What To Expect In The First Few Weeks
During the first week postpartum, you (and your partner) will experience many emotional changes, which can range from elation to feelings of inadequacy to frustration. It is too bad that this new little person doesn't come with an instruction booklet!
The good news is, however, there are numerous invaluable resources available, from experienced family and friends, to educational books and health-care providers. Preparation is always best done in advance, so it is a good idea to attend newborn baby classes before delivery. (While some classes are offered after delivery, it is good if you can do this before in case you are too tired to attend after delivery or if you want to spend the time bonding with your new family). Topics usually covered include: how to bathe, burp, diaper, and swathe the baby; how to dress the baby; circumcision care; and eye, ear, nose, nail, and umbilical cord care. Car seat safety is usually also discussed.
During this exciting and demanding week, you and your newborn baby will be learning a lot about each other. With practice (and you'll get plenty) your skills, such as dressing, feeding, or diapering the baby, will improve as will your confidence. Expect to feel like a novice at first.
Whether you decide to nourish your infant at the bottle or breast, it will be quite often and will require effort. (If breast-feeding, your baby should nurse eight to 10 times in a 24-hour period). This wonderfully challenging week will be filled with feedings, burping, diaper changes, sleep and then more feedings, burping, and diaper and clothing changes. By the end of the first week, most new parents, while still feeling overwhelmed at times, have developed a "routine" which can help immensely.
Review Date: June 29, 2001
Reviewed By: Peter Chen, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare
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