- Family and Parenting
What to Expect from my Newborn Baby
Preparation for Baby and Arrival
Most first-time mothers are very anxious prior to the birth of their baby and when the baby arrives. They do not know what to expect. I would like new moms to know that they shoud not be overly concerned.
Proper rest, diet and mild exercise are the requirements that are needed before birth of the baby. All babies need love - that is the next step after baby is born. A baby is regarded as newborn from 0 - 28 days old. Babies thrive on touch, therefore close contact with both parents (please do not exclude the Dad) is needed. Physical contact with your baby and lots of love create a special bond.
Within the first 72 hours after baby's birth, your breasts will produce a thin yellow fluid called COLOSTRUM. This fluid contains water, protein, sugar, vitamins, minerals and antibodies for protection against infectious diseases. Milk production starts after 72 hours. Please note that breast milk is best and is the perfect food for your baby. It contains all the nutrients your baby needs and in just the right amounts. Breastfed babies do not get constipated since breast milk is more easily digestible than cow's milk. It builds the immune system and protects the intestines. Your baby will suffer less wind and posset (that is, regurgitate food less) and will usually sleep longer. Breastfeeding is also beneficial for the you, the mother as it promotes the loss of weight gained during pregnancy.
Baby's first stool consists of MECONIUM, which is mainly digested mucus and looks blackish green. Meconium is passed within the first 24 hours (this is important). Newborns usually have irregular and shallow breathing. Sometimes they snore faintly - make a variety of strange noises, whether asleep or awake - this is quite normal. Most of these are due to the immaturity of the respiratory system and will soon disappear.
Your newborn baby will cry for various reasons:- tiredness, hunger, loneliness and discomfort, too hot/too cold, uncomfortable position or needs changing. Sometimes baby cries for no discernible reason. New moms will wonder why baby is sneezing or has hiccups. Sneezing is quite common in newborn babies which can be beneficial as it helps clear out your baby's nasal passages. Hiccups are due to imperfect control of the diaphragm and will disappear as your baby's nervous system control of the diaphragm matures.
Taking Care of Mom
Let me say a few words about the Mom. Taking care of a newborn can become overwhelming, therefore it is a good idea to get assistance for the first 3 to 4 weeks of your baby's birth. Household work and taking care of baby can be a little too much for you. There are physical and hormonal changes at the time of birth which will probably alter the mother's mood to some degree.
A slight depression after baby's birth is referred to as B.B. or Baby Blues. You may or may not experience this. You can take some time out by going for a walk, listening to soft music or being given lots of care and affection by the Dad. Rest is extremely important so is your diet. Avoid caffeine, chocolate, spicy and fried foods. Your baby will reflect your disposition. - so do not excite yourself. As your uterus contracts you will start to feel better about yourself.
There are a few things to note, such as, R.S.V. - Respiratory Syntical Virus - Handling baby with dirty hands. Cleanliness is important. Always keep hands clean; S.I.D.S - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - this is caused by placing baby on tummy or keeping baby too warm; S.B.S. - Shaking Baby Syndrome - Avoid shaking baby vigorously.
Checklist for Baby
Here is a handy checklist to help prepare you for your baby's arrival. They can be found at the nearest Babies "R" Us or any convenient baby outlet.
- Breast pads/Cream
- Boppy Luxe Nursing Pillow
- Breast pump
- Burp Cloths
- Bottles/Bottle warmer
- Diapers/Diaper bag
- Diaper Ointment
- Diaper Genie
- Baby changing mat
- Baby wipes/wipe warmer
- Baby monitor
- Side snap shirts
- Body suits/sleepers
- Socks/Cap & Booty sets
- Infant Carrier
- Car Seat
These are some of the items that you can start with. Do enjoy your newborn baby and all the joys that you would experience. I WISH ALL NEW MOTHERS THE VERY BEST.
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