The First 24 Hours at home with your baby. “Pregnancy Birth and Baby”.
What should you pay attention to with the baby?
The first day after the birth of your baby, 24 hours after birth everything is new and different. You have to get to know your baby and you have to recover from the birth yourself.
Most babies have irregular breathing. Sometimes you may hear your baby sigh slightly and at other times it may seem that your baby is not breathing at all. This is because the lungs are still very small and the control of the respiratory system is not yet fully developed.
Babies often make a soft moaning sound while breathing. This doesn’t mean anything. With really loud moans, your baby may be in pain or not feeling well. Then discuss this with your midwife.
It is important that you check your baby’s temperature every three to four hours. A normal temperature is 36.5 °C to 37.5°C . If the temperature is too low, you can give a hot water bottle (never put the water bottle directly against your baby). You can turn the heating up a bit if you want. A baby quickly has cold hands, but that says nothing about his body temperature. If the temperature is too high, it is wise to dress your baby less warmly. Do not put your baby in a room with an open window.
Usually a baby does not drink much in the first few days. If you are breast-feeding, you may latch on your baby every three to four hours; more often is also allowed, when your baby is awake feed your baby. When feeding, make sure that your baby is well positioned at the breast.
When formula feeding, it is important that you prepare the milk correctly, so that the ratio of milk powder and water is correct. Read the instructions on the packaging.
Some babies never spit up after a feed and others often return some milk. Babies can also be very nauseous the first day after birth due to swallowed amniotic fluid and blood. They then spit brown fluid with mucus. If a baby spits up a lot, it is wise to put it on its side, so that the mucus drains more easily from its mouth.
To know if your baby is getting enough fluids, your maternity nurse will check the number of wet diapers. Therefore, keep track of how often you change a diaper. In the first hours after birth, a baby urinates very little. To be able to see how much your baby is urinating, it is useful to place a tissue in the diaper.
A baby’s first stool is called meconium. Usually it is black and sticky. The maternity nurse also notes how many poo nappies your baby has.
After birth, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. The remaining piece is the umbilical stump. Notify your midwife if the umbilical stump continues to bleed.
What to pay attention to in yourself
It is important that you have urinated one or more times within six hours of giving birth. A full bladder counteracts the contraction of the uterus, which means that you can suffer from blood loss for longer. If you don’t feel the urge, try to urinate anyway. Running the tap while on the toilet can sometimes help.
Due to tears and stitches, urination shortly after childbirth is often painful.
You can relieve the pain by rinsing the vagina and the area between the vagina and the anus with lukewarm water while urinating. It can also be nice to pee in the shower.
In the first few days after the delivery you may suffer from a lot of blood loss, more than with a heavy menstrual period. When you move, the blood loss gets worse. Change the maternity bandage every two hours. If you suddenly start to lose a lot more blood, contact your midwife.
It is normal to lose blood clots, sometimes the size of a grapefruit, for the first few days after giving birth. This especially happens when you are on the toilet or in the shower. There is no need to make a special call to your maternity nurse or midwife if you have lost a clot, but it is good to mention it if you speak to one of them.
You can get after-effects by contracting the uterus. Breathing from your stomach or a hot water bottle can help with the pain. You can also take paracetamol, even if you are breast-feeding. The maximum dose is 4 x 2 tablets of 500 mg per 24 hours.