Tips how to care first days with new baby by fatimahrina


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									  13 The first
  days with your
  new baby
                                                                                        ‘I don’t think I’ll ever
      n the first few days after the birth, you and your baby are beginning
      to get to know each other. Don’t feel you have to make a great                    forget those first few
      effort. Just have your baby close to you as much as you can.                      days. Feeling so happy.
    Partners also need plenty of opportunity to handle the baby and feel                Though I don’t know
  close. Many fathers feel a little left out, especially if they have to leave          why. I couldn’t sleep,
  you and the baby in hospital and return to an empty home. They may                    the ward was so noisy.
  need support and encouragement to get involved, but the more you can                  I was sore. I couldn’t
  both hold and cuddle your baby the more confident you’ll all feel.                     move about very well.
                                                                                        I missed Alan and
                                                                                        home. But I felt
                                                                                        happier than I can
  YOU                                                                                   ever begin to say.’

  You may feel tired for the first few           For a lot of mothers the excitement     ‘I couldn’t believe it.
  days, so make sure you get plenty of       and the pleasure of the new baby far       I’d never been much of
  rest. Even just walking and moving         outweigh any problems. But some do         a one for babies. And
  about can seem like hard work. If          begin to feel low (see page 117) or        Dean wasn’t even a
  you’ve had stitches, they’ll feel sore     rather depressed, especially if they are   pretty baby, not at first.
  and you may feel worried about             very tired or feel that they are not       Very spotty and
  going to the toilet.                       making any progress or can’t look          blotchy. But he was
     Once your breasts start to fill with     after their baby as they would like.       perfect to me. He
  milk, they may feel uncomfortable or          Giving birth is an emotional and        bowled me over.’
  painful for a day or so. If you’re         tiring experience and your hormones
  breastfeeding, it will help to feed        change dramatically in the first few        ‘I felt awful. I was
  your baby as often as he or she needs      days. Some women feel rather weepy         so tired, on top of
  (see page 69). You might also like to      around the third day, especially if the    everything else. But
  apply a warm cloth just before a feed      labour was difficult, or if they are        there was one thing
  to help relieve the engorgement. If        very tired or have other worries. This     about it. Bob got to
  you intend to bottle feed from the         is known as the ‘baby blues’. Some         know the baby much
  start, you needn’t do anything, but,       women worry because they don’t             better than he would
  on the third or fourth day, your           love their baby immediately, but, as       have done if I’d been
  breasts may be tender as the milk is       with any relationship, it’s not always     more on top. He was
  still being produced. Wearing a firm,       love at first sight. You may just need      holding her and
  supportive bra may help. Speak to          to give yourself time – you can still      cuddling her right
  your midwife if you are very               care for your baby and provide all the     from the start.’
  uncomfortable.                             warmth and security he or she needs.

                                                                                                                107                                        Free Natural Health Ebooks
The first days with your new baby

                                   BEING IN HOSPITAL                         dry the vulva carefully. Pelvic floor
                                                                             exercises can also help healing (see
                                   If you have your baby in hospital,        page 16). If the stitches are sore and
                                   you’ll probably be moved to the           uncomfortable, tell your midwife as
                                   postnatal ward after the birth to be      she may be able to recommend
                                   with other mothers who have also          treatment. Painkilling tablets will
                                   had their babies. Some mothers            also help. If there is swelling and
                                   enjoy their stay in hospital and find      bruising, it may be possible to have
                                   it restful and easy. Others find it        some ultrasound treatment from
                                   tiring and rather stressful. It depends   the physiotherapist. In any case,
                                   on how you’re feeling, whether you        remember to sit down gently and lie
                                   like the company of other mothers         on your side rather than your back
                                   or miss your privacy, and on how the      to start with.
                                   ward is organised. In any case, your         The thought of passing urine can
                                   stay in hospital, if your delivery is     be a bit frightening at first because
                                   uncomplicated, is likely to be short.     of the soreness and because you can’t
                                      It helps if you’ve discussed your      seem to feel what you are doing.
                                   postnatal care with your midwife          Sometimes it’s easier to pass urine
                                   during pregnancy so you know what         while sitting in a bowl of water or a
                                   to expect. Any preferences can then       warm bath. The water dilutes the
                                   be recorded on your birth plan (see       urine so that it doesn’t sting. If you
                                   page 38) so that staff on the postnatal   really find it impossible to pass urine,
                                   ward will be aware of your wishes.        tell your midwife. Also drink lots of
                                      You’re likely to need quite a lot of   water to dilute the urine.
                                   help and advice with your first baby.         You probably won’t need to open
                                   The midwives are there to guide and       your bowels for a few days after the
                                   support you as well as checking that      birth, but it’s important not to let
                                   you are recovering from the birth.        yourself become constipated. Eat
                                   Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you     fresh fruit, vegetables, salad and
                                   need it. If you do have a problem         brown bread, and drink plenty of
                                   with the way things are organised in      water. This should mean that when
                                   hospital, talk it over with one of the    you do open your bowels you will
                                   staff. Perhaps a change can be made.      pass a stool more easily. Whatever it
                                      If all is going well with both you     may feel like, it’s very unlikely that
                                   and the baby, then most hospitals         you will break the stitches or open
                                   will probably give you the option of      up the cut or tear again, but it might
                                   going home after 48 hours or even         feel better if you hold a pad of clean
                                   earlier, even if it’s your first baby.     tissue over the stitches when you are
                                      The community midwife will visit       trying to pass a stool. Avoid straining
                                   you at home and continue to help          for the first few days. Sometimes
                                   you to care for yourself and your         stitches have to be taken out, but
                                   baby. You will need to make sure          usually they just dissolve after a week
                                   that your partner or someone else         or so, by which time the cut or tear
                                   can be there to help you at home          will have healed.
                                   and do the cooking and housework.

                                                                             Piles (see page 81) are very common
                                   If you’ve had stitches, bathing the       after delivery but they usually
                                   area often will help healing. Use a       disappear within a few days. Eat
                                   bath, shower or cotton wool and           plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables,
108                                plain warm water. After bathing,          salad, brown bread and wholegrain                                           Free Natural Health Ebooks
                                                                                          The first days with your new baby

  cereals, and drink plenty of water.         or months after that. If you are not      ‘That first week was
  This should make it easier and less         breastfeeding, your first period           nothing but problems.
  painful when you pass a stool. Try          might start as early as a month after     One thing after another,
  not to push or strain as this will          the birth. But it could be much later.    first me and then the baby.
  make the piles worse. Let the               You can become pregnant before            Everybody was very
  midwife know if you feel very               your period starts even if you are        helpful, but it was still a
  uncomfortable. She will be able to          breastfeeding, so make sure you           week or two before I got
  give you an ointment to soothe them.        decide on a reliable form of              sorted out.’
                                              contraception before you and
                                              your partner make love again
  BLEEDING                                    (see page 117).                                   POSTNATAL
  After the birth you will lose blood
  and discharge from the vagina. The          YOUR SHAPE                                 Postnatal exercises (see page
  loss will probably be quite heavy at                                                   115) will help to tone up the
  first, which is why you will need            Your breasts will be larger at first and    muscles of your pelvic floor
  super absorbent sanitary towels. Do         while you are breastfeeding regularly.     and tummy and help you
  not use tampons until after your            You need to wear a supportive              find your waist again! They
  postnatal check since they can cause        nursing bra if you are breastfeeding.      will also get you moving and
  infections in the early weeks after         If you are not breastfeeding, your         feeling generally fitter. You
  the birth. During breastfeeds you           breasts will reduce in size in a week      may be able to attend a
  may notice that the discharge is            or so.                                     postnatal exercise class while
  more red or heavier. You may also              Your abdomen will seem quite            you are in hospital and
  have ‘after pains’. These are both          baggy after delivery. Despite having       afterwards. Ask your midwife
  because feeding causes the womb to          delivered your baby plus the placenta      or physiotherapist.
  contract. They are a good sign that         and a lot of fluid, you will still be
  everything inside you is going back         quite a lot bigger than you were
  to normal. Bleeding often becomes           before pregnancy. This is partly
  heavier around seven to ten days            because your muscles have stretched.               RUBELLA
  after delivery, but, if you find you are     If you eat a balanced diet and
  losing blood in large clots, you            exercise, your shape should soon          If you were not immune to
  should save these towels to show the        return to normal. Breastfeeding           rubella (German measles)
  midwife as you may need some                helps because it makes the womb           when tested early in your
  treatment. Gradually, the discharge         contract. Sometimes, because this is      pregnancy, you will probably
  will become a brownish colour and           happening, you may feel a quite           be offered immunisation
  may continue for some weeks,                painful twinge in your abdomen or         before you leave hospital or
  getting less and less.                      period-type pain while you are            shortly afterwards by your
                                              feeding. Breastfeeding also uses up       GP. If this doesn’t happen,
                                              more calories, so it can help you to      ask. This is a good
  SEX AND CONTRACEPTION                       lose some of the weight gained in         opportunity to get it done.
                                              pregnancy. Some women do not              You should not get pregnant
  Before you leave hospital, a midwife        return to their normal weight until       again for one month after the
  or doctor will probably talk to you         after they have finished                   injection. For more
  about contraception. If this doesn’t        breastfeeding.                            information about rubella,
  happen, you may want to ask.                   It is quite common after having a      visit
  Although it may seem very early to          baby to find it difficult to control
  be thinking about making love               your bladder if you laugh, or move
  again, it can be easier to sort out any     suddenly, and to leak some water.
  questions about contraception while         Pelvic floor exercises (see page 16)
  you are in hospital rather than later       will help with this. If the problem
  on. If you’re breastfeeding you may         persists after three months, see your
  not have another period until you           doctor, who may refer you to a
  stop feeding, or even for some weeks        physiotherapist.                                                       109                                        Free Natural Health Ebooks
The first days with your new baby

                                   RHESUS NEGATIVE MOTHERS                   and by injection. Discuss with your
                                                                             doctor or midwife the best method
                                   If your blood group is rhesus negative    for your baby.
                                   and the baby’s father’s is rhesus
                                   positive, blood samples will be taken     NEWBORN HEARING
                                   after delivery to see whether your        SCREENING PROGRAMME
                                   baby is rhesus positive and whether
                                                                             Your baby will be offered a series of
                                   you need an injection to protect your
                                                                             routine health checks in the first few
                                   next baby from anaemia. If so, the
                                                                             weeks of life. This can include a
                                   injection should be given within 72
                                                                             hearing screen – a quick and simple
                                   hours of delivery. Check with one of
                                                                             test to check the hearing of all
                                   the doctors or midwives what should
                                                                             newborn babies. A small number of
                                   happen in your particular case.
                                                                             babies are born with a hearing loss.
                                                                             This screening test will allow those
                                   YOUR          BABY                        babies who have a hearing loss to be
                                                                             identified early. Early identification of
                                   Soon after birth you’ll be able to        hearing loss and appropriate help from
                                   look properly at your baby and            services are important to help with
                                   notice every detail – the colour and      the development of the child’s
                                   texture of the hair, the shape of the     language and social skills, and to
                                   hands and feet, and the different         ensure effective support and
                                   expressions on your baby’s face. If       information are provided for the
                                   you notice anything that worries          parents. See for
                                   you, however small, ask your doctor       further information.
                                   or midwife. Your baby will be
                                   examined by a doctor to make sure         NEWBORN BLOOD SPOT
                                   everything is all right.                  SCREENING (HEEL PRICK TEST)

                                                                             About a week after birth, your
                                   THE NAVEL
                                                                             midwife will ask to take a sample of
                                   Shortly after birth the midwife will      blood from your baby’s heel. This is
                                   clamp the umbilical cord close to         used to test for rare but potentially
                                   your baby’s navel with a plastic clip.    serious illnesses. All babies are tested
                                   She then cuts the cord, leaving a         for phenylketonuria (PKU – a
                                   small bit of cord with the clamp          metabolic disorder) and congenital
                                   attached. The cord will take about a      hypothyroidism (CHT – low thyroid
                                   week to dry out and drop off. Keep        hormone). Babies are also tested for
                                   the navel clean and dry until this        other conditions, including sickle cell
                                   happens. If you notice any bleeding       disorders and, in some cases, cystic
                                   or discharge from the navel, tell your    fibrosis. For more information on
                                   midwife, health visitor or doctor.        blood spot screening, see
                                   VITAMIN K                        More information on sickle
                                                                             cell screening is at
                                   We all need vitamin K to make our
                                   blood clot properly so that we won’t
                                   bleed too easily. Some newborn            THE FONTANELLE
                                   babies have too little vitamin K.
                                   Although this is rare, it can cause       On the top of your baby’s head near
                                   them to bleed dangerously into the        the front is a diamond-shaped patch
                                   brain. To prevent this you should be      where the skull bones haven’t yet
                                   offered vitamin K: which will be          fused together. This is called the
                                   given to your baby. There are two         fontanelle. It will probably be a year
110                                ways of giving vitamin K, by mouth        or more before the bones close over                                           Free Natural Health Ebooks
                                                                                            The first days with your new baby

  it. You may notice it moving as your          girl. Girls also sometimes bleed a bit
  baby breathes. You needn’t worry              or have a white, cloudy discharge
  about touching it or washing the              from the vagina. All this is as a result
  area. There is a tough layer of               of hormones passing from the
  membrane under the skin.                      mother to the baby before birth and
                                                is no cause for concern. The genitals
  BUMPS AND BRUISES                             of male and female newborn babies
  It’s quite common for a newborn baby          often appear rather swollen but will
  to have some swelling and bruises on          look in proportion with their bodies
  the head, and perhaps to have                 in a few weeks.
  bloodshot eyes. This is just the result
  of the squeezing and pushing that is          JAUNDICE
  part of being born and will soon
  disappear. But if you are at all worried,     On about the third day after birth,
  you can always ask your midwife.              some babies develop a yellow colour
                                                to their skin and a yellowness in the
  BIRTHMARKS AND SPOTS                          whites of their eyes because of mild
                                                jaundice. This usually fades within
  Once you begin to look closely at             ten days or so. But a baby who
  your baby, you’ll probably find a              becomes badly jaundiced may need
  variety of little marks and spots,            treatment (see page 113).
  mainly on the head and face, or
  sometimes larger marks. Most of them          WHAT A NEWBORN
  will go away eventually. Ask the doctor       BABY CAN DO
  who examines your baby if they will
  disappear completely. Most common             There is one important skill that
  are the little pink or red marks some         babies don’t have to learn. They are
  people call ‘stork bites’. These              born knowing how to suck. During
  V-shaped marks on the forehead and            the first few days they learn to
                                                coordinate their sucking and                TESTS FOR HEPATITIS
  upper eyelids gradually fade, though                                                           B AND C
  it may be some months before they             their breathing.
  disappear. Marks on the nape of the              Newborn babies also automatically
                                                turn towards a nipple or teat if it is     All babies born to mothers
  neck can go on much longer, but                                                          infected with hepatitis B
  they will be covered by hair.                 brushed against one cheek, and they
                                                will open their mouths if their upper      should receive a course of
     Strawberry marks are quite                                                            vaccine to prevent them from
  common. They are dark red and                 lip is stroked. They can also grasp
                                                things (like your finger) with either       getting hepatitis B. Your
  slightly raised. They sometimes                                                          baby should be tested at 12
  appear a few days after birth and             hands or feet, and they will make
                                                stepping movements if they are held        months to check that
  gradually get bigger. They may take                                                      immunisation has worked.
  a while to go away, but usually they          upright on a flat surface. All these
                                                automatic responses, except sucking,       For more information about
  eventually go away.                                                                      hepatitis B immunisation,
     Spots and rashes are very common           are lost within a few months, and
                                                your baby will begin to make               refer to page 101.
  in newborn babies and may come                                                              If you are infected with
  and go. But if you also notice a              controlled movements instead.
                                                   Newborn babies can use all their        hepatitis C when your baby
  change in your baby’s behaviour, for                                                     is born, there is a small risk
  example, if your baby is not feeding          senses. They will look at people and
                                                things, especially if they are near, and   that you could pass on the
  properly or is very sleepy or very                                                       infection. Your baby will be
  irritable, you should tell your doctor        particularly at people’s faces. They
                                                will enjoy gentle touch and the            tested at an appropriate time.
  or midwife immediately.
                                                sound of a soothing voice, and they
  BREASTS AND GENITALS                          will react to bright light and noise.
                                                Very soon they will also know their
  Quite often a newborn baby’s breasts          mother’s special smell.
  are a little swollen and ooze some
  milk, whether the baby is a boy or a                                                                                 111                                           Free Natural Health Ebooks
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