Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

The first few postnatal days

The first 3-4 days after the birth are spent in the hospital under the care of the obstetrician and nursing staff. The nursing staff will be on hand to offer assistance 24 hours a day. Do take your pain medication and try to rest with your newborn as much as possible, for sleep is often elusive.

 

The lochia (vaginal bleeding) could be quite heavy in the first couple of days. This will gradually diminish during the next 10 days. It will be red at first, and then turn to a reddish brown, then finally after about 2 weeks will be a minimal amount for another week or so. During the first 24 hours the nurses will be monitoring the amount of bleeding as well as assisting you if help is needed, as would be the case after a Caesarean, changing sanitary pads and so on until you are up and about.

 

After-birth pains are the result of the uterus returning to its non-pregnant size. They may be more intense during a breastfeed.

 

Your bowels should start working again by the third day. Drinking plenty of fluids and moving around will reduce the chance of constipation. If necessary, a laxative may be recommended by your gynaecologist or midwife.

 

If you had a Caesarean delivery you may not be fully mobile for the first 24 hours. This is usually because of the anaesthesia, intravenous therapy and a catheter. Again, the nursing staff will be looking after you and giving you the support you need until you are up and about. There will be a dressing over the incision and you will be given instructions as to how to care for this while in hospital. The dressing is usually waterproof, so having a shower is OK. It is also often removed before you are discharged from the hospital. The incision itself may feel numb for a week or two, and then as the nerves regenerate it may become itchy and sensitive for a while. The appearance will gradually fade from a bright pink fresh scar to an almost invisible white line.

 

Emotionally, you may feel as if you are on a bit of a roller-coaster ride. The joy and relief of the baby having been born may be mixed with feelings of inadequacy and fear about becoming a parent. The ‘baby blues’ often occur on the third day due to an extreme drop in pregnancy hormones coinciding with the production of breastfeeding hormones. This is usually a temporary state until the hormones return to manageable levels.

 

Take time to ease into your new role as a parent and recognise that there will be good days and bad days.