The First Days Are Only The Beginning!
Having a baby is an exciting and mind-numbing experience. Once you become a parent, everything changes. If you don’t know what to expect those first days, you could miss precious moments. Make your first days with her even more magical by being well-prepared.
Your baby’s first days in this world may seem like a whirlwind of mini events. Hospital staff and visitors will be ensuring that she is lovingly eased into her new surroundings. Immediately after her birth, your doctor may place her on your chest for a few moments, so you can marvel at your new miracle. Breathe her in while you can, because she will soon be whisked away and treated like a tiny celebrity.
Some Things to Expect the First Days:
- Her mouth and nose will be suctioned to clear away mucous and amniotic fluid from the womb.
- She’ll be weighed, measured, and given eye drops.
- Within minutes, she will be swaddled and brought to you for a first feeding.
- Expect to nurse around the clock, every two to three hours for the first week.
- Meconium is a black, tarry stool and typically appears for a couple of diaper changes on day two, and petroleum jelly makes cleaning this easier.
- Vernix (a cloudy white coating) and extra hair are not unusual. Most babies shed after a couple of weeks.
- Lots of sleep. Newborns usually sleep 12 to 22 hours a day, and so should you!
These first few moments with her are important for developing an attachment bond. So, if you find yourself feeling apprehensive or uninterested in your baby, tell your doctor. Sometimes the surge of changing hormones can affect your emotional and mental state and is nothing to be ashamed of. Plus, it is easily corrected when you ask for help!
After the chaos subsides and you settle into your hospital room, fatigue will set in quickly. Whether it’s from hours of labor, sleep deprivation, or pain medication, you will find yourself suddenly drifting off to sleep. Please take care that you are not holding your baby when you finally pass out. If you feel groggy or sleepy, swaddle her and put her in her bassinet.
It is perfectly reasonable to ask the nurses to keep her in the nursery while you sleep.
Besides, your newborn will be taken to the nursery for an exam – her first visit to the pediatrician! There she’ll be bathed, and her hearing will be checked. Most likely her heel will be pricked to test for diseases.
The journey into life is strenuous, and your little bundle of delight may have temporary battle scars. These disappear within the first days, and you will soon be gazing upon a miniature, delicate image of you. When you’re ready to go home, your doctor will provide you with the necessary information to make your transition into motherhood smooth and satisfying.