issue to be honest!
I did find it hard at the beginning, wasn't one of those women who just coped brilliantly. A lot was down to anxiety though, which I only realised afterwards. I didn't know anything about babies, and worked myself into a lather about whether BF was going ok.
Some was also due to precious first born syndrome, which I recognised in friends afterwards (but never commented on obviously).
I'd consider getting a cleaner for an hour a day maybe at first. I wouldn't have wanted to hand over my baby to someone else even for a few hours at the beginning. Even though I was fairly all over the shop, I still showered daily and got dressed! Sometimes people exaggerate how bad it is, it's only the first few days at home while you're recovering & getting settled in that are overwhelming. I know your husband obviously works hard, but surely he can take even a couple of days leave at the beginning? Everyone is entitled to holidays.
I'm expecting number one, DH will be off for the first two weeks, and my mum is coming for a week not long after, but usually lives 3-4 hours away. I am currently looking for a cleaner to start ASAP as I'm too big
lazy to do much housework these days. DH has really stepped up and is helping, but his standards aren't quite the same as mine and I'd quite like to not spend our weekends vaccing. I'm still at work for a few more weeks, but will be asking her to stay on while I'm on mat leave and when the baby is born. We will also be keeping on the dog walker until I feel ready to take our mad hound out with a baby in a sling.
If you can afford a little help, I'd get a cleaner certainly. Personally, even without DH, I wouldn't fancy having someone I don't know 'interfering' with my parenting, but that's because I am more than a little control freakish. If you've got some spare cash for that sort of thing, I'd say just go nuts and fill your freezer with really nice farm shop ready meals and soups, so you don't have to worry about cooking. If you have dinner sorted and the house is clean, then you just have to look after the baby.
That's my plan anyway - ask me how it's working out in March
I think if you can afford the help then it will be nice to have. I had DH off work for 2 weeks plus my mum staying nearby for the first 7 weeks to help me a few hours a day (she lives abroad so this was just a short term thing very much arranged so she could help if I needed help). I never had a cleaner and found I had more time for cleaning after the baby than before (he was a great napper so I had about 5 hours a day to myself until he was 6 months old!). I also had no problem bathing after DH went back to work as by week 3 DS was napping well (though he did take some time to settle...lots of tummy patting). But I think I'd have loved extra help if I didn't know I had the option of mum's assistance once DH was back at work.
You don't say if you have a DP/DH who will be around initially. Will he have paternity leave?
My DP did and it was really helpful for those first couple of weeks. I also don't have family nearby but my mum did come to stay for a week after DP went back to work, which helped too. After that I was on my own and it really isn't all that hard.
I shower/do housework when DS is napping or playing (well looking at a mobile/baby gym)
Or sit him in his bouncy chair and bring him with me. I sing to him while I'm getting dressed/doing hair to keep him occupied.
I'm not the best person to ask about catching up on sleep though, they say sleep when baby sleeps but I've never been able to do that. I do try and nap when DP is home but fbd I can never sleep. But hey, you may be really lucky and have a baby that sleeps through the night from early on.
Above all, enjoy every moment and don't worry about it! Good luck
If you can afford it, do it! We couldn't afford it but my mum helped a bit. Doing something hard but doable seems daft if you can get some help.
I'd advertise for a baby friendly cleaner locally. Probably easier than finding a post natal doula willing to do chores too. I'd get him / her to start asap so you can get used to each other and so you can suss out whether they'll be suitable to help with baby
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