You can finally hold your newborn baby (0 to 2 months) in your arms. You will take him home to your family who will welcome him with much joy. You will get to dress him up in all those cute little outfits that you have been shopping for. Your baby will not do much these first few weeks other than eat, sleep and poop.
He already can hear, he gets startled by loud noises and he can respond to bright lights. He makes small jerky movements with his arms and legs. Your greatest task during this time is to make him feel comfortable and secure, there are games for babies that can help. Remember this environment is different from what he has been used to. Start learning what the baby’s cries are telling you. He can only communicate with you by crying.
Your newborn (0 to 2 months) will finally be able to smile at you towards the end of the two months. He will also discover his voice and start making cooing noises at you. By 8 weeks, he will be able to raise his head when he is lying on his tummy.
If your child is constantly unresponsive to noises or if he is always crying and can’t be quietened, pay attention. You also need to talk to your health care provider if his body is constantly stiffened or floppy.
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You will have a bloody discharge for several weeks known as lochia. It can be quite heavy. Stock up on heavy, comfortable pads specifically for new mothers. You can get these as well as disposable maternity underwear for extra convenience from our suppliers. Who are just a click away.
Within the first two weeks your hormones will fluctuate a lot therefore do not be surprised if you experience an entire spectrum of moods. If these have not stabilized within a couple of weeks, discuss it with your Doctor, Doula or Breastfeeding Support Counsellor to rule out the possibility of postpartum depression. Check out our related articles on MumsVillage for more details regarding postpartum depression. Also did you know that you can get these articles sent straight to your mail, just click here and register.
You may experience incontinence for the first few days or weeks following childbirth. Do not be alarmed – it is normal and will soon resolve itself. In the mean time, try to go to the bathroom frequently in between nursing sessions. Your urine will likely burn the wound if you had an episiotomy. This can be alleviated by frequently rinsing with cool water, in addition to your sitz baths. When you are done, dab, don’t wipe. As soon as you feel up to it, begin doing Kegel exercises as these will help strengthen your pelvic muscles.
By this stage you probably still look pregnant. Your body is not ready for vigorous exercise, but you should work on moving around daily and there is healthy food in Kenya that can help. You need to gradually improve your flexibility in order to resume your pre-baby fitness routine. This will help you sleep better and it will ensure your body recuperates faster from the rigours of pregnancy and childbirth.
Your body will still produce milk whether or not you are breastfeeding. But there are benefits of breastfeeding. If you are not breastfeeding, your breasts will become engorged. Lindsay Spainhour, Breastfeeding Support Counselor, recommends using cabbage leaves to ease the pain and discomfort of mastitis.
Tip: Linet Kanyua says of her newborn eight week old son, “He has colic. He cries a lot in the evenings. He looks as if he is in pain, stretches out his legs. Laying him across my lap or holding him curved into a C and rubbing his back usually helps calm him.”
For tips on countering colic see these suggestions from a Nairobi Mum.
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Joan Thatiah is a Nairobi-Based Journalist and Mother. FB: Joan Thatiah @JoanThatiah