Caring for the Baby Immediately after the Birth:
- Keep the room warm for the first 12 hours. Skin to skin with a parent is the best. When necessary, dress the baby as warmly as you do yourself, making sure the baby’s hands and feet are warm.
- Keep the diaper folded below the cord. Sponge bathe the baby when you feel the need. (Babies are notoriously lacking in dirt) and keep the cord exposed to air until it falls off. There should be no foul odor at the cord at any time. Some people use rubbing alcohol or golden seal powder on the cord if it gets smelly.
- Baby should both urinate & have a bowel movement by 24 hours after birth. If s/he hasn’t, give me a call. 6-8 wet diapers a day is good once mom’s milk comes in around day 3. Cloth diapers help you know if baby is wetting enough.
- Baby’s eyes should remain clear. On occasion, mattering may result from plugged tear ducts. Ask about a massage that helps. If the whites of the eyes become blood shot, have the baby seen by a physician immediately.
- Jaundice would not be unusual beginning after 24 hours. If noticed before then, call. At any time, exposure to direct sunlight (except for the eyes) in ten minute doses, or longer if through a window, and nursing often will help jaundice.
- Nurse as often as baby wants, and at least every 2-3 hours, changing sides after every 10 minutes or so. Gradually increase time on each side and be aware of baby’s latch. Sore nipples are no joke.
- We will be returning within 24-48 hours.
- If anything about mom’s or baby’s condition is not as you think it should be, or if you have any questions at all, please call. Don’t hesitate.
Caring For Mom Immediately After the Birth:
- Check mother’s belly as instructed by midwife
- Take her temperature two times each day for 4 days. A rise to 100*F for 24 hours when her milk comes in is not unusual. Anything else should be reported without delay.
- Be aware of her flow: No more than 1 pad/hour the first day, with decreasing quantity and freshness from then on. Gushing is to be expected at first after sitting or lying down. Clots are not unusual. The smell of the discharge should be like regular menstrual flow, not foul. You can expect some flow anywhere from 3 days to a month or more. If there is an increase in quantity or if the blood becomes fresher, she is doing too much, no matter how she feels. She should slow down, take naps, avoid stairs, and lift nothing heavier than the baby for a while.
- The herbal Sitz bath solution will dilute the urine if it stings when urinating. Leaning forward will also usually help. She should eat lots of fruits and vegetables and high fiber foods so the first bowel movement will be easy. (laxatives can affect the baby through the milk)
- If you have a tear or stitches, you must soak your bottom 2-3 times each day in your sitz-bath tea. After bathing, be careful to blot dry – don’t wipe. Use your peri-bottle to rinse off after you use the toilet. Be careful about keeping your legs together and do your kegel exercises; this will help bring circulation to the area to speed healing.
- Nurse often, but no longer than 15 minutes on one side, just switch sides.
- Drink lots of fluids and eat well. Continue with prenatal vitamins and iron until gone.
- Rest when the baby rests. And enjoy your baby!