Moms Tell Us What the First Few Days With Baby Are Really Like Singapore 2019

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A lot happens in the first few days after the birth of your child. There’ll be physical and emotional changes. You’ll produce colostrum to feed your baby before your breast milk starts. You’ll be feeding your baby a lot, and not sleeping much. This page explains what to expect.

Mother and newborn in hospital

What will be happening in my body?

In the week or so after birth, you’ll bleed from your vagina. The blood is called ‘lochia’. It is bright red and heavy, and might have clots. This is normal, but if you pass a clot bigger than a 50 cent piece or notice a bad smell, tell your midwife. You can expect to see lochia for 4 to 6 weeks. Eventually it will become lighter, reddish-brown or pink.

Some women have pains for a few days after birth. After-birth pains can feel like labour pains or mild to moderate period pain. This pain comes from your uterus contracting towards its pre-pregnancy size. They are more common in women who have had other babies than in women who have just had their first baby.

You might notice after-birth pains when you’re breastfeeding. As your baby suckles, your body produces hormones that shrink your uterus. A warm pack on your back or belly may help. You can also ask your doctor or midwife for pain relief.

Drink plenty of fluid and eat plenty of fibre so your bowel motions are soft. Your bowels should open within 3 days after birth. If you have swelling, stitches or varicose veins in your vulva, your first bowel movement may be uncomfortable. Avoid straining.

If you’ve had stitches after tearing or an episiotomy, bathe the area often in clean warm water to help it heal. Have a bath or shower with plain warm water and after bathing, dry yourself carefully. In the first few days, remember to sit down gently and lie on your side rather than on your back. Pelvic floor exercises can also help healing.

Talk to your doctor, midwife or pharmacist if you have severe headaches, blurred vision, leg swelling, heavy vaginal bleeding, severe wound pain or other signs of being unwell such as fever.

Establishing breastfeeding

You will first breastfeed your baby within an hour of giving birth. At first, you’ll produce small amounts of high quality colostrum to feed your baby. Your baby’s tummy is the size of a marble, so the quantity is not important. By day 3 to 5, you’ll produce breast milk.

Young babies have 8 to 12 feeds every 24 hours. This is normal newborn behaviour. Feed your baby whenever they want to feed, and for as long as they want to feed. This is important to make sure your baby gets what they need and for you to establish a good milk supply.

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to talk to a maternal child health nurse if you have any questions about breastfeeding such as increasing your supply, positioning or any problems you might be experiencing.

Sleep

Early on, you won’t get a lot of sleep at night. So try to sleep any time your baby is asleep, day or night. Babies tend to sleep for less than 4 hours at a time, so get some sleep when you can.

Emotional changes

You might find that you go up and down a lot, from being elated to feeling very down. That’s normal.

Many women feel teary, irritable or more emotionally sensitive than usual a few days after giving birth. These feelings are known as the baby blues, and they’re normal, too. It’s a physically and emotionally challenging time. Most women feel better a few days after birth with support and understanding from those around them. If you don’t feel better after 2 weeks, please seek help.

What Bringing Baby Home Is Really Like

You’ve waited months and now baby is home, but what happens next? Moms in the What to Expect community shared what those first few days with baby were really like. They say that while those first days are exhausting, they are even more incredible. And what got them through? Asking for help and looking at their beautiful babies. So if you are worried about sleepless nights, or have already been there, you need to see these:

“For me, I was on such a high from life. There is no feeling like it. Yes, you are tired and exhausted, but you’re just so in love.”  — Dreigel10

“I was running on adrenaline. There was no concept of day vs. night. You’re just up whenever the baby needs. I slept overnight for 2-3 hours at a time. I didn’t really follow the ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ advice because I just felt like there was so much to do those first few days. I think I googled something every 20 minutes because everything is new… My husband helped by changing diapers and basically just getting me anything I asked for. I had a c-section. So I sat on our couch with my feet up for pretty much the first week I was home.” — Rbusch16

“I loved both of my postpartum periods. The secret is to not get worked up because your newborn won’t follow a sleep schedule immediately or wants to be held all the time. That is totally NORMAL. My main advice as a soon-to-be third-time mom is to just follow baby’s lead… The newborn stage is far too precious and short to spend it in hysterics because baby won’t do what you want him to do… This is such a beautiful, fleeting time in your life. Enjoy it, try not to worry about things that have yet to happen, and take things one day at a time.” — ChiPK14

“It’s a balancing act. I am so obsessed with my little nugget… I love snuggling her and I can’t get enough of rubbing my face on hers and looking at her expressions. On the other hand, getting used to breastfeeding is a full-time job. Basically, it’s a cycle of nursing, burping, pumping, cleaning pump parts, and trying to get something done before it starts all over again. Baby does get fussy at night, and I am also paranoid about her sleep at night … Through the haze and exhaustion, it is still amazing to look at this little perfect person that you made.” — DunderMifflin20

“The first week honestly hasn’t been too bad, but I haven’t slept more than about four hours a day! It’s been hard to sleep when baby sleeps because I’m watching and listening for her. It’s a different kind of being exhausted. You probably won’t notice how exhausted you really are because you mentally know you have to do it for baby.” — g.hub768

“They can be rough, but your body adjusts. You’ll be amazed at how well you can function on 3-4 (collective) hours of sleep. And like everyone else says, it’s SO worth it. My only advice is to listen to your body and heart, don’t take visitors or travel around more than you have to. Allow yourself to feel your anxiousness and cry it out, if you need to. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, and nothing is wrong with you. You’re going to be exhausted on top of healing and learning to be a first-time mom, it’s a crazy transition, but it’s so worth it looking at your perfect baby and being able to love on them.” — karlikw

“Yes, it seems overwhelming. And it can be tough when you’re right in the thick of things. But you can do it. And it is so worth it. And right when you think that you are at your limit or you’re in over your head, your baby will look up at you with that adoring look on their face and all the frustration and fatigue will just melt away because you love that little bundle so much.” — XiaoMin

“You and your baby are strangers getting to know each other. So, it can be hard at first. My first few weeks home with my first baby were rough, but it got easier… I knew it would be hard. but the first 10 days were harder than I could have imagined… What I can say though is it is extremely short-lived. The days pass quickly, and before I knew it things were much better. Not easy, but way better and so worth it…  I just spent those first days sleeping whenever the baby slept. If you can get help from anywhere definitely do—to bring food, help keep the house clean, help with feeding.” — VnessaG

“You’re just SO in love and obsessed with your baby. I remember my baby falling asleep at night, and I’d just stay up for hours holding him and looking at him.” — chilipeppah

“I was so hormonal. I kept crying all the time. I loved my baby but was exhausted, and overwhelmed, and just kept crying for no reason. The first night I was home I couldn’t sleep at all because I was so scared… My mom came and stayed the second night, which helped so much.” — jodb2015

Note: Baby blues, feeling sad and overwhelemed, in the days after birth is totally normal and experienced by an estimated 70 to 80 percent of new moms. But if those feelings continue for more than two to three weeks, you may have Postpartum Depression, which is totally treatable. If you are feeling sad, irritable or anxious, contact your doctor.

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