Birth to 6 weeks Postnatal Advice PDF
Everything you need to know, now your baby is here. This Birth to 6 weeks pdf is informative, detailed and packed with all the answers to questions you didn't know to ask. What to expect each day for the first week, then weekly all the way through to 6 weeks. Advice from breastfeeding and managing complications, settling, bathing, skin rashes, jaundice, sleep routines, postnatal supports, exercise, stitches and postnatal recovery and more. Be armed with over 35 topics and 27 pages of knowledge from an LMC midwife of 20 years (also a registered nurse 24 years and maternity night nurse 2 years) and go into parenthood prepared.
Have a look at some of Day One
BABY IN FIRST WEEK
Often the only one getting good sleep in the first 24 hours is the baby, as parents stare inbleary eyed awe at their long awaited newborn.
It is recommended for your baby to stay skin to skin with mum for at least the first hour after birth. In this time the baby will have her first breastfeed. There is no stress with this feed, it is an introduction to the breast but is recommended in the first two hours and before the baby is separated for the newborn check, weigh and her first new outfit.
Often babies may only want to feed up to six hourly in the first 24 hours of life. This is due to them being as exhausted by the birth as their mum and sometimes having a tummy full of mucus/amniotic fluid that hasn’t cleared yet. If the baby is still sleepy around the 5.5hr mark, change her nappy or undress her. Sometimes feeding skin to skin is the most successful with sleepy babies. This is not always true and some babies will want to feed much more frequently.
In the first 24 hours most babies will only need one breast (‘side’) and so it is best to check and change the nappy prior to the feed.
Nappies are not always easy to assess in the couple of weeks due to small volume of urine output. Nappies are designed to draw fluid away and wet nappies feel like gel when squeezed from the outside instead like the usual nappy texture.
I am not usually concerned with the volume or frequency of output in the first few days as long as the baby has passed urine and has passed meconium then I am satisfied that the baby can do this and with milk coming in, volumes and frequency will increase. If the baby is premature or jaundiced or has been having breastfeeding difficulties with poor intake then this may be watched more closely.
If you are in the hospital it is encouraged to call the midwife to have your ‘latch’ supervised so that you are feeding correctly.
The baby will generally receive only about 2-5mls each feed in the first 24 hours. The first milk is called ‘colostrum’ and is high in fat and nutrients. It is also called ‘liquid gold’.
There is another section specific to this breastfeeding topic at the back of this document.
Babies know your voice so keep talking to them. They can only see about six inches after birth, which extends to approximately the distance from the breast (25cm) over the first week.
Babies miss being in utero to start with and are reassured when we replicate those conditions. So they like gentle patting on the back or bottom which reminds them of the maternal heartbeat. They like to be wrapped as they were used to being somewhat restricted by the womb and movements travelling through water rather than air. They are used to voice so don’t be too quiet. The shushing noise you tend to make sounds like the pulsing blood flow of the placenta. And they like being with you!
Also called the 4th Trimester.
Babies wear at least one more layer than you are. Their hands and feet are always cooler so assess their temperature at their core by placing your hand on their skin at the chest or back. Usual temperature for a baby is 36.6-37.2C. Over 37.5C is a higher temperature that may be caused by environmental conditions such as warming up due to breastfeeding or being over heated with too many layers.
The cord will have been secured with a clamp that usually stays on for a few days and removed once the cord has dried or the clamp may stay in place until the cord falls off around 7-10 days after birth.
The cord doesn’t need too much attention. Folding the nappy down so it isn’t covering the cord will assist it to dry out, as the nappy is not breathable. It doesn’t need to fall off before the baby has her first bath. Just pat dry but you don’t need to apply any soaps or ointments on or around it.