You’ve already had one day with baby – just enough time to realise that there’s still so much you don’t know. Here are some Q&As to help you get through Day 2.
Who will look after me and my baby?
If you are still in the hospital, you will have the nurses, doctors and midwives to attend to yours and baby’s medical needs. You may also find that members of staff are able to offer some emotional and practical support with baby. However, it is primarily the role of your partner, or perhaps a friend or family member, to ensure that you have the extra level of support you need to make a confident and secure beginning to motherhood. You will need this support to ensure that your baby is cared for in those moments when you are not able to or are perhaps enjoying a well-earned nap or shower.
If you are at home on Day 2, you will have the number of your midwife to hand. Furthermore, your midwife will visit you in your home the day after you leave hospital, or, if you have had a home birth, the day following the birth.
How will I feel?
In all likelihood your breasts will feel relatively soft and comfortable. However, they will become fuller, heavier and harder over the next 48 hours and you may be beginning to feel some cracking and bleeding around the nipples as a result of the nipple tissue being stretched by baby’s mouth.
You are likely to still be tired and somewhat emotional – the hormones which facilitate birth are now re-adjusting wildly and it’s thought to be the major cause of the ‘baby blues’.
You might feel:
- unable to sleep, but still exhausted
- worried about your baby
All the above are very common and quite normal. Try not to worry and speak to your midwife or contact your GP if you feel the baby blues are affecting your ability to cope.
Who can I turn to if I am concerned about mine or my baby’s health?
You will have contact details for your midwife, so can call if you have any concerns about your baby’s health. However, in the case of any possible emergency – for example, if baby is having difficulty breathing, has a suspected intestinal blockage or has suffered some kind of trauma – you should call 999 immediately.
Possible emergencies include the following:
- Severe dehydration
- No bowel movements
- High or low temperature
- Respiratory difficulty
- Signs of possible infection
- Signs of jaundice
- Baby does not wake for three to four hours following last feed
Contact your GP if you are concerned about your own health, although your midwife will be checking you over when you have an appointment (around three times in the first ten days). She will check on your post birth bleeding (lochia) and on any stitches you had following tears, episiotomy, or a caesarean. She will be there to ensure you are coping and will answer your questions about your own health, as well as the wellbeing of your new baby.
What should my milk be like?
You are still producing colostrum on Day 2. Colostrum is packed full of antibodies, immunoglobulins, anti-microbial properties and growth-stimulating substances. It is perfect for baby. It may be a clear fluid or a deep golden colour.
How often should I feed my baby?
Baby is probably waking more frequently than during the first 24 hours and showing signs of becoming more alert and engaged to life outside of the womb. He will be hungry and feed for around 30 minutes on each breast and may manage as many as 10-12 feeds a day during his second 24 hours of life.
Not only are these feeds providing baby with all the nutrients he needs, they are also an opportunity for bonding, as close holding and skin-to-skin contact will help foster a lifelong, positive relationship.
Why Is My Baby Crying More?
Being more alert to the world means that baby is likely to begin crying a little more. Babies have evolved to cry as a form of communication so that they can get their mothers to feed, clean, and comfort them.
Your baby’s crying and fussing will stimulate your milk supply, ensuring that baby has plenty of fuel for growth. However, don’t let baby’s increased alertness fool you into thinking he’s ready for social engagements. Keep visitors to a minimum, as too much activity could be over-stimulating for both mother and child. Which, in turn, can mean more crying – from both of you!
How Often Will my Baby Need Changing?
Baby’s tiny marble-sized stomach is working overtime with all the feeds he is demanding. As such, there should be at least one wet nappy in this second 24-hour period. Expect more meconium at this stage but it may be thinner and browner than at baby’s first change.
On to Day 3
And you’ve done it. You’ve got through the first 48 hours with your newborn. There’s still so much to learn, understand and get to grips with, but My BabyManual can be by your side.