The first days of your child’s life can be stressful and full of unknowns.
Even if you’ve read all the baby books, there are always going to be some things you just don’t know, which is why we’ve compiled this list.
Here are the 10 things that your doctor wants you to know about your new bundle of joy in the first week, and from sleeping to pooping, we have your worries covered.
1. Babies Get More Alert After 48hrs
Most mums spend 24-48 hours in the hospital. Coincidently, the first 48 hours of your child’s life they tend not to be that alert. So, during the time you spend in hospital, your newborn is going to be pretty sleepy, but when you head home, your child becomes more aware that they’ve left your womb, and that they’re hungry.
Dr Ari Brown, co-author of Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice For Your Baby’s First Year explains that it’s often a shock to parents who felt that they had a placid baby, only to realise when they get home that their child is crying, awake, and needing comfort. Talk about straight into the deep end!
2. Some Jaundice Is Fine
Many newborns experience a little bit of yellow colouring in the face around 3-4 days of age. This jaundice might ruin some baby photos, but it generally doesn’t have any larger impact. According to Dr Brown, the yellow colouring is due to the fact that your child isn’t eating (and therefore pooping) all that much for the first few days of their life. This means that a yellow-pigmented body waste known as bilirubin is not being expelled from the body. After about five days of life the yellowing should have calmed down. However, for premature babies, or those who are yellow in the first 1-2 days of life, or who have jaundice in other parts of the body, a consultation with a doctor might be required.
3. Breastfeeding Can Hurt
Mums often talk about how lovely it is to breastfeed a baby, but at first, it’s going to be hard, and it may very well hurt. The first seven days, in particular, are hardest, as during this time, your milk may not yet have come in, and latch-on pain occurs. This pain is often described as a shooting pain that happens the moment your baby latches, which may continue for as long as two weeks. It’s important to understand that breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful after the latch, and that any other pain can be discussed and workshopped with a lactation consultant.