THINGS THEY NEVER TELL YOU.
Life with your newborn has a few surprises in store!
The nursery is decorated, the cot is set up and the nappies and sleepsuits are folded in the drawers. You come home from the hospital and things aren't as you expected them to be. Baby won't sleep, or sleeps all the time and you can't help feeling there's something that you're not doing right. Here are the most common concerns in the first weeks and how to conquer them.
You might be convinced that baby's stopped breathing while she's sleeping. You'll peer into the cot watching for signs that she's OK. Everyone does it, it's an in-built maternal instinct, and you're not being obsessive.
To check baby's breathing, without waking her, hold two fingers slightly away from her mouth, so you can feel her breath.
In the first few weeks continuous feeding is common. All babies go through growth spurts. When you hit a feeding frenzy, forget about everything else. Things will calm down after a couple of days. If you're breastfeeding there's no need to worry that you'll run out of milk. The more you feed, the more milk you'll produce, but it's important that you take care of yourself and eat and drink regularly.
You're desperate to watch baby's every move and interact with her. But all she wants to do is sleep. Birth is exhausting so baby might sleep a lot in the early days. Any pain relief you had in labour might also affect your baby. Pethidine, for example can make baby drowsy.
No matter how well prepared you are for baby's arrival, there will always be questions you wish you had the answers to€..
If your baby's nappy feels wet and full, change it. If it doesn't and she seems happy and ready to settle, don't.
For as long as she wants. If she spends over an hour on one breast and is struggling, she might not be latched on properly. Ask a clinic sister to watch you feed and advise you.
If you're bottlefeeding and your baby sucks furiously for a few minutes then nods off, only to wake minutes later and do it again, he might have problems with milk flow. A slightly faster flowing teat may help.
Only if the hospital has advised to do so. If your baby was premature or is having trouble feeding and gaining weight, you might have been told to feed her every three hours. But if she's feeding well and putting on weight, there's no need to wake her for a feed. Ask your clinic sister or midwife if you're still worried. However, every baby is unique and some spend most of their time awake. There's nothing to worry about either way. If your baby is a sleeper, sleep when she does and you'll enjoy her more when she's awake.
Bonding for some moms is instant and overwhelming. For others, this love takes time to grow. It's possible to love your baby but also feel staggered at how exhausted you feel. If the situation is getting you down, talk to your clinic sister or doctor.
The first time you're out with baby, you're bound to feel anxious. Don't expect too much of yourself at first. When you're ready, try daily walks. It's a great way to meet neighbours and introduce baby. Gradually your confidence will grow and you'll be able to go further.
All those babies in adverts, at the clinic and in the labour ward never have a blemish between them, and your baby had wonderful skin€ until this morning and you're sure it must be serious.
Most of the time, it's not. All babies get blemishes, spots and ugly red blotches in the early weeks usually as the result of hormonal changes.
The spots will soon disappear and won't cause any discomfort. If you're still concerned, see your clinic sister or doctor.
Newborns are noisy sleepers. They snuffle and grunt and these noises can keep you awake. Try placing her cot at the bottom of your bed or next to your partner instead of by your side. You'll gradually get used to her noises and her breathing will become less snuffly as she grows.