Bringing Your Baby Home: What To Expect

Bringing Your Baby Home: What To Expect

It’s finally happened: after months of a baby growing in you and hours of labor, you have brought your child into the world. Childbirth is a natural part of life, and despite a decline in birth rates in the U.S., at least 3.6 million women bring a baby into the world a year. And as one of those women, there will be even more changes to expect now that your bundle of joy is here. This also means more adjustments for you and your child once you get home. In this article, we spend some time looking at what you can expect to happen once you and your newborn are home from the hospital.

Mothers struggling with their newborns after getting home in Arlington, Texas can get help from Dr. Joan Bergstrom and the many doctors at Women’s Health Services. Our compassionate, comprehensive care with over 50 years of combined experience offers you a wide variety of solutions for your postnatal needs with a personal touch.

Things to expect once you leave the hospital

A number of changes will still be taking place in your body as you adjust to home life with your newborn and what you may experience overall will change from person to person. The most common is lochia, a bloody discharge not unlike your menstrual flow which can last up to two months post-birth. 

Uterine cramping as your uterus shrinks after giving birth is also normal, and you may also experience breast swelling and uterine pain. Swelling in your legs and feet is also possible, which may take a couple of weeks to resolve. Bowel movement is a major concern for mothers after giving birth, and within three to four days after delivery you should return to normal function. Walking can help to promote bowel movements, passing gas, and a general increase in circulation. Avoid driving for at least one to two weeks, or until the experience doesn’t cause undue pain or exertion. Also, avoid driving if you are taking narcotics to relieve pain.

Best ways to care for your baby

Eating, urinating, defecating, and crying are going to be common things to deal with for a newborn. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for at least your baby’s first six months, and your milk should come in within the first four days of your child’s birth. If you are unable to breastfeed, then a bottle may be used, either with milk pumped from your breasts or using a formula. Warm milk or formula up under warm running water, and throw away leftover formula after an hour. Hold your baby in a semi-sitting position when feeding, both for bonding and to keep air going into the baby’s stomach. Burp your baby with a gentle pat and expect small amounts of spittle. If there is a lot of spittle you may need to seek treatment.

Hearing and Immunization screenings are also important. Hearing loss affects 2 out of 3 in every 1,000 newborns so keeping track of your baby’s hearing is vital. Getting your baby protected from things like rotaviruses, Hepatitis B, tetanus, pertussis, and diphtheria will also be very important in the early months. 

Best ways to care for yourself

If you are a mother for the first time, there are going to be emotional changes to prepare for. You may feel nervous, even terrified at times, and adjusting to how much time your child will take up in your life is a gradual process. Young babies tend to cry a lot, between one to five hours in a given day, and you won’t always be able to calm them down. This will decrease over the coming weeks, but those first few weeks may seem daunting if you’re not ready. 

What you eat will be important because your baby will be relying on healthy habits if you’re breastfeeding. A well-balanced diet will include healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fiber-rich carbs.

You will need to get rest of course, but to get back to normal activities and being as active as you are able will help to speed along your body’s recovery. If you have people at home, let them help with things to allow you to get time to rest on your child’s schedule.

There are so many things that will change now that your bundle of joy is here, and we want the absolute best for you and your child. If you have any problems or concerns, make an appointment with Dr. Bergstrom and the team at Women’s Health Services today.

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