Don't expect too much of yourself in the first few weeks after the birth.
To begin with, you'll probably find that you want to concentrate on looking after your baby.
It can be a good idea to try and control the amount of visitors you have. John explains how this worked for him and Laura:
"After Laura came out of hospital, we had a visit a day from close family for three days. It was good to see them and they didn't stay for long. Our friends knew we wanted to be left alone for the first week. During the second week, we visited a few friends, but we didn't invite anyone to the house so we could control when to go home and be alone. Then, for the third week, Laura's mother stayed with us. She wasn't interfering, but was always there and got on with what needed doing."
A group of new mothers gave their tips for how to 'survive' the early days:
• Give yourself as many breaks as possible and don't feel guilty about it.
• Sleep when your baby sleeps.
• Eat regularly - pre-prepared foods save time and energy, but have some fresh fruit as well.
• Accept all offers of help - ironing, cooking, or shopping.
• Telephone people who make you feel good - best friend, mum, health visitor, NCT postnatal supporter.
• Tap into existing support networks, for example, track down your local NCT branch. Look out for parent and toddler mornings, which are usually held in church halls. Remember, everyone is different, so find a solution that works well for you.
"I would suggest that every mum rests and relaxes as much as possible, and doesn't think about anything but herself and the baby." Health visitor