Congratulations, Mom! You’ve carried your baby to term, and after 40 weeks of waiting, you finally get to meet the newest addition to the family. We know that you’re feeling a lot of emotions after delivery, and you’re probably experiencing a lot of physical symptoms too.
At this point, you know everything there is to know about what to expect during pregnancy, but your team at the Women’s Health Specialists is here to prepare you for the next step. So snuggle up with your little one and keep reading to learn what to expect when you’re done expecting.
Your Newborn’s First Weeks
Your baby’s first weeks are a time of adjustment and bonding. You’ll learn how to take care of him or her, and he or she will learn to adapt to life outside of the womb. In general, you can expect your baby to repeat a cycle of eating, sleeping, peeing/pooping, and crying every one to three hours. We’ll get into the specifics below.
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, this process takes some time to get the hang of, both for you and your baby. For mothers who are breastfeeding, the best way to tell your child is eating enough is by the number of diapers they’re running through per day. You should notice about six wet diapers and three to four poopy diapers per day. For mothers who are bottle-feeding, you should give your child one to two ounces of formula for the first few days before increasing the amount to three to four ounces at the end of the first week.
You should expect your baby to do a lot of sleeping during this first week of life. In fact, they’ll spend around 17 hours per day sleeping. Be sure to lie them on their back for safe and sweet dreams. You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s a good idea to catch up on sleep when your baby is asleep so that you feel as rested as possible by the time they wake up (and always remember that feeling fatigued is natural for mothers).
As your new baby gets used to life outside the womb, there are a lot of things they’re getting used to — just like you! This list includes breastfeeding and developing their natural reflexes like suckling and grasping. Their vision is still blurry during the first week so they will focus only on objects that are close-up.
Your First Weeks as a New Mother
When you’re pregnant, you’re prepping for the delivery of your baby — and as is so typical of mothers, you’re probably more focused on how your baby will feel for these next few weeks than how you’ll feel. However, it’s so important to prepare for your own experience post-birth so you can take care of yourself alongside your baby — and that’s why your Women’s Health Specialists team is here to help.
Taking the proper time to recover postpartum is essential to your wellbeing. Six weeks is generally recommended for recovering from a delivery. Most of your current discomfort should ease up within that time frame, but some symptoms may take longer to dissipate.
Whether you had an easy or hard delivery, vaginal or C-section, the circumstances of your delivery may make your recovery look different. For vaginal births, mothers can expect soreness to subside between three and six weeks. For mothers who had C-sections, you’ll spend two to three days post-delivery at the hospital. You can expect to recover from most symptoms within four to six weeks postpartum.
Because your uterus is shedding the blood and tissue it used to create a safe environment for your baby during pregnancy, you may experience cramping as it attempts to push this excess material out of your body. This process helps your uterus shrink back to its normal size, and while it can be painful, it is a sign that your body is responding normally.
It’s normal for new mothers to experience up to six weeks of postpartum bleeding which may feel like a heavy period. This is because your uterus is shedding the lining that protected your baby throughout pregnancy, which includes leftover blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. Your postpartum bleeding will feel the heaviest for the first three to ten days before gradually tapering off.
Call your clinician at Women’s Health Specialists if you notice large blood clots or are bleeding through more than one pad every hour.
Breastfeeding comes with a learning curve, and new mothers can expect to feel some soreness during this time. Fortunately, the more you breastfeed and practice the correct positioning, the easier it will be in the future.
Your perineum is located between your anus and vulva. During your delivery, this section of skin can stretch, swell, or tear, causing discomfort after your baby is born. Recovery time for perineum tears typically lasts a week, but soreness could last several weeks.
It probably comes as no surprise to you that pregnancy hormones can cause a roller coaster of emotions. Following pregnancy, it’s common for women to experience a case of the “baby blues” after giving birth. It’s important to remember that this is a normal process that you should not be ashamed of. Postpartum blues affects up to 25% of new mothers, so you are not alone.
If you’re experiencing severe anxiety, feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or irritability, or are disconnected from the life you used to live, contact your clinician at Women’s Health Specialists so we can help you get the care and support you need.
Your Choice for Exceptional Care
Coping with post-delivery symptoms can be challenging, but we’re here to help you every step of the way. The team at Women’s Health Specialists has years of experience working with mothers and babies, and we know you’re going to do a fantastic job. While you’re adjusting, remember that we are always a phone call away!