Congratulations on delivering your bundle of joy! As you hold your baby in your arms, you’d be quite overcome by a million emotions. However, once the initial euphoria settles down, it gives way to nervousness and confusion. Why? It’s because nothing prepares you for a whole lot of little things that come your way with a newborn’s arrival. Since the devil is in the details, here’s a list of stuff you’ll need to know if you’ve just delivered a baby:
1. Holding Your Newborn
Your little one’s neck is quite delicate with zero support to the neck muscles. So, it’s important to know the correct way to hold your baby. When your baby is handed over to you, place one of your palms underneath the neck first and then place the other under baby’s buttocks and slowly draw your baby close to you. While breastfeeding, place your baby’s neck on the curve of your arms, over the elbow of the hand which you are using to feed. Support the baby’s rest of the body with the palm of the same hand.
2. Keep The Baby Warm
Your baby stayed all warm and cozy in your belly for 9 long months. Thus, the external environment may prove a little too cold for comfort. So, wrap/swaddle your baby in a warm blanket. If need be, cover his/her head with a soft cap. It will also help your baby to sleep better (1).
3. Place Your Baby On The Back
Whether your baby sleeps with you or in a bassinet, always place the little one on the back. Make sure there are no stuffed toys, fluffy pillows or blankets around too. This is to avoid any danger of suffocation. Sleeping on the back also reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) (2).
4. Inverted Nipples
Don’t be surprised if one or both the nipples of your breast turn out to be inverted when you are about to feed your baby. It can happen to anyone. Don’t hesitate to take help from the lactation expert or the labor nurse available at your hospital. The nurse might use a disposable syringe to pull out the nipple (3). There are nipple pullers also available in the market. Discuss this with your doctor before buying one.
5. Newborn Diapers
Yes, your newborn does need a diaper. And there are ones which are specially made for them with a cut-out made for the umbilical cord.
6. Umbilical Cord Care
The umbilical cord of the baby is very delicate and needs to be protected from potential infections and injuries. Do not wet the area and always keep it dry. Give only sponge baths to your baby until the cord dries and falls off. If you see any foul-smelling discharge or bleeding, consult the pediatrician immediately. However, never try to pull off the cord even if it seems to be very dry and ready to fall off. Let it happen naturally (4).
7. Newborn Nails
A newborn’s nails are very brittle and sharp and your little ones can easily gorge their faces. But never try to cut them on the very first day. Wait for a week or so. In the meantime, use mittens to cover your baby’s hands to protect them. Make sure the mittens are cleaned daily as newborns have a tendency to suck on their hands.
8. Postpartum Hair Care
Once you are done with the rigors of labor and delivery, and your baby is asleep, take a few minutes to comb your hair. Tie them in a neat bun or a plait, but not too tight to hinder your sleep. Your hair can easily become a choking hazard for your baby. Babies also tend to pull on to your hair when you are breastfeeding. So, keeping them neatly stacked will make it one less headache for you.
9. Post Delivery Care
It’ll be a while before you’ll have a full-fledged bath or until the doctor suggests. So, keep a pair of outfits that you can easily slip into since breastfeeding too can stain your clothes frequently. Wear simple footwear, preferably a slip-on with a firm grip. Also, keep a pair of loose pajamas that are easy on you when you turn in your sleep with your maternity pads on.
We hope these tips come in handy while dealing with your new motherly duties. If you too have some similar hacks of your own, please do share with us and help the fellow new mothers out there.