How to Bathe Your Little Star : Without Any Fear!


Bathing your baby for the first few times can be challenging. Building your confidence takes continuous practice.

I remember when I had my first baby. Bathing my baby was one of my biggest fears. Additionally, I have met some of my clients who actually had me come in to teach them how to give their baby the first bath. Mamas I know the little uncertainty you may be feeling. I will do my best to to teach you how to do it with out any fear.

Some doctors advise waiting until an infant is a few days old before giving them their first bath. Since your baby is coated with vernix, a waxy coating on the skin that protects your baby from bacteria  after birth. This website contains affiliate links, we try our best to help our readers by providing valuable products accessed to make your shopping easier. I earn a small commission  from products and services you purchase through my links at no extra cause to you. Thank you for your consideration.

Bathing a baby can be a daunting task. It’s possible that your kid would dislike it as well. With a little preparation, though,  both of you will  feel more at ease in the bathtub. Begin by studying the fundamentals of baby bathing. I will help you to feel at ease in bathing your little star.

There is no need to fear: You can only love your baby during a bath!

Mama there is no need for you to fear. The fact that you love your baby is one of the best attributes you can have to get the ball rolling.

If you have a hospital birth, the amniotic fluid and blood will be cleaned up by hospital nurses or employees until your baby is born. However, you will most likely have the luxury of telling them to leave any excess vernix if you so like.

You should give your baby a sponge bath after you get them home. You have access to their head, body, and diaper area to clean them. Until your baby’s umbilical cord breaks, this is the best way to bathe them. You will begin bathing your baby by submerging their body in a shallow bath until the cord has come off on its own. A bath is fine every 2-3 days for about 5 -10 minutes. Too much bathing can actually dry out your baby’s skin.

1. Begin with a sponge bath

Sponge baths are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics before the umbilical cord stump falls off, which may take a week or two. You’ll need the following items to give your baby a sponge bath:

A  warm, smooth surface in a warm environment. A counter in the bathroom or kitchen, a change table, or a solid bed would suffice. It’s fine to put a blanket or towel on the floor. Use a pad or towel to protect rough surfaces.

For the first few weeks of life, the newborn should be bathed in a sponge bath. Before the umbilical cord comes off, this is the easiest way to clean your son.( Promotional link).

Although the circumcision site recovers, sponge baths are the perfect place to bathe circumcised babies.

2. Gather all your supplies which include:

  • mild baby soap
  • clean diaper
  • baby towel
  • padding for hard surfaces, such as a blanket or towel
  • bowl of warm, not hot, water
  • washcloth
  • Baby oil or lotion

Lets begin our sponge bath:

  • Wrap the baby in a towel after undressing him or her.
  • Choose a warm room, around 75°F (23.8°C) for the bath, remove your baby’s clothes and diaper, and wrap them in a towel.
  • In the prepared location, place your baby on his or her back.
  • Just show the areas of your baby’s body you’re washing to keep him warm.
  • From the inside to the outside corner of each eyelid, wipe it clean.
  • Wipe the baby’s face with the wet washcloth, wringing out the hot sweat.
  • Using plain water, a soft, moisturizing soap or a gentle wash to clean your baby’s body. Not too much to dry out baby’s skin.
  1. Dry your baby off, including drying between skin folds. Put on a clean diaper. You can use a towel with a built-in hood to keep their head warm while they dry off, too.

If you have a newborn boy who was circumcised, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully for keeping the area clean or dry until it has healed. This usually takes about 7 days to heal. (Promotional link).

Easy step -by -step bathing of your little star

Preparation is necessary to avoid leaving baby unattended
  1. Always have clean washed hands before bathing your baby.
  2. Have all of your supplies readily available.
  3. Undress your baby, taking the nappy off last, and wrap in a towel. Put about 3-4 inches of warm water into the tub and test it with your elbow to ensure that it is not too hot.
  4. Gently but firmly hold your baby putting feet first into the water wipe the eyelids (from inner eye to outer eye) with cotton wool dipped in lukewarm water. Squeeze out extra water. Use a new piece of cotton wool for each wipe. Then wash the whole face. Be careful not to put anything into your baby’s ears or nose.
  5. Cradle your baby’s head and shoulders with one arm and support their body with your other arm. Gently lower your baby into the bath, feet first, keeping a close hold at all times.
  6. Supporting your baby’s head, lay your baby down in the bath so the back of their head is in the water. Gently splash some water and a little baby wash or shampoo onto their head and
  7. Gently wash your baby’s front from neck to feet. Then gently turn baby over and wash from top to bottom. Also clean out any bits of poo, vomit or milk from your baby’s body creases.
  8. During this time mama , you can talk , sing, and pray with your baby. This is a great time for bonding or really checking your baby out as he/she also observe you. You both are learning each other. (Allow dad to bath baby sometimes to encourage father support and bonding).
  9. Little girls should be washed from front to back. If there’s a little vaginal discharge, don’t worry — and don’t try to wipe it all away. If a little boy is uncircumcised, leave the foreskin alone. If circumcised, don’t wash the head of the penis until it’s healed. You can use a sponge bath instead.
  10. Gently pat baby dry. Rubbing the skin will irritate it.

Your baby is now ready for clothing, feeding or more cuddling.

There are benefits to bathing your baby

Bath time becomes a highlight of the day for both of you for a reason: it’s time spent together, just the two of you.
  1. It makes you sleepy. There’s even more reason to enjoy bathing your baby, particularly if you incorporate it into his or her bedtime routine. Warm water, a warm bed, and the warm feeling of being protected, comfortable, and loved all work together to put your baby to sleep.
  2. It calms down fussy kids. Nothing is more relaxing and comforting than a soak in a tub after a long day, as you probably already know from your own bath time experience. After that, try your hand at baby massage to add to the relaxation. Although most babies enjoy it, if yours does not (he fusses or turns his head), don’t worry about it; simply cuddle instead. You’ll find out what’s going on soon enough.
  3. Boosts parent baby hormones-Bath time becomes a highlight of the day for both of you for a reason: it’s time spent together, just the two of you. Taking care of your child shows him that you are concerned about him. Look him in the eyes, kiss that delicious baby belly, count those tiny fingers, coo sweet nothings, and sing silly songs. Hearing your voice (no matter what you say or sing) and feeling your gentle touch will enable your your baby to bond with you.
  4.  Its a learning event for you and your baby: Believe it or not, there’s plenty to learn in the tub. Tickle your little one’s senses by trickling water gently onto his tummy — he’ll probably giggle with pleasure. Pour a little water near him (his wide-eyed gaze will let you know he’s captivated), or teach him a lesson in cause-and-effect by showing him how to kick the water and create a splash. Just always watch to be sure he’s happy and enjoying what you’re doing.

Apply a thick barrier cream or zinc paste to the nappy region if your baby has nappy rash.
Dress your baby first, putting on their nappy.

Put your baby in a secure place, such as a cot or bassinette.(Promotional link).
Fill the tub with water and drain it.

Bottom line

Mama bathing your baby is truly an awesome experience. Make the time and see it as a quality investment. I know bathing him /her for the first time can be scary but the more you do it the more confidence you get. As we have learned, bathing has many good benefits for you and baby. Mama there is really no need to fear bathing your baby because you can do all things through Christ who gives you the strength. Remember to keep your little star safe both during and after the bath. Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you gained some insight on bathing your baby. Please like , comment, or ask a question. Do come again. Check out our facebook page @https://maternaltreasuresparentcarecenter, linkedIn- MarilynSmith @ linkedIn, Instagram -marilynsmith_3291, Pinterest- https://www.breastifriend.

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While the name suggests that it is a pillow for pregnant women, there is much more to it than that. This pillow was created with expectant mothers in mind, and their changing bodies in mind. These pillows are most often used in the 3 months of pregnancy. This is why the majority of pregnant women have trouble getting relaxed when lying down . Mama you deserve pure comfort during this time in your life. Make comfort your priority today.

Breastfeeding And Your Newborn: How To Cope With The First Weeks


Breastfeeding can be very challenging during the first few weeks, but planning can make a difference

Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least  8– 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often–you CAN nurse too little. Remember the more you nurse the more milk

Just so you know, Breast Fed Is Best Academy may earn commissions from shopping links.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)–don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy at first–wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing.

Breast changes

Your milk should start to “come in” (increase in quantity and change from colostrum to mature milk) between days 2 and 5. To minimize engorgement: nurse often, don’t skip feedings (even at night), ensure good latch/positioning, and let baby finish the first breast before offering the other side. To decrease discomfort from engorgement, use cold and/or cabbage leaf compresses between feedings. If baby is having trouble latching due to engorgement, use reverse pressure softening or express milk until the nipple is soft, then try latching again. Breastfeed every 2-3 hours and pump immediately afterwards. Always keep in mind the more you breastfeed the more milk you make.

How often should baby be nursing?

After giving birth life can seem pretty bewildering – you’re getting to know your newborn while recovering from the delivery. Your emotions might be all over the place (especially between days two and five when many women get the double whammy of their milk ‘coming in’1 and the ‘baby blues’.2 Plus, there’s often expectation – and pressure – to be up and about quickly and generally be a supermom. But one of the most super things you can do this week is just be with your baby and get breastfeeding on track. Some newborns are excessively sleepy—wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing. Once baby has established a good weight gain pattern, you can stop waking baby and nurse on baby’s cues alone.

Is baby getting enough milk?

See your healthcare provider for any weight loss issues you may have

Weight gain: Normal newborns may lose up to 7% of birth weight in the first few days. After mom’s milk comes in, the average breastfed baby gains 6 oz/week (170 g/week). Take baby for a weight check at the end of the first week or beginning of the second week. Consult with baby’s doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one dirty diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). After day 4, stools should be yellow and baby should have at least 3-4 stools daily that are the size of a US quarter (2.5 cm) or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often–this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy.

Wet diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). Once mom’s milk comes in, expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.

“Ideally, your baby will be put on your chest as soon as he’s born to give him access to the breast. He might feed, he might not; but give him the opportunity to do so,” says Cathy Garbin, an internationally renowned lactation consultant.

“Support his body and let him attempt to find his way to your breast and self-attach (you can watch videos of this process, called the ‘breast crawl’, online). However, if your baby doesn’t attach, healthcare professionals are usually very skilled at helping mums with positioning. Baby-led attachment, with mum in a semi-reclined breastfeeding position, is a good way to start.”

So forget about weighing and dressing your baby in that special first hour, or at least until after the first breastfeed. Enjoy relaxed cuddles and plenty of naked skin-to-skin contact with him. This will get oxytocin – ‘the love hormone’ – flowing in both of you, which is essential for the release of your first milk, colostrum.3

What If I have A Caesarean Section?

Having a C-section does not mean you cannot be successful in breastfeeding

If you have a c-section or there are other complications, you may still be able to have skin-to-skin time with your baby and breastfeed in the first few hours.

“If you aren’t able to hold your baby, the next best thing is for him to have skin-to-skin contact with your partner instead. This will help keep your baby feeling safe, loved and warm until you’re ready,” says Cathy.

If your baby is unable to breastfeed, then it’s a good idea to start expressing your milk early and frequently until he is able. “While breastfeeding directly as soon as possible gives mum and baby a good start, it’s not essential,” reassures Cathy. “What’s more important is to initiate your milk supply so you can work towards breastfeeding later if needed.”

You can hand express and use the hospital breast pump to help initiate your milk supply in the beginning.5 The precious colostrum you collect can then be given to your baby. This is especially important if he is premature or poorly, because your breast milk has so many wonderful health benefits.

Don’t feel like breastfeeding is unachievable if your baby arrives early or has medical complications that stop him feeding at the start, either. “I’ve worked with many, many mums where their baby hasn’t breastfed directly from the breast at all in the first six weeks due to a premature arrival or other difficulties.

A Good Latch Is A Set Up For Successful Breastfeeding

If you are having issues with your baby latch,seek professional help

Good attachment is crucial for getting breastfeeding off to a good start,6 as your baby’s latch affects how well he drinks the milk and consequently how he grows and develops. A poor latch can cause sore or damaged nipples, so never worry about asking a healthcare professional to check your attachment, even if you’ve been told the latch is fine and you don’t notice an obvious problem – especially while you’re still at your birth facility.

“Every time I fed in hospital, I buzzed a midwife to check the latch,” says Emma, mum of two, Australia. “There were a few times I thought I had it right but it was painful and the midwife helped take my baby off and do it properly. It meant I had the confidence to do that at home.”

When your baby is latching on, aim your nipple towards the roof of his mouth. This way he will latch on to the nipple, as well as some of the areola beneath it. This means he can draw both the nipple and some breast tissue into his mouth and feed well.6

“The latch should feel pretty comfortable and like a tugging sensation rather than a pain,” says Cathy. “Your baby will have his mouth wide open. His bottom lip may be flanged outwards, but his top lip will rest comfortably on your breast. His body language will show he is comfortable. There’s not going to be a large volume of milk at this early stage, so you won’t see much swallowing, although your baby will be sucking a lot and feeding lots of times.”

Mamas The following Things Are Normal: Do Not Give Baby Formula If You Intend To Breastfeed Exclusively

Never swap formula for exclusive breastfeeding

Many mothers shorten their breastfeeding journey by thinking baby is hungry during the early 2 weeks. I have counselled many mothers who succumbed to formula exposure. Mamas all you have to do is continue to breastfeed as long as baby is sucking. Lets look at the following events that most babies go through: Remember these events are only temporary.

  • Frequent and/or long feedings.
  • Varying nursing pattern from day to day.
  • Cluster nursing (very frequent to constant nursing) for several hours—usually evenings—each day. This may coincide with the normal “fussy time” that most babies have in the early months.
  • Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 – 10 days, 2 – 3 weeks and 4 – 6 weeks.

Sleep When Baby Sleeps

When they say to sleep while baby is sleeping, it is definitely true that you should! This is NOT just a friendly piece of advice to pamper the new mom – it is a necessity. Your endorphins/adrenaline will carry you for about a week before you crash – hard. Don’t let that happen – get help from family and friends, and focus on recovering from childbirth and on breastfeeding.

Preparation Is Key: (PAID LINKS ARE HERE) at least 2 good supportive nursing bras, nursing pads, 100% purified lanolin for sore nipples, pajamas with easy access for nursing (not necessarily expensive nursing pajamas, even pajamas with button up or pull up tops will do), and frozen peas/gel packs and cabbage to ease any breast engorgement/soreness/inflammation. This is the bare minimum equipment; some moms also find it helpful to have a rocker, a sling, a pump, breastmilk storage bottles or bags, a nursing pillow, or other items, but you can do fine without these, too.

GET IT ON: Breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after you deliver. Babies who are breastfed within the first hour generally have more successful breastfeeding experiences than those who aren’t. Any medical procedures that aren’t urgent may be delayed to accommodate this important first step, and many procedures can be done while the baby is breastfeeding.

Bottom Line:

Bringing your baby home is simply wonderful. Choosing to breastfeed is indeed one of the best decisions you can make for your family. Breast changes will occur. I encourage you to breastfeed for 2-3 hours and aim for 8times ensuring a good latch. Determine that your baby is getting enough by paying attention to those soiled nappies. Your baby will have growth spurts that call for more breastfeeding; not the need for formula. Sleep when your baby is sleeping and know that the more you breastfeed, the more milk you will make and the less you breastfeed, the less milk you will make. Even if you had a C-section you can still breastfeed. Thank you for stopping by today and do visit again. Let me know in the comments how you are doing with this journey.

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Breastfeeding: Easy Tips On Improving your Chances Of Success!


breast feeding1

Lets Learn Breastfeeding Basics

 

Never Give Up! If breastfeeding is what you want to do for your baby do not give up. Initiate breastfeeding with your baby as soon as possible and do not give up readily. A good mindset before baby arrives is necessary to believe that it is possible for you. You can learn as much as you can by seeking help from the experts; like a Midwife, or Lactation specialist.

MAKE YOUR OWN BREASTFEEDING DECISION!

You will hear many different views of breastfeeding, both positive and negative. Look deep within yourself and decide what is it YOU want. I always felt deep down inside that choosing to breastfeed is the best choice for my babies. Your may feel otherwise and that is perfectly fine. You see breastfeeding is a personal decision. We all have different backgrounds and situations which means we should choose what is best for our lifestyle. Whatever you decide is the right decision because you made it for yourself. If you choose to breastfeed, there are a few things you should do:

1.Become well informed about breastfeeding through information through a lactation consultant, attend a breastfeeding class, or healthcare provider’s office .

2. Talk to your care provider about your decision

3. If you are in doubt or have any problems, questions, concerns get the advice you need from your healthcare provider.

4. Have a positive mindset about breastfeeding & be prepared to overcome any challenges.


When you are in hospital to have your baby, you must make it known to your doctor or Midwife know that you wish to breast feed immediately after your baby is born. In fact, I would suggest that you make it known during your antenatal follow-up that you would like to breastfeed your baby within the first hour. I have seen where this works. After breastfeeding during the first hour, I would take the baby away so that I could assist the mum in cleaning up. When I bring the baby back to mum baby would immediately latch on every time.


On a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is the recommended way of feeding infants, followed by continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years or beyond

To enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for six months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:

  • Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life;
  • Exclusive breastfeeding – that is, the infant only receives breastmilk without any additional food or drink, not even water;
  • Breastfeeding on demand – that is, as often as the child wants, day and night;
  • No use of bottles, teats or pacifiers
Breastfeeding on Demand is the way to go!

HOW MUCH MILK DOES MY BABY NEED?

Babies’ stomach are small. It doesn’t take much to fill your baby up, but you’ll need to feed your newborn baby a lot: 8-12 times in a 24-hour period. Feeding your baby that often will be good for your baby. It will also tell your body to keep making milk.


How do you know if your baby is getting enough milk? One of the easiest signs is to pay attention to what’s coming out the other end. The color, texture, and frequency of poops and wet diapers will tell you a lot. Other signs that your baby is getting enough milk may include:

  • Your baby is satisfied and content after feedings.
  • Your breasts may feel softer after feedings.
  • Your baby breastfeeds at least 8 to 12 times every 24 hours, including at night.
  • Your baby is gaining weight.

How much milk your baby needs will change as baby grows, and your body will adjust to those changes. If your baby has a growth spurt, your baby might want to nurse more often or for longer periods of time. Your body will adjust to that, too.

The important thing is to nurse as long and as often as your baby wants and to let your baby eat until full.

HOW IS MILK MADE?

During pregnancy, your breasts start getting ready to make milk. As milk making tissues rapidly grow, you may notice your breasts become fuller and more tender. After you have your baby, pregnancy hormones lower which then helps the lactation hormone, prolactin, to be released.  Prolactin sends a message that tells your breasts to make milk. Both your hormones and your baby’s suckling cause your breasts to make milk. The more your baby nurses, the more milk you make.

When your baby suckles, another hormone, oxytocin, sends a message that tells the small muscles in your breast to contract. This muscle contraction moves the milk through the milk ducts. This is called the let-down reflex. It releases the milk into your milk ducts so you can breastfeed your baby.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLOSTRUM AND BREAST MILK?

There are three phases of breast milk. Each one is vital to nourishing your baby.

  • Colostrum. This is the first milk produced by the breast right after birth. It is thick, yellow-ish, and rich in nutrients your baby needs in the first few hours and days. Colostrum is amazing, because your baby only needs a little at a time but it is very powerful because of its rich nutrients.
  • Transitional milk. When mature breast milk starts to replace colostrum, it is called transitional milk. This is often what’s called “your milk coming in,” and it usually happens in your first week at home with the baby.
  • Mature milk. Mature milk looks thinner than colostrum but is still full of nutrients for baby. It starts about 10-15 days after birth. Mature milk will continue to change with your baby’s needs and tummy.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE FIRST FEW FEEDINGS?

You should feed your baby between 8-12 times within 24 hours. There is no set time for feedings. They may be 15-20 minutes per breast. They may be shorter or longer. Your baby will let you know when he or she is finished feeding. Your baby’s eating patterns may change from day to day. Just follow your baby’s lead, and that will help you build your milk supply.

Try feeding your baby on the fuller breast first until your baby releases the nipple or falls asleep. Then burp your baby and offer the other breast. Some babies feed from both breasts at each feeding, while other babies are satisfied after one breast. When your breasts feel full, it is important to nurse your baby. That will keep your breasts from becoming overfull or engorged.

HOW DO WE SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING?

Breastfeeding is a priority at Maternal Treasures and Breastfed is Best Academy. We understand just how challenging breastfeeding can be, and we are dedicated to supporting your breastfeeding journey. To help our moms, we provide education and breastfeeding counseling, as well as referrals to other health and social services. If you need help in any of these services feel free to contact us our email-maternaltreasures2018@gmail.com or 32413191


Family is important when it comes to breastfeeding. It takes time, practice, patience—and teamwork. Support goes a long way, and that includes your family, especially your partner. I hope you are able to have great support if you decide to breastfeed. Recognizing that their role is crucial will help you to overcome many challenges, including their friendship. This is best done breastfeeding before your baby arrives. This will give you time to learn, prepare, and plan together.

Family Support is so important in the Breastfeeding Journey!

Within minutes of your baby’s birth, contractions cause your uterus to shrink, its crisscrossed fibers tightening just like they did during labor. These contractions also help the placenta detach from the uterine wall.

After the placenta is delivered, uterine contractions close off the open blood vessels where the placenta was attached. You may feel cramps, known as afterpains, as this happens.

How does my uterus change after delivery?

Within minutes of your baby’s birth, contractions cause your uterus to shrink, its crisscrossed fibers tightening just like they did during labor. These contractions also help the placenta detach from the uterine wall.

After the placenta is delivered, uterine contractions close off the open blood vessels where the placenta was attached. You may feel cramps, known as afterpains, as this happens. 

For the first couple of days after giving birth, you’ll be able to feel the top of your uterus in the area of your belly button. In a week, your uterus weighs a little over a pound – half of what it weighed just after you gave birth. After two weeks, it’s down to a mere 11 ounces and located entirely within your pelvis. By about four weeks, it should be close to its pre-pregnancy weight of 3.5 ounces or less. This process is called involution of the uterus.

How much weight will I lose right after giving birth?

About 12 pounds. You’ll lose 7 or 8 pounds for the baby, about a pound of placenta, and another few pounds of blood and amniotic fluid.

You probably won’t return to your pre-pregnancy weight for some time, but you’ll continue to lose weight during the postpartum period as your body eliminates all the extra water your cells retained during pregnancy, along with fluid from the extra blood you had in your pregnant body.

So in the first days after you give birth, you’ll produce more urine than usual – an astounding 3 quarts a day. You may perspire a lot, too. By the end of the first week, it’s likely that you’ll lose about 4 to 6 pounds of water weight. (The amount varies depending on how much water you retained during pregnancy.)

Why do I still look pregnant?

Even after your uterus shrinks back to its normal size, you may continue to look pregnant for several weeks or even months. That’s because your abdominal muscles get stretched out during pregnancy, and it takes time – and regular exercise – to get your belly back in shape. (And keep in mind that some women may never be able to get rid of their “pregnancy pouch” entirely.)

How come I can’t tell when I need to pee?

Labor and delivery can take a toll on your bladder, causing some temporary swelling and loss of sensitivity. For the first days after you give birth, you may not feel an urge to pee, especially if you had a prolonged labor, a forceps or vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery, or an epidural. This is also more likely if you had a catheter during labor to help you urinate and keep your bladder from overfilling.

But after delivery, your bladder fills up rapidly with all the extra fluid your kidneys are processing, so it’s essential to try to urinate frequently, even if you don’t feel the urge. If too much urine accumulates in your bladder, you might have a hard time making it to the toilet without leaking. What’s more, your bladder could become overly distended. This can cause urinary problems and also makes it harder for your uterus to contract, leading to more afterpains and heavier bleeding.

If you can’t pee within a few hours after giving birth, you’ll need to have a catheter put in to drain the urine from your bladder. (If you deliver by c-section, you’ll have a urinary catheter for the surgery, which will remain in place for a short while after delivery.)

Let your nurse know if you’re having difficulty urinating, or if you’re only producing a small amount of urine when you pee. If your bladder gets too full, it can actually keep you from being able to urinate.

Will my vagina and perineum ever get back to normal?

If you give birth vaginally, your vagina will probably remain a little larger than it was before.

Right after delivery, your vagina is stretched open and may be swollen and bruised. Over the next few days, any swelling starts to go down, and your vagina begins to regain muscle tone. In the next few weeks, it will gradually get smaller. Doing Kegel exercises regularly helps restore muscle tone.

If you had a small tear in your perineum that did not require stitches, it should heal quickly and cause little discomfort. If you had an episiotomy or a significant tear, your perineum needs time to heal, so wait to start having sex again until you get your provider’s okay at your postpartum checkup. If you continue to have tenderness in that area, delay intercourse until you feel ready. (In the meantime, decide which method of contraception you want to use.)

When you do feel ready (both physically and emotionally) to have sex again, be sure to go slowly: You’ll probably find that you have less vaginal lubrication than you did when you were pregnant, due to lower levels of estrogen. This dryness may be even more pronounced if you’re breastfeeding because nursing tends to keep estrogen levels down. This can make intercourse painful at first, but using a lubricant is a big help.

Be sure to buy a water-based lubricant, especially if you’re using a barrier method of contraception. (Oil-based lubricants can weaken latex, which can cause a condom to break or ruin a diaphragm.)

What’s this vaginal discharge?

It’s normal to have vaginal discharge, or lochia, for a month or two after you give birth. Lochia consists of blood, bacteria, and sloughed-off tissue from the lining of the uterus.

For the first few days after birth, lochia contains a fair amount of blood, so it will be bright red and look like a heavy menstrual period. You’ll probably have a bit less discharge each day, and by two to four days after you’ve given birth, the lochia will be more watery and pinkish in color.

By about 10 days after you’ve given birth, you’ll have only a small amount of white or yellow discharge, which will taper off over the next two to four weeks. Some women may continue to have scant lochia or intermittent spotting for a few more weeks.

The first breastfeeding sessions may cause some abdominal cramping because your baby’s suckling stimulates the release of oxytocin – a hormone that triggers uterine contractions.

And when your milk comes in, usually two to three days after you give birth, your breasts may get swollen, tender, and hard. They also may throb and feel uncomfortably full. This is called engorgement, and it should get better in a day or two. advertisement | page continues below

Nursing your baby often is the best thing you can do for relief. (Frequent nursing from the start is sometimes enough to prevent engorgement altogether.) For other suggestions, check out our advice on treating engorgement. If these measures don’t help and your baby seems to be having trouble latching on correctly, talk to your provider or a lactation consultant.

If double pumping is difficult to coordinate in the beginning, then single pump, alternating sides. Move to double pumping as soon as you can.

What will it be like if I’m not breastfeeding?

You’ll still begin to produce milk if you’re not breastfeeding, and your breasts will become engorged a few days after you give birth. This may cause considerable discomfort that can last for several days. The pain tends to peak three to five days after you give birth, and it can take several weeks for your milk to dry up completely.

In the meantime, wear a supportive bra around the clock, and put cold packs on your breasts to ease swelling and inhibit milk production. (Be sure to cover the cold packs with cloth to protect your skin.)

You can also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief, and if you’re extremely uncomfortable, express just enough milk to make the situation more tolerable. However, this may prolong the process because stimulating your nipples and draining your breasts signals your body to make more milk. And don’t apply warmth to your breasts either because this can also encourage milk production.

Why am I losing my hair?

If your hair got thicker during your pregnancy, it may now start to shed in handfuls. This happens to some new moms in the first few months after having their baby. Don’t worry – you won’t go bald. advertisement | page continues below

During pregnancy, high estrogen levels may prolong your hair’s growing phase, causing less to fall out than usual. After you give birth, your estrogen levels plummet, and you begin to shed more. Over time (usually within a year or so), the rate of new growth and shedding will return to what it once was.

On the bright side, if you developed excess facial and body hair during pregnancy (the result of a rise in hormones called androgens), it’s likely you will lose most of that hair within six months after having your baby.

What’s going on with my skin?

Hormonal changes, stress, and the fatigue brought on by new parenthood may affect your skin along with the rest of your body. Some women who had perfectly clear skin during pregnancy will have more breakouts in the months following delivery. On the other hand, if you had acne during pregnancy, you may begin to see some improvement now.

Also, if you have chloasma (darkened patches of skin on your lips, nose, cheeks, or forehead), or a dark line running from your belly button to your public bone, the discoloration will begin to fade in the months after giving birth. It will probably go away completely as long as you protect your skin from the sun.

Any stretch marks you developed will gradually become lighter in color, although they won’t disappear entirely.

How to establish and maintain milk supply when baby is not breastfeeding

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

It is important to express your milk to establish and maintain milk supply if your baby is not nursing at all or not nursing well. By expressing, you will also have your milk available to feed baby – every bit of moms’ milk that baby gets (even the tiniest amount) is like liquid gold.

When should mom start pumping?

  • If baby does not nurse immediately postpartum, mom should begin pumping within 6 hours of baby’s birth — starting early makes a difference for future milk production.

What pump is best?

  • If baby is not nursing, seriously consider renting a hospital-grade pump (a multiple-user double pump such as those made by Ameda, Hygeia or Medela) that will allow you to pump both breasts at the same time. A hospital-grade pump is the best choice for maintaining or increasing milk supply.
  • If you are not able to rent a hospital-grade pump, consider buying a pump (preferably a quality double pump) and/or hand expression.

How much milk should mom be pumping if baby is not nursing?

  • Aim for pumping 750-800 mL (25-27 oz) per day by 7-10 days postpartum. If you have twins or higher order multiples, aim for pumping 800-950 mL (27-32 oz) by 14 days postpartum.
  • It’s useful to evaluate mom’s 24 hour pumping output at 10 days. If supply is borderline (350-500 ml / 11-17 oz) or low (less than 350 ml / 11 oz), then galactagogues (prescription meds or herbs to increase supply) or other interventions should be considered.
  • The research tells us that milk production at 2 weeks is an indicator of breastfeeding outcome, so it is important to get a good start. Even if milk production doesn’t start out well, however, don’t get discouraged–many moms will see an increase (even as late as 9-15 weeks after birth) if they continue with regular pumping.

How often should mom pump?

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  • 8-10 times per day: Until supply is well established, it is important to get at least eight good nursing and/or pumping sessions per 24 hours. Ten sessions per day is better, particularly if you have twins or higher order multiples.
  • These sessions don’t need to be evenly spaced, but you should be nursing/pumping at least once during the night in the first few months or anytime you notice a decrease in supply. Avoid going longer than 5-6 hours without pumping during the first few months.
  • When pumping during the night, milk yield tends to be better if you pump when you naturally wake (to go to the bathroom or because your breasts are uncomfortably full) than if you set an alarm to wake for pumping.
  • If you are having a hard time getting in enough pumping sessions, adding even a short pumping session (increasing frequency even if milk is not removed thoroughly) is helpful.

How long should mom pump at each pumping session?

  • If baby does not nurse at all:
  • The first few days, before mom’s milk comes in, hand expression often the most effective way to express colostrum. Double pump for 10-15 minutes per session for additional stimulation.
  • Once mom’s milk is in, pump for 30 minutes per session, or for 2-5 minutes after the last drops of milk.
  • If baby nurses but does not soften the breast well
  • Double pump for 10-15 minutes after nursing.
  • Empty the breast as thoroughly as possible at each session. To ensure that the pump removes an optimum amount of milk from the breast, keep pumping for 2-5 minutes after the last drops of milk. Use breast massage prior to pumping, and massage and compressions during pumping to better empty the breasts and increase pumping output.

Additional tips

  • Rest & relax as much as possible.
  • Skin-to-skin (Kangaroo care) can make a significant difference in pumping output.
  • One study has shown that the moms of hospitalized babies who listened to guided relaxation or soothing music while pumping had an increased pumping output. When mom listened to a recording that included both music and guided relaxation while pumping, in addition to looking at photos of her baby,  pumping output was increased even more. In this study, the interventions led to moms producing 2-3 times their normal pumping output. Milk fat content also increased for these moms in the early days of the study. (Reference: Keith DR, Weaver BS, Vogel RL. The effect of music-based listening interventions on the volume, fat content, and caloric content of breast milk-produced by mothers of premature and critically ill infants. Adv Neonatal Care. 2012 Apr;12(2):112-9.)
  • If double pumping is difficult to coordinate in the beginning, then single pump, alternating sides. Move to double pumping as soon as you can.
  • Avoid any medications that might interfere with milk supply (hormonal birth control, pseudoephedrine, ethanol/alcoholic beverages, bromocriptine, ergotamine, cabergoline)
  • If supply is not increasing as expected by 7-10 days after birth, consider the use of galactagogues. Fenugreekmetoclopramide (Reglan) or domperidone (Motilium) can be helpful for increasing milk supply.

Thank you for visiting us today. I hope that your breastfeeding journey is a success. I have tried to give you many valuable tips that should help you along the journey. Please like , comment or ask a question if you would like to. Do visit again.