Why the first 15 days after childbirth most difficult
Days after childbirth: The first few days after childbirth and arriving home from the hospital with your new born baby are considered the toughest days because the child and mother both need proper care.
These days are also difficult for mothers if they do not have proper awareness about the normal changes that are happening to their baby and about the common baby problems that are faced by the majority of new-born.
Also, days after childbirth if not looked after properly mothers tend to not give proper attention to their own health. Due to which all the joy of bringing home a baby turns into the toughest and hectic period of motherhood withing few days after childbirth.
To ease the life of new mothers, we will discuss following points so they can feel relaxed and not worry on everything…
Topics covered in this blog
- Developments of a baby in first two weeks
- Common problems in babies after birth
- 15 Postpartum problems which make the first 15 days after childbirth the toughest
- A note to parents – How to help and take care of yourself the days after childbirth
Developments of a baby in first two weeks:
We have outlined below baby’s development in the first two weeks. Also, this is the time when few new born quirks appear. You can read about them in our article 5 Very Common Newborn Baby Problems / Quirks.
Baby’s appearance chfanges:
During the first week, the appearance of a baby starts changing. The head of a baby returns to its normal state. The swelling on his body goes down a bit within a few days. The bruises will disappear if the face of the baby was injured during birth. The baby’s umbilical cord will dry slowly, turn black and fall out during the first ten days.
During or after birth, birthmarks may appear on your baby’s body. Most common birthmarks do not require a medical examination, such as bluish and dark spots that appear on the lower back, buttocks, or reddish flat spots on the back. Certain types of birthmarks should be examined by a paediatrician, including congenital moles, hemangiomas (strawberry-like red raised spots), wine-port spots (large dark red spots that appear on the face), or “coffee-brown” spots (light brown spots).
Sleeping and feeding:
Your baby spends the first week of his life adjusting to his new environment. He needs warmth, peace and security, and lots of hugs and time on his hands. You can provide all of these to him. Days and nights of a mother will be devoted to the baby’s sleep and feeding cycle.
Baby will sleep most of the time, and will wake up every few hours just to eat. Remember in most of the cases, infants do not sleep a full night at least until the age of 3 months.
Usually babies feed between 8 to 10 times a day. The time between feedings varies. Sometimes there is an interval of only an hour and a half between two feedings while in the next feeding there will be a large interval.
Occasionally feedings will occur very close to each other during the day, especially in the evening. The evening hours are characterized by greater restlessness of the baby and therefore the baby also eats more frequently during these hours.
If your baby feeds at least 8 times every 24 hours, it is not necessary to wake him from sleep for feeding, unless you have received explicit instruction from the paediatrician to do so. The more you feed the baby when he requires it, the more likely he is to develop a regular feeding and sleeping pattern.
Learn more about the sleep patterns to help you better growing your infant from our article Introducing Sleep For Kids In A New-light (17 Tips).
If you put any object on your baby’s hand, the baby will involuntarily close his hands as part of the grasping reflex, and will respond by loud and sudden sounds. He may also move his arms and legs abruptly while sleeping. A little bit of pat and reassurance will put him right back to sleep.
Communication with your baby:
Another important part of the baby’s development, apart from the physical signs we mentioned, is the connection between you and the baby. Babies often recognize your voice. Still, your baby has been listening to you from the womb for nine months! You can communicate with your little one through your voice, touch, look and smell, and the baby will show you what he needs in his own ways – even if he has not even started smiling yet.
Crying is the baby’s main way of telling you what he needs.
In the first week you will begin to get to know your baby’s body language. It will do you good to know more about the common body languages your baby uses from our article 12 Baby Body Language that You SHOULD Know.
Common problems in babies after birth:
Babies are born with an excess amount of fluid in their body, which they gradually lose in the first few days after birth. This weight loss usually stops after the first week, and all the weight lost should go back up to the age of two weeks.
In general, the initial weight loss is about 5% of your child’s birth weight. If weight loss is 7% or more of birth weight, it is important to make sure the breastfeeding and feeding technique is correct.
Be sure to go to a breastfeeding or pediatrician for weighing your baby during the 2-3 days after discharge from the hospital, to make sure he does not lose weight abnormally and get help if needed.
One of the most common symptoms in many babies during the first few weeks is discharge from the eyes. These secretions are usually due to a blockage in the tear ducts, and they usually go away on their own.
My babies used to have this problem and it went away by cleaning eyes with warm water through cotton. clean the eyes and massage them gently. If your baby still has a discharge, you should consult your paediatrician.
Different Skin issues:
New-born babies can develop different types of rash, which is usually harmless. If your baby suffers from a rash, you should contact your paediatrician or nurse to confirm that this is indeed a normal thing.
Common types of rash include dandruff on the baby’s scalp, diaper rash that is reddish and bothersome rash in the diaper area. Red, rough and dry skin on the folds of skin and cheeks.
Learn all bout baby grooming that will help you in the days to come from our article 10 Best ways to groom your new-born.
Other common problems
Other common problems in new-born babies in the days after childbirth are dry skin and jaundice. For dry skin, use an unscented baby moisturizer. If your baby looks yellower than the day, when he was released from the hospital, go to your paediatrician that day.
Massage is a good way to combat dry skin and it can be done once your baby is a few weeks old and their in.
Learn about how to give massage and also how you can connect with your baby with these every day activities from our articles How to give a baby massage and why? and 12 Everyday activities that WILL impact baby’s development.
15 Postpartum problems which make the first 15 days after childbirth the toughest
Going through a delivery process, whether normal or C-Section, is certainly very tiring for mothers. Plus, now you have to take care of your little one both day and night days after childbirth. It is of little wonder, why mothers may forget their own health.
Though various problems can also occur after days after childbirth because the body, several other factors can also affect the mother’s condition. So, what are the possible normal postpartum problems?
Postpartum problems can be common or more serious. Even the emergence of disease after normal delivery can endanger the mother’s life. The problems after giving birth that can occur include:
1. Heavy bleeding
Heavy bleeding occurs in only 2% of births. This condition most often occurs after a long labour, multiple births, or when the uterus is infected.
Heavy bleeding usually occurs because the uterus fails to contract properly after removing the placenta, as well as a tear in the uterus, cervix, or vagina.
However, if bleeding starts about a week or two after delivery, it may be due to a piece of placenta remaining in the uterus.
Ensure you maintain hygiene by changing pads every 2-3 hours once. Also rinse yourself thoroughly every time you go to bathroom and pat dry the area.
2. Uterine infection
When you have a uterine infection, the symptoms you may feel include high fever, fast heart rate, abnormal white blood cell count, swelling, softening of the uterus, and foul-smelling discharge.
When the tissue around the uterus is also infected, the pain and fever can be severe.
Consult your doctor for further course of action. However, do continue drinking adequate water and if possible tender coconut water and have loads of fresh fruits.
3. Kidney infection
Kidney infection can occur when bacteria from the bladder spread to the kidneys. Symptoms of a kidney infection that you may experience include frequent urination, difficulty holding back the urge to urinate, high fever, pain while urinating, and back pain.
This condition can occur in the early weeks or days after childbirth.
Consult your doctor for further course of action. However, do continue drinking adequate water and if possible tender coconut water and have loads of fresh fruits.
4. Breast infection
Breast infection is usually characterized by tender and swollen breasts. This infection can be caused by bacteria, a decreased immune system due to stress, or sore nipples.
Symptoms of this infection that you may feel include fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. However, this condition does not affect your breast milk so that you can still breastfeed the baby.
Do consult your doctor for the next course of actions. Also talk to your lactation on the methods of breastfeeding given your infection.
Constipation can occur due to increased uterine and fatal pressure on the lower abdominal veins. Both are quite common in pregnant and postpartum women. When this condition occurs, you will feel discomfort and itching in the anus, difficulty defecating, even in severe cases bleeding can occur.
Consult your doctor for further course of action. However, do continue drinking adequate water and if possible tender coconut water. Whole grains, cereals and bread also help along with loads of fresh fruits.
6. Postpartum depression
It is normal to have mood swings or to feel more crying in the first weeks after giving birth. This condition is called the baby blues.
However, if it lasts more than a few weeks or interferes with your ability to care for the baby, then you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
This depression can make it difficult for mothers to take good care of their little one. You will have to immediately consult your doctor and follow their recommendation.
7. Urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence is common in women who give birth normally. This condition makes you unable to control urination when laughing, sneezing, coughing, or other movements.
Urinary incontinence occurs due to weakened pelvic floor muscles or injury during delivery. Although not dangerous, this condition can cause discomfort and embarrassment.
8. Breast feeding
A baby will have 8 to 12 feed in a day. That’s like once in every 2 hrs. It can be tiering when you are also recovering at the same time feeding the baby.
One of the key things to do is to stay hydrated. We were asked by our elders to drink one glass of water after every feed.
While new born babies sleep a lot in the initial weeks but they will not sleep more than 4 hours in a stretch.
So, it is advised to sleep when your baby sleeps and be awake when they are awake.
Breastfeeding increases bonding no doubt. But the initial days I would express one feed and have my husband feed the baby while I get one solid 4 hrs of sleep.
10. Body Aches and Pains
The usual pains mothers experience after birth is while they are breast feeding. These cramp-like pains are due to uterus contracting. What helped me of to place a pillow for support in the arch of my back. I have also heard keeping a warm compress between the pillow and your back can help too.
Also lying flat on your stomach with a pillow pressing your stomach can make you feel at ease. It is advised to have the bladder empty before feeding the baby.
We are also given massages and very hot water bath where the mid wife uses warm castor oil for massage and we are asked to sit in warn water tub for some time to relive pain.
11. Hot and cold flashes
This is common soon after pregnancy till your body gets adjusted to the new you (hormones and all). So, keeping a wet towel near you to cool your face. Having natural fibres as your garments and covers and maintaining the room a bit airy and cool will help you with this.
A nice bath with a good dab of powder to absorb your sweat and also smell good will boost your sleep.
12. Baby Blues – Emotional swings
In the first 15 days after childbirth it is common for mothers to feel a plethora of emotions. This is mainly because of hormones, tiredness form child birth and sleep disturbances.
Women can be moody and experience mood swings such as sadness, elation, irritation etc. Just accept the phase, feel the emotions and it usually goes on it own. Sometimes standing out in the sun breathing in fresh air helped me during this phase.
13. Stitches and Wound healing
Your stitches and wounds take time to heal. Bath with warm water and pat dry the area to keep it clean will do.
I love sitting in a tub of warm water with legs a bit apart. Was soothing for me.
After a c-section we are forbidden to climb stairs or sit on floor or sleep on our back for almost 1 – 3 months. We are advised caution while climbing in and out of bed and always asked to sit on a soft pillow while feeding.
It is very important to ensure that you get good nutrition post your child birth. Esp. ones like iron, vitamins, calcium, carbs and proteins. Most of the time mothers over look them when they don’t have help or also have another kid to take care and they need to do the cooking.
Nothing beats good nutritious food during this period so that you can recoup faster and be stronger for all in your family.
Also ensure you drink adequate water every day. A glass posts every feed would do the trick.
It is common to have guest after you bring home your baby. Make your excuses when you are not able to entertain them and prioritise on you re cooping, health and wellbeing. Your loved ones will defiantly understand.
A note to parents – How to help and take care of yourself the days after childbirth
You will be able to enjoy your little bundle of joy only if you are able to take care of yourself and be strong to take care of your new baby. So, to do that here are a few tips that you can do to ensure that you are taking care of yourself.
- When your baby is taking a nap, you do too.
- Don’t guilty about expressing your milk and asking your spouse to take care of one feed while you catch up some sleep.
- Hot water bath or long immersion in a tub helps a lot in easing pain in your body. It helps to rejuvenates the body and the mind.
- Have a schedule for your spouse and yourself so that you get few minutes in a day to relax and be with yourself.
- The power of getting Sunlight and fresh air with or without your baby should not be overlooked. Getting enough sunlight and fresh air helps a lot to elevate mood and feel good.
- Set time to have chat or conversation with your partner or your family so that you don’t feel isolated and left alone.
- Outsource as much as possible household chores so that you have more time in your hands to concentrate on yourself and your little one.
- Ask for help when you require. It can be employing people to help you or it can be family and friends who can come in to help you during your initial stages of motherhood.
- Good is masseuse who is an expert with postpartum massages can help a great deal in the initial few weeks.
- Do Not feel guilty of indulging and investing in yourself so you can get strong to take care of your family. Which includes sending your elder kid to their grandparent’s house for a couple of weeks till you recoup and settle down.
I read this beautiful acronym SUNSHINE which stands for
H- HYDRATION & HUMOR
You can read more in detail about Taking care of yourself through SUNSHINE here.
In the first few weeks it is important that you remember to take care of yourself. Go to bed when the baby is asleep, so you can complete hours of sleep and feel better. It is important to drink a lot and maintain a healthy diet. If you are breastfeeding, be sure to drink a glass of water every time you breastfeed your baby, or more if you feel thirsty. This way you can keep yourself from dehydration. If a mother is healthy, only then she can take proper care of a new-born. There is no embarrassment if you seek help from your husband or any family member to cope with these new challenges. Soon you will get into a routine and things will start getting progressively easier for everyone.
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