Tips you must-read for your first week with your newborn baby
Thinking about the first week with your baby is quite a task. It's exciting, daunting, and amazing. Though you will have mixed feelings and thoughts in your mind, you are equally feeling proud and all set to embrace the new phase of your life like never before. It is absolutely normal to feel confused and nervous as every new mother is unaware and anxious about what is in store for her in the coming days.
Yes, no doubt, there will be lots of changes in your routine life. But as a new mother, it is important to stay positive and be self-motivated. The first week after your childbirth is all about just you and your baby. You need to keep the following things in your mind, which will prep you for the first week with the newest addition to your family.
Preparing for the first week with the newborn baby
Remember, this is the first week and it will be the most memorable for both the mother and child to cherish for a lifetime:
1. Mastering the skill of breastfeeding
Your little one is just out of your tummy and she will start growing at a rapid rate right from day one. For this, she will need all the healthy nutrition and energy which, by nature, only a mother's breast milk can supply.
The first nursing on the first two days can be quite an ordeal for both you and your baby, but this is the most important feed for your baby as the colostrum(may look less like milk but more like a colorless liquid) from the first nursing is the most nutrition-rich food for your baby. Breast milk may be produced after 36 hours for most women. However, for some women breastmilk may take time and is seen only after four-five days of childbirth.
Grandma’s Tip: In such cases, encourage your baby to suck often which might fasten the process of milk production. Consult a lactation specialist who can help you and baby have a smoother experience to master the skill faster. While breastfeeding is important for your baby, burping after every feed is equally important.
Though many mothers may find it extremely painful in the first two to three days, with proper practice and postures the pain will gradually subside. New mothers must watch out for any cracked nipples, soreness or dry skin around the nursing area which might aggravate the pain. Proper care of the breasts after consulting with the doctor can help reduce the discomfort and pain.
2. EAT-SLEEP-PEE/POOP Cycle
Yes, the only thing your newborn is good at for the first few weeks especially the first week is Eat-Sleep-Pee-Poop. Don't be surprised if you have just finished a feed and after 15 minutes your little one is crying for more! her body is growing at an unimaginable rate and this needs all the care and support from you. Every newborn will need at least 20 hours of sleep and nursing at an interval of every one or two hours depending on the supply of milk. But this doesn't mean you cannot rest. Every new mother is advised to nap when the baby naps. That is the only way to catch up on the deprived sleep.
As your little one is fed, she will also urinate and poop to empty her bladder. So, keep checking the diaper and make sure you don't leave it wet or damp for long. Newborns can easily get infected so it is important to keep her private areas clean. Keep wet-wipes, diapers and baby suits handy. The first week's poop will be black in color which is absolutely normal. In case of any other concerns or doubt do reach out to the pediatrician.
3. Your body is recovering
Your body has undergone changes like never before. After all, you are carrying a new life in your womb who is of a watermelon size. So this cannot be a simple process. Your body will take time to recover back to your normal state and mostly this will take six months to one year.
(a) If you are having/had a normal delivery, then the first week will be more painful as the stitches in your vagina are yet to dry and heal. The area down there will be moist and wet usually because of the bleeding and medication. Bleeding should stop within two weeks or maximum up to a month.
Stitches will gradually heal within 15 days. You will have to take extra care and keep it hygiene all the time to avoid any kind of infection. Keep your kit ready with sanitary pads, tissues, loose-fitting cotton clothes and doctors number in case of an emergency. Remember your body is very sensitive and fragile after the childbirth in the first week and almost up to one month. It is very important to eat healthily and stay positive to nourish your baby in a healthy manner.
(b) In case of a C-section, the stitches in your lower abdomen will be painful and you need to take extra care while bending or stretching your body. Be careful with your postures while sleeping and feeding the baby. Here again, stitches should heal within two weeks. In case of any discomfort or doubt do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
4. Doctor’s visit
Doctor’s visit in the first week is very important for you and your newborn. In most cases, newborn babies develop jaundice in the first week of their birth. A doctor's visit is a must to get this checked and avoid any complications. Also, there could be any pending newborn screening or vaccination, which should not be missed.
5. Time for visitors
A new bundle of joy in the family is definitely an occasion to celebrate and cherish. You will have many visitors at home who wants to take a glimpse of the little one and of course, convey best wishes to the proud parents. To avoid any disturbance for the baby and for yourself, you could keep them informed in advance on the most preferable time to visit. You can also request them to avoid bouquet or any fancy decorative items, as they could be infectious and allergic.
You may refrain from allowing your guest to carry your baby just to avoid any kind of infection. Alternatively, keep sanitizers handy at home, so that you can encourage your guests to use them before handling the baby.
The first week is a special one and please make sure you enjoy every moment of it. Stay positive and healthy. This is also the best time to seek support from your partner and your family. It is also a good opportunity for your partner to bond more with you and the little bundle of joy.