Well, we’ve been there (actually twice over!) and here not to help you with all you need to know about being a new mom and how to take care of your newborn. 

 

Start breastfeeding - First things first, let’s get motherhood off to a great start, start breast feeding ASAP, get the nurse to bring your newborn to you to sleep in your room instead of the nursery. Get help from lactation experts to help with the latch on techniques. Often mothers come in to help here too. So don’t feel shy to ask! Even if your baby doesn’t latch on, you can squeeze the yellow colostrum (that is full on immune boosting nutrients) directly into her mouth. Its convenient to buy a nursing bra.

 

Limit the visitors - Friends and family will want to visit as soon as possible, you might want to limit that for a while just so that you and daddy can spend some time with your newborn, and bond like a family.

 

Dressing your baby - Its great to have a cute outfit for the first day but you must remember that your baby cannot regulate her body temperature until she 6 months old. So dress your newborn carefully. Generally, she should wear only a cotton layer extra than the clothing that you are wearing, indoors and outdoors. Remember not to over bundle. Layering a good way to keep the baby comfortable.

 

Fact about formula feeding - try breastfeeding as soon as possible post your baby’s birth as breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your newborn but if you are using formula for any reason (health or otherwise), here are a few things to be careful about,

  • Heat formula in a pan of warm water or a bottle warmer; microwaving can create dangerous hot spots.
  • Use room-temperature formula within two to four hours; after that, you should discard it.
  • Use refrigerated formula within 48 hours.
  • Don’t freeze formula, which robs it of nutritional value.
  • Don’t save any formula your baby leaves behind in the bottle. Bacteria from her saliva can contaminate it.

 

Taking care of the umbilical cord - Keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry; it will shrivel and fall off within a few weeks. Avoid covering the cord area with a diaper and stick to sponge baths until the stump detaches.

 

Sleep routine of your baby - your baby may stay awake at night and sleep during the day, this is single most difficult part about being a new mom. Encourage your baby to make the change by keeping the lights dim and moving slowly when you feed her … just be boring (don’t play or coo with your baby). During the morning ensure that she gets a dose of bright light. Keep your baby as busy as you can during the day - make noise - play.

 

Most importantly, remember the bed time routine. Sleep time should be consistant and should not change. Each family has to develop their own routine. You could massage your baby at night, bath, rocking, nursing or may be reading a story, singing a lullaby (anything that your little heart desires!). These should be done in the same order every night so that baby by anticipation knows what comes next. The suggestion is that you do 20-30 minutes of total wind-down activities.
Sleep Close to Your Baby - Its believed that being close to the mother regulates a baby’s heart rate, immune system and stress levels and makes breastfeeding easier, says James McKenna, Ph.D., director of the Mother-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory at University of Notre Dame in Indiana. It may also be linked to a decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A bedside or freestanding (but nearby) bassinet is a good option. Various experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, advise parents not to sleep with their babies because of the danger of suffocation.

 

When to call the Paediatrician - 

 

  • Has a fever of 100.4˚ F or higher if the baby is 2 months or younger; 102˚ F if he’s older than 2 months
  • Shows changes in his eating patterns, such as refusing to nurse
  • Has very watery or mucusy stools
  • Is excessively sleepy, lethargic or unresponsive
  • Is excessively irritable and cries unconsolably for longer than normal
  • Has a red or swollen rash anywhere on his body
  • Has redness or swelling at the base of his umbilical cord
  • Exhibits discomfort (e.g., straining) when he moves his bowels
  • Has a distended abdomen or vomits (as opposed to spitting up) 

 

Taking care of yourself - 

 

This one is very important; meeting a new baby’s demands can be especially difficult when you have postpartum issues of your own. Here are some tips to manage post-delivery problems, from cramps to depression.

Perineal Pain - Whether you had an episiotomy or your perineum tore during labor and had to be stitched, it’s probably uncomfortable for you to sit, walk or use the bathroom.

Relief Tips - Try a sitz bath (sit in a few inches of warm water and betadine) for a few minutes several times a day; use a squirt-bottle to rinse yourself with warm water after you urinate; ice the area; sit on a “doughnut” or horseshoe-shaped nursing pillow to take some pressure off the area.

Cramping and Bleeding - When your uterus begins to contract and shrink after delivery, you may have menstrual-like cramping as well as bleeding that’s usually heavier than a menstrual period. Don’t use tampons, because they can introduce infection; wear overnight sanitary pads instead.

Relief Tips - Breastfeed! Nursing increases production of the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates the uterus to contract, reducing bleeding. Try a heating pad and warm showers and ask your doctor which pain meds are safe if you’re nursing.

Postpartum Depression or baby blues - Most new moms experience some sadness, tears, mood swings and irritability in the first days and weeks after giving birth. This is normal and dont be too harsh on yourself, but more severe and long-lasting symptoms can indicate postpartum depression.

Relief Tips - To minimize your risk of postpartum depression, sleep as much as you can (nap when the baby does), accept all offers of help and devote a bit of time to yourself every day. Even a 15-minute walk can recharge you. If you have severe depression that lasts longer than two weeks, call your doctor, as you may need treatment.

 

Call Your Doctor if You Have:

    • A fever of 100.4° F or higher
    • Increased bleeding or vaginal discharge
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Pain during urination
    • Pain, swelling or tenderness in your legs
    • Red streaks or painful new lumps on your breasts
    • Redness, discharge or pain from an episiotomy, perineal tear or abdominal incision that fails to subside or that worsens
    • Severe pain in your lower abdomen
    • Severe depression