Realistic Expectations for Your Newborn

Kelly Maslen has been supporting families as a Toronto birth doula for 14 years to learn more about her services please visit

Realistic expectations are difficult to consider when what we see in the media are hollywood actresses looking fit, well rested and in the best fashions, so how can we possibly compare ourselves and keep up? We can’t because this is not reality!

Here are 5 things that are realistic and can be done to help recover from birth whether it’s vaginal or a cesarean:

  1. Call upon your village: friends, family, neighbours. Reality is spending what time you can in and around your bed. Feeding, napping and eating when possible. If you are able to call on your village to help do the housework, dog walking, and cooking this is your best bet for survival for the first few weeks.
  2. Sleep: Ha! I know right?! everyone talks of sleepless nights however in the first 24 of your baby’s life they will sleep for at least 2-4 hours. Take that opportunity to SLEEP! Don’t invite family and friends to admire your baby it will only exhaust you further.
  3. Skin to Skin: Not only is this important within the first few seconds of of your baby’s life it’s important to stay skin to skin for days after birth on both parents. Not only will this help increase bonding, sleep, milk supply, confidence, sanity, and nurture a happy baby when people come to visit they won’t want to disturb the baby on your skin which means less people with colds holding the fresh little life.
  4. Give in to the cluster feeding: Your baby will want to feed constantly over the next week helping to create an abundant milk supply for you. Your baby is not starving but making enough milk to feel satisfied as they grow bigger and their tummies expand. Stay in bed, feed, feed, feed, and sleep in between.
  5. Hire a professional: Doulas will make your family’s life so much easier, they provide breast or bottle feeding support, meal prep, emotional support, answer your million questions about baby care and take the stress off your partner that does everything! Add a doulas support to your baby registry, or save up! Priorities right? Would you rather an expensive stroller or sanity in those first few weeks of your baby’s life?

Kelly Maslen has been supporting families as a Toronto birth doula for 14 years to learn more about her services please visit

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