OHbaby! would like to congratulate you on the birth of your new baby!
The first few days of your baby's life are an exciting time - and sometimes a little frightening too!
To help in the early days at home, you are entitled to at least six home visits from your LMC after the birth of your baby, but you can request more home visits if you feel that you need them.
When your midwife visits, she will check both you and your baby to make sure that you are both healthy and recovering well.
Your baby will have had his/her first Well Child Check within 24 hours of birth. Now, when your baby is one week old, your LMC will repeat this check and record the details in your child's Well Child book. If you haven't been given a Well Child book yet, ask your LMC. Baby will also be weighed.
Your LMC will also check on you, and ask you about any concerns you may have. If you have chosen to breastfeed, it may be helpful to let your midwife observe a feed so she can check that baby is latching well.
Newborn babies need on average between 18-20 hours of sleep per day. It sometimes helps to wrap newborn babies snugly in a blanket or cuddle rug, as this emulates the security of the womb. Your LMC can show you how to do this. For more sleep ideas, see here.
If you choose to breastfeed, you will notice that sometime around your baby's third day, the colostrum you have been producing will be replaced by breast milk.
If you choose to bottle feed, you should discuss the different types of formula available with your LMC to determine which is best for your baby.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, your baby will need frequent small feeds throughout the day and night. As a guide, around 8-10 feeds per day of around 60mls each. It is difficult to measure how much breast milk your baby is taking, but if you are worried that he/she is not getting enough, talk to your LMC.
You can find more detailed information about breastfeeding here
RECOVERING AFTER BIRTH
With all the fuss over the new baby, it can be easy to forget about the huge changes that have taken place in your body in the past few days.
It is important to get plenty of rest - easier said than done with a new baby! Try to sleep when your baby is sleeping, even if it's the middle of the day.
Try not to stress too much about cooking and housework, this first week is a time of great upheaval for your whole household, and the most important thing is that you and baby are well and rested.
THE BABY BLUES
It's not uncommon for new mums to experience periods of mild depression, and random outbursts of tears around 3-5 days after giving birth. This is completely normal! It is caused by hormones changes - hardly surprising after pregnancy and birth! The baby blues should pass after a few days. If you are concerned, talk to your LMC about how you are feeling. You can find more information about postnatal depression here.