You have reached home with your angel all bundled up. You feel an immense joy but also some trepidation. If this is your first-born, given below are a few tips to help you out:
- New-borns are very prone to infections since their immune systems are not fully developed. Hence ensure that everybody who handles the baby has clean hands, including you.
- Till about 3 months, your baby’s neck is not strong enough to support her head. When you are carrying the baby, be sure to provide support to the neck. Always cradle the head in the nook of your elbow while holding your infant.
- A red, bumpy rash might appear on your baby’s diapered area. This is due to the moisture that is present and makes the skin sensitive. Leave the baby out of the diaper every day for a few hours and keep the area dry, this should take care of the rash. If the rash persists, consult your paediatrician.
- The cord stump generally falls off in a week. Till that happens, the baby’s navel area should be kept dry as much as possible. If the area becomes reddened or a foul odour or discharge develops, consult your doctor.
- Swaddling helps to settle your baby when she is overstimulated. If done correctly, it keeps the baby warm and toasty and prevents her from being disturbed by her own startle reflex.
- It is very important to burp your baby after every feeding. This will get rid of the air all babies swallow during feedings, which can give them a tummy ache.
- Do not place any soft toys or fluffy blankets in the crib near your baby. There is a chance your baby could suffocate on these. Always place your baby on her back during sleep to reduce suffocating risk.
- Massaging your baby gently during bedtime has been shown to help babies sleep faster and longer. Babies have a strong sense of smell, so keeping a piece of cloth that smells of you near them will calm them down when they wake up.
If you’ve had a normal delivery, you must rest to heal properly. Get enough sleep and walk a little each day. Avoid strenuous activities for 6 weeks or until your doctor says it is okay. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby. You can eat a normal diet, drink plenty of fluids. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements.
If you’ve had a C-section, it is important that you remember these:
- C-section incisions take about 4-6 weeks to heal.
- Do not squat to lift or lift anything heavier than your baby.
- Your posture is important when you stand and walk.
- Support your abdomen near the incision during sudden movements, such as coughing, sneezing or laughing. Use pillows or rolled up towels for extra support while breastfeeding.
- To replace the fluid lost during delivery and breastfeeding, drink plenty of fluids.
- Take medications as prescribed
Seek your doctor’s advice immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Infection accompanied by fever
- Leg pain or swelling
- Breast pain
- Redness, swelling and discharge at incision site
- Abdominal pain
- Painful urination
- Vaginal discharge
- Heavy bleeding