Parenting Lesson 8 - Things immediately after birth

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. How long I will be in hospital for my child's birth

  2. What to be done at home once I leave the hospital

  3. All about diapers? When, which, how to use?

  4. How to deal with nappy rashes in a newborn?

  5. What is a Pediatrician? Should I see a physician or a pediatrician

  6. When can I take my baby outside for a walk

How long will I be in the hospital for my child's birth?

In the case of vaginal or natural birth, hospital stay for the mother, and the baby will usually last for a maximum of 24 to 48 hours. This would require the labor to be smooth, with no complications arising at any stage. Once all the necessary tests have been carried out and no problems have been detected, mom and baby can go home safely.

However, if you feel that you are not ready to go home owing to tiredness or fatigue, you could always talk to your midwife or doctor in order to extend your stay there.

Many pregnant women have been anxiously wondering – “How long do I stay in the hospital after C-Section?”, and there is no concrete answer yet again. You will definitely be required to stay in the hospital for a longer period of time compared to mothers who had a vaginal delivery. Considering the enormity of the Caesarean operation, you will usually be required to stay in the hospital for at least around 2 to 3 days after the delivery, if not longer.

There are some cases where your stay in hospital will be extended and they are,

Heavy Bleeding- The mother should not soak more than a pad (maximum of two) in an hour, for it to be called normal bleeding. Nurses may also massage your uterus to stop contractions and bleeding.

Blood Pressure- The blood pressure of the mother may drop owing to the loss of blood during the delivery – this will also be monitored by the nurses during labor.

Low Blood Sugar in the Baby- If the mother has gestational diabetes, it can result in the baby having low blood sugar after birth – this will have to be stabilized before you are allowed to go home.

Meconium Delivery- If the baby poops during delivery, he may end up inhaling some in the process- this may cause problems in getting enough oxygen. Some children may even need extra, suctioned oxygen before the condition is stabilized.

Birth Weight- If the weight of the baby is less than 2 kilograms, he will be kept in the hospital until he gains enough weight to be taken home.

What to be done at home once I leave the hospital?

Once you leave the hospital, you will find yourself very much disoriented for what to do what not to. For that here are some things that you should and can do after you come home with your baby.

Diet in postpartum

The eating schedule of a breastfeeding parent is identical to any well-balanced plan. This will include:

● Fibre-rich carbs

● Good weight

● Fruits

● Proteins

● Vegetable

When you're breastfeeding, you may also find yourself feeling hungry. This means that you need to eat extra calories to make up for your baby's missed milk calories.

Physical exercise

During the recovery process, make sure the body is able to restart any physical exercise.

Moderate aerobic exercise, such as jogging and swimming, can also reduce the risk of experiencing postpartum depression. If you have undergone episiotomy, vaginal tear, or cesarean delivery after pregnancy, the time before you can resume those activities can differ. So, talk to the doctor and get cleared before you resume any workout routine.

Don't place pressure on yourself to workout until you feel like your body is capable.

Mental wellbeing

One of the signs of postpartum life that you can not expect is mood swings.

Hormones from birth and breast-feeding can combine with the fatigue and commitment of parenting to make a stressful psychological experience possible.

Although "baby blues" and clinical postpartum depression have many signs, they're not the same thing. It's natural to feel tearful, emotionally weak, and exhausted in the first few weeks after childbirth. Eventually, you're finally going to start feeling like yourself again.

All about diapers? When which, how to use?

Disposable diapers are undeniably more convenient, but they're costly. You can expect to spend thousands by the time your baby is potty-trained. Cloth diapers can be much less expensive than disposables, especially if you wash them yourself. After paying the initial cost, you'll save hundreds of dollars by reusing cloth diapers again and again.

Cloth diapers

Benefits: Reusable, eco-friendly, gentle on sensitive skin, adjustable features and are cheap

Disadvantages: Require deep cleaning, lots of water, and electricity use in cleaning and are less absorbent

Disposable diapers

Benefits: Convenient, more breathable, and absorbent

With more sizing option

Disadvantages: Harsh on the environment, dyes, and gels more likely to cause irritation, pull tabs can rip during changes and are expensive

You should always look at the following features while choosing diapers for your baby,

● Good Absorbency

● Softness and Breathability.

● Stretchability and Fit

● Baby Size or Weight

● Budget

● Skin Sensitivity

● Convenience

● Wetness Indicator Lines

How to deal with nappy rashes in a newborn?

Diaper rash is a common form of inflamed skin that appears as a patchwork of bright red skin on your baby's bottom. Diaper rash is often related to wet or infrequently changed diapers, skin sensitivity, and chafing. It usually affects babies, though anyone who wears a diaper regularly can develop the condition.

Diaper rash can alarm parents and annoy babies. But it usually clears up with simple at-home treatments, such as air drying, more frequent diaper changes, and ointment.

If your baby's skin doesn't improve after a few days of home treatment, talk with your doctor. Sometimes, you'll need a prescription medication to treat diaper rash.

Have your child examined if the rash:

● Is severe or unusual

● Gets worse despite home treatment

● Bleeds, itches, or oozes

● Causes burning or pain with urination or a bowel movement

● Is accompanied by a fever

What is a Pediatrician? Should I see a physician or a pediatrician?

The biggest difference between a pediatrician and a family doctor is the age of the patients they treat.

● Pediatricians typically only see patients who are under 18 years old, though some will see patients up to 21 years of age.

● Family doctors may see patients of any age or may only see patients who are above a certain age.

While both types of doctors are fully equipped to care for and treat patients, pediatricians specialize in children and have more in-depth knowledge about the growth, development, and behavior of small kids. On the other hand, family doctors are equipped to care for a patient throughout their entire adult life.

Parents should take their infants to see a pediatrician from birth. A good relationship with a pediatrician is vital to ensuring your baby is healthy and hitting key developmental milestones.

Children may see a pediatrician for as long as they are young enough to qualify for care. Because some family doctors do not see patients under a certain age, it’s common for a child to see a pediatrician well past infancy.

There are some circumstances where it’s beneficial to stay with a pediatrician even once your child becomes old enough to start seeing a family doctor. You should continue seeing a pediatrician if your child:

● Was born prematurely

● Has special needs or was born with a congenital disorder

● Still needs certain childhood immunizations, such as for MMR or chickenpox

● Doesn’t yet feel comfortable switching to a new doctor

When can I take my baby outside for a walk?

There is no medical reason not to take her outside the day after you take her home from the hospital, as long as you both feel up to it.

Getting fresh air and natural sunlight is good for both you and your baby, no matter how recently she was born.

But you should keep in mind some of the cautions while taking your baby for a walk outside.

Avoid crowded areas:

While it's fine to go out in the yard or to a quiet park, you'll want to try your best to avoid places where there are crowds for the first several weeks of your baby's life.

The younger she is, the more immature her immune system, and the more susceptible she is to pick up germs from other people and nearby coughs, sneezes, and unclean hands. Once your baby reaches 2 to 3 months, her immune system will mature significantly and you won't need to be as concerned.

Dress Your Baby For the Weather

Unlike adults, babies are not able to regulate their body temperature as efficiently. So keep a careful eye on your baby to make sure she isn't too hot or cold. Listen to your baby's cues, if she is uncomfortable, she will cry will to let you know.

If your baby is cold, she will likely cry to let you know. If the temperature is cold, keep your baby bundled up tightly with hands and feet tucked in to stay warm. And always be sure your newborn wears a hat outdoors when it is cold, as humans lose body heat through their heads.

Likewise, if your baby is too hot, she may get flushed and a little sweaty on the hairline. In that case, remove a layer of cloths.

And remember that babies are more susceptible to sunburn. Limit direct sun exposure to around 15 minutes, and then use a cover or sunscreen afterward. Talk with your doctor about your child's individual health to determine how much sun is safe.