4 things my patients want to know with a new baby
Going home with a new baby can be nerve racking—but the good news is that many parents have navigated this move before you successfully. Here are the four top things I want patients to know as they transition from the delivery to being home with their new baby.
- It’s going to be a recovery. Whether you have had a cesarean section or a vaginal delivery, you grew and delivered a human! Recovery may be painful, especially in those first few days. Whether it be not having abdominal muscles to move around and/or incisional pain, you are going to be uncomfortable for at least 1–2 weeks. Take your pain medications like Motrin and Tylenol around the clock for the first few days you go home. You may even need them for up to two weeks. The good news is for the vast majority of moms, by the second week, pain is usually improved quite a bit. But be warned you may be very sleepy by week two.
- Fed is best, communicate with your pediatrician regarding baby’s growth when it comes to breastfeeding if you plan on doing that. They will be a great resource for whether or not you need to supplement with formula. Making sure that your baby is staying well hydrated is very important in the early days of breastfeeding. General rule of thumb is 1 wet diaper for the first 24 hours, 2 wet diapers for the second day, 3 wet diapers for the third day, and about 4-6 wet diapers every day after. Ask your pediatrician at your newborn’s early check ups if you are having concerns about your baby’s intake.
- Postpartum depression is real. In the last few years, ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) has been increasing awareness of postpartum depression and encouraging patients and their ob/gyns to communicate more in the postpartum period, especially in those first 2-4 weeks. If you feel anxious, depressed, guilty or having difficulty coping, reach out to your obstetrician, he/she is there to help you get through this sometimes very challenging time.
- It’s ok to be totally confused. Every day your baby is changing, adapting, growing and with it you will learn so much about your child, but at the same time be totally confused. They are exciting and fun and their development is rapid, especially in the first year of life. Ask for help from family, friends, and your physician. There are no silly questions and chances are everyone has had them. Enjoy the process and learn as you go, it’s amazing how much you will have learned in the first year of your newborn’s life!