Baby’s Here – Post Pregnancy Help

new babyYour new born baby has arrived!

Few things are more wondrous than cuddling your new baby your hands – your little bundle of joy.  In our guides we tell you expert-tried-and-tested strategies on how to work your way through the challenges you may come across.  Many of your will sail through the first few month, others of you will find things a little harder, but we hope you fill find some of the answers to your questions here.

What happens immediately after birth?

The circumstances of your birth will determine what happens immediately your baby has been delivered.  Some babies will be delivered and put directly into your arms or on your abdomen, especially if your have a normal delivery and you and your baby are in perfect condition.  Others may need a little more attention before they are passed to you. Don’t worry if this is the case – your medical team will be doing the best thing for both you and your baby. No doubt they will be wrapped in a piece of swaddling, blanket or towel, since babies don’t have the self-regulating mechanism to control their own temperature, and passed to your as soon as possible.  Some babies will need a little oxygen directly after their birth before they are handed back to you.  They will soon ‘pink up’ and their skin will loose the blueish tinge.

Your doctor or midwife will clamp the umbilical cord in 2 places and then it will be cut between the 2 clamps. Your partner may be offered the opportunity to do this.

First things first – a few tips and pointers for you

Your new baby’s breath – no doubt you will watching and listening to your new baby’s breath.  It’s normal for them to breath up to 60 times in a minute, and even though it might be a little scary they may have pauses of up to 6 seconds.  Little snorts and ‘sighs’ are normal too.  To check your baby’s breath you can either

  • watch by looking for the up and down of their chest to see the movement of their breath
  • feel the air against your skin – easiest done on the sensitive skin of your cheek
  • listen with your ear close to your baby’s nose and mouth – you will hear their little sounds

Do watch out for signs of rapid breathing or any wheezing, any blueness around their lips and nose, an effort to breath, or rapid breathing as these symptoms could be an indicator of a respiratory problem. Discuss with your doctor if you see these symptoms and if you are worried call your doctor, emergency service or go to your emergency room.  I’m sure you will have heard about SIDS (sudden infant deaths syndrome) or commonly known as cot death, but do not worry excessively about this as it is actually rare and only affects less than one in one thousand babies.  Make sure though you put your baby to sleep on their back whilst they are under 6 months of age.

First feedsbreastfeeding new baby
Whether you are feeding your baby yourself or are using formula during the first few days your baby will eat little and often due to the size of their stomach. Try to keep night feedings as brief and calm as possible so your baby doesn’t become too awake and their senses alerted.  Just feed, don’t play or talk to them whilst they are feeding.

Breastfeeding vs formula milk
If you are going to breast feed your newborn baby your midwife will get you to try very soon after they are born.  The first few times can be a little difficult as you both learn how to ‘latch on’ to the nipple, but persevere and all will be good.  If you can’t or don’t want to breast feed then that is fine – your baby will still grow into a healthy child. There are varying opinions on which method of feeding is best but don’t allow them to affect and upset you. Your choice is the right one for you and your baby.

Burping and bringing up sick
Babies often regurgitate some of their milk during or after a feed, but don’t be too concerned with this, just make sure you have plenty of bibs or muslins with you.  Some babies might need to be burped a couple of times during each feed, whilst others will be OK at the end.  One of the things you will learn is that every baby is different and the most important thing is that you do what suits you and your baby best.

Projectile vomiting
This is where your baby brings up their milk in such a way as it literally flies across the bed, the room, the sofa or even you in quite a forceful way.  In fact where-ever you are! The first time it happened to me I was very afraid but I quickly realized that it happens to everyone and is not generally a cause for concern.

My baby’s poo is black or dark green!
Don’t panic,  the first few bowel movements your baby makes includes a substance called meconium. Your baby’s body is ridding itself of it’s stomach contents from the nine months it has spent in your womb. After a few days this will settle down and change into different shades of  yellow/brown.  The color, and also consistency, will depend upon your baby’s diet – whether you are breast feeding or using formula milk – and even more so once you move onto solid foods.

Newborn babies normally sleep for about 4 hours at a stretch, with a total of 16 hours a day being quite sufficient. Remember to get sufficient sleep yourself and take the opportunity to get some rest whilst your baby does. The first few days and months can be very tiring and you should take advantage of a few moments of peace and quiet to recharge your own batteries.

Bathing a newly-born baby isn’t the easiest of things. It’s amazing how slippy they can be.  Make sure you have a warm room with no drafts and have everything you need before you put your baby in the water such as towels, clean diapers – you always need a spare clos

e by, and of course clean clothes. NEVER leave your baby unattended, no matter how little water is in the baby bath. Ensure the water temperature is not too hot or cold.  The old fashioned method of checking the temperature with your elbow is still a good way to check it’s not too hot. Supporting their head, use a small cup or bowl and gently pour water over your baby.  Remember to use a mild soap made for babies as their skin is very delicate. Take care not to get soap in their eyes, then rinse and gently pat them dry. Wrap them up in a warm towel for a big hug before dressing them!

new baby

Newborn babies will cry – it’s a fact! It’s their only communication method in these early days, and may be because they are are hungry or thirsty, have colic or feel uncomfortable with a dirty diaper.  You will soon learn to understand their crying and develop an instinct for when something is wrong.  Trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to seek if necessary.

When can I have sex again?
Sex?  You might be thinking I don’t want sex right away! And you should wait for your doctor or midwife to give you the all clear, before having sex after the birth of your baby, especially if you had to have any stitches.  My point here really is that you should make sure you take the right precautions if you don’t want to get pregnant right away again. It is possible to fall pregnant directly after having your baby.

Weightloss/gain and stretchmarks
For most women it is normal to have gained weight during your pregnancy, and many women are keen to loose the pounds quickly. There is great pressure on women to be slim all the time and many media stories show celebrities back to their svelte figures only weeks after giving birth.  But give yourself a break, enjoy the early days with your baby and take your time to slowly get back into shape. Talk to your medical team for diet advice after the arrival of your baby – they can recommend workout ideas too.  If you are lucky enough to have a gym membership then ask your trainer for exercises that are appropriate for you after giving birth.  There are also many gym and yoga classes that incorporate your baby into the routine – these are fun ways to exercise and also help you bond with your new baby.  You may have experienced stretchmarks during your pregnancy, but there are ways to help you recover from these on our page “Stretchmarks in Pregnancy“.


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