1. Can Dad Take Paternity Leave from Work?
The first weeks home with your newborn will no doubt be enchanting and invigorating, but they will also be emotionally and physically demanding and exhausting. If it is at all possible to have your partner along for the ride, it’s an experience that you will both benefit from sharing. Not to mention, you can divide the workload, especially if you have other children at home to care for. Paternity leave rights and allowances vary from state to state, and country to country, and reimbursement will also depend on your husband’s place of employment and insurance carrier. Get the ball rolling on figuring out the details mid-way through your pregnancy, as figuring out a leave requires the company to plan for a temporary replacement, and typically requires a lot of paper work, negotiation and back and forth.
2. Be Prepared to Care for Baby and Yourself & Stock Your Home with Essentials
Even if you’re planning on breastfeeding, have some organic, eco-friendly formula on hand in the event you aren’t producing enough breast milk in her initial days of life to sustain your newborn. Know who your baby’s pediatrician will be, and have the number to a local lactation consultant in the event you need to make an appointment or a phone call with questions about nursing. Have a breast pump ready to go in the event breastfeeding gets off to a shaky start and you become engorged or need to pump to increase your milk supply. Be well supplied with diapers and all of baby’s essentials so you won’t have to worry about making trips to the store. Also, stock up with things you may need to heal after giving birth, such as this Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Recovery Kit that our Senior Editor Jasmin was happy to have in arm’s reach.
3. “Sleep When the Baby Sleeps”
As a Type-A personality, this advice, which was given out to me on a daily basis in those first few weeks, always annoyed me. How am I supposed to sleep when I have so much to get accomplished? I need to clean the house, make a deadline, take a shower! But in hindsight, I should have caught some much needed zzz’s. Those were the good ol’ days, because now I’ll have a 3-year-old to look after in tandem with a newborn, and napping isn’t even an option!
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