Mom: The First Weeks after Birth
I had expected to be a bit overwhelmed when bringing my newborn home for the first time. I expected that I would be woken up during the night and I had a reasonable idea of how be a new mom: change a diaper, hold him, bath him, and dress him.
What I wasn’t prepared for however, where those first weeks after my newborn arrived. The ME part.
I didn’t actually realize that I really would be more tired than I could ever have imagined – I mean I’d pulled some all-nighters in my life and recovered just fine. I didn’t know that I would have really uncomfortable “after contractions”, bleeding, crazy hormonal emotions and breastfeeding – which really hurt until I got the hang of it. I mean I kind of knew but not really. I was so busy preparing for the birth that I had forgotten to learn about how I would feel & what my body would be experiencing.
Here are a couple of Questions & Answers found in the chapter Mom: The First Weeks in my book Babies 0-6 months.
I had no idea I would feel so tired…
Funny that despite the fact that everyone and their dogs tell us that we will be exhausted, we can’t actually imagine how we will feel until we are in it. If this is your first child, then sleep (or rest) when the baby sleeps… If you are breastfeeding, increase your food intake because you are now really eating for two, so good nutrition is very important. The production of breast milk and feeding can be exhausting on its own. Getting your baby into a night rhythm will also help.
My Stomach hurts. What are these after pains?
You thought you were done with contractions once your baby was delivered. Well…. These after-pains, which to me, felt like contractions, are in fact very important. It’s your womb that is contracting, shrinking back to its normal size. Breastfeeding can stimulate this process due to the oxytocin that is produced. They also say that the faster the delivery and the more kids you have, the stronger these after pains will be. This was true for me… They usually go away within a week and are not constant.
What should I expect with Lochia?
Lochia starts with a heavy flow of bright red blood loss, which shouldn’t last more than a week. The blood flow is usually heavier when you are walking and standing. You may also have clotting. Your lochia will eventually turn pink then to a yellow-whitish color. It can take 6 weeks to reach the end of this process. If you are feeling weak, have fever or chills, are using more than one heavy-duty pad per hour or have large clots or heavy red discharge for more than a week, you should contact your doctor.
Lianne is a Canadian mother of 4, entrepreneur and author of Lianne’s Quick Guide – for the busy woman. Her first title is called Babies 0-6 months and can be purchased directly from her website: www.liannesquickguide.com. She lives & works just outside of Amsterdam and can usually be found biking around on her bicycle built for 6.