I have just given birth
The first week
Your midwife is responsible for caring for you and your baby. So if you feel worried always call 06-22972718. She will also visit you a few times during the first week, to make sure that you and your baby are doing well. A maternity nurse will be there every day, she will take care of you and your baby and check you both.
If during your pregnancy and delivery you have been in care of a hospital you may still contact us for check ups and assistance during that first week. You could call our assistant to register.
The duties of a maternity nurse:
She will instruct you and your partner about caring for the baby and its behaviour.
She will check your recovery every day.
Check the baby daily for colour, weight, temperature, breast feeding or bottle feeding, excrement or peeing.
If the maternity nurse finds anything wrong with you or your baby she will contact the midwife.
She also does basic household chores. Washing for you and your baby, change the sheets, clean the babyroom and the toilet and bathroom. If there are more children she also takes care of them.
She also assists breastfeeding.
Advice to the mother:
Try to go to the toilet every three hours, rinse with water and pee in the shouwer.
Try to feed the baby every three hours. If not, the first 24 hours shouldn't be a problem, your baby was born with sufficient reserves..
Take two paracetamol if you suffer from contractions or stitches ( a maximum of 2 500 mgs tablets every 8 hours).
Watch any blood loss, a little blood loss is quite common.
Call the 06 number if:
you have to change the maternity dressing more than once an hour because you loose blood
or if you have blood clots larger than your fist.
Advice for your baby:
Change the nappies every three hours and check them for pee or poo.
Check your baby's body temperature every three hours rectally. If the temperature is between 36,5 and 37,5 it's fine if higher contact us if lower try to keep the baby warm by:
giving it an extra hot water bottle
put on some extra clothes, cover it with an extra blanket
undress the baby (leave the hood on) and put him/her on your or your partner's naked body and cover it with a blankets.
After an hour take the temperature again and check if the temperature has risen to 36.5 degr or more, if not call us on our mobile phone 06-22972718.
Registering the birth of your baby should take place within 3 business days of its birth. (Day of birth is excluded). Make an appointment for registering the baby in the municipality your child was born, this doesn't have to be your residence.
To register your baby you need a valid ID and if needed a certificate of recognition if you're not married. It is not obligatory to bring a proof of birth.
Soon after the registration the child's health care centre will be noticed that you had a child and they will visit you 7 to 8 days afterwards to take a PKU test and hearing test. Need more information?
A new Mother's emotions:
More than half new mothers feel very emotional and experience babyblues. You recognise those emotions by sudden mood changes and/or unexpected weeping. It is caused by tiredness, your hormones are upset you experience engorgement and all of a sudden you have to take care of a baby. On either the 3rd or the 5th day after giving birth you may get very emotional. It is too much and you suddenly start crying. Those babyblues disappear after a couple of days. Try to get a rest and have not too many visitors.
You may be bothered by engorgement(congestion) in your breasts on the 4th, or 5th day. In that case you may take 2 paracetamol of 500 mgrms every 8 hours, if needed. Sometimes you may feel feverish and shivery, If you have a temperature of 38 degr or more you should call your midwife.
Loss of weight in babies:
All babies tend to loose weight during their first week. This is very common.The midwife or maternity nurse will monitor the weight. In general, the baby's weight will increase again after 4 days.
Jaundice in new babies:
Most babies will have a yellowy colour a few days after birth, regardless of their natural skin colour. This is quite common and will be back to normal after a couple of days. Jaundice is caused by a break down substance in the baby's blood. It is called bilirubine and this settles in the baby's skin. All babies are born with much hemoglobine which is needed to absorb oxygen. In the womb they can't breathe by themselves yet and therefore they have more hemoglobine. After their birth they don't need that and it is breaking down. If there is any doubt whether your baby's colour is not too yellow the midwife may start an extra examination.
Day 7 and 8
PKU test and hearing test.
Someone from the Child's health care centre will do the PKU test and hearing test. Need any information?
Administering vitamin K and/or D to your baby.
If you breastfeed your baby you have to start adding vitamin K and D drops to your baby's feed at day 8.
If you bottle feed your baby you have to add vitamin D drops on day 8. (vit K has been added to the formula). More information?
The final check up at home:
Your midwife will see you one more time and that will be the end of your postnatal care., if possible. She will inform you about loss of blood, about contraceptives, training your pelvic muscles, the start of administering vit K and D, transferring care to the child's Health centre and your GP for a follow up check. You may of course call your midwife if you have any questions. After 6 weeks the midwife care has come to an end after a final follow up check. You may contact our assistant for an appointment.
After the first week:
Loss of blood
Loss of blood is quite common after childbirth and could last for up to 6 weeks, though it should be decreasing/ When you get more active yourself you will find that it could increase a little. That also is quite common. However, it is important that in general it gets less and less.
Fertility after Childbirth:
Whenever it feels good you could make love again, but there are a few things you should bear in mind:
make sure the skin at the entrance of your vagina has healed properly
don't have intercourse when still bleeding
Your first period could start again after approx. 6 weeks but it could also last a few months before your cycle starts again. Approx 2 weeks before having your period ovulation takes place, so you may be fertile before realising it. If you don't breastfeed you may be fertile three weeks after childbirth.
If you don't want another pregnancy right away take precautions. Breastfeeding may diminish the risk of a pregnancy considerably but doesn't exclude it.
Which preservative is best for you depends on different things. If breastfeeding or in case you would like to be pregnant soon again, you may choose a different option. Which preservative suits me?
Your pelvic muscles have been stretched during childbirth. After delivery they go back to their original shape and strength. You may experience some complaints in that area, eg:
Loss of urine esp. when coughing, sneezing and lifting (stress urine incontinence)
Suffering from flatulence.
Problems with bowel movement
A heavy feeling in the lower abdomen and your pelvic floor
Pain in the pelvis area, e.g. when cycling or making love.
Six weeks after childbirth those complaints should diminish if you exercise regularly. If not, contact your GP or a therapist specialised in those pelvic exercises. Which exercises are helpful?
One in 8 women suffer from slight or serious psychological problems during some time after childbirth. A postnatal depression could be recognised when you suffer from gloominess, don't fancy anything, no appetite, insomnia. Ask your midwife for advice if your gloomy moods don't lift, you cannot sleep, you don't enjoy anything not even your new born baby, (and you may not like to hold him/her or even wish he/she hadn't been born), you have no appetite and dread the new day. One in 10 women don't come out of this depression and suffer from a post partum depression or postnatal depression. This could last quite a while.
Characteristics are, crying, anxiety and irritability, brooding and suffering from insomnia. If you experience those symptoms it is important to see your midwife or GP. More information?
6 weeks after childbirth there will be a final check up with your midwife. You may contact our practice to make such an appointment. We will look back on the birth and the maternity period. If necessary any additional check ups may be done. You also should have the opportunity to ask any questions you have. We would like you to bring your baby with you but of course that's up to you.