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Week 1 E-newsletter:

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Congratulations, Mom! So how do you feel? I hope your labor and delivery were better than you had expected and you're recovering comfortably. Giving birth to a baby is such a unique and special experience - hard or easy, natural or c-section, long or short - definitely one you will remember forever. Take this opportunity to write down the details of your labor and delivery. If you aren't sure what to include, take a look at our Detailing Your Delivery article.

Click here to access your journal.

Detailing Your Delivery

Now, I should get on with the rest of this newsletter so you can get some much needed sleep. We can catch up in the weeks to come. Congratulate your partner for me!


In week 1 we explore...
  • Your Post-Pregnancy Body - Recovering

  • Your New Baby - Operating on Instinct

  • Your Baby Journal - Recording Every Detail

  • A Quote Worth Repeating - An English Proverb

  • This Week's E-poll - Feeling Like a Mom?

  • Tips from the Trenches - Pack a Diaper Bag for Home

  • Links to Other Features


Your Post-Pregnancy Body

Now you know why they call it labor. Having a baby has been compared to climbing a mountain for the energy, strength, and endurance required. Time and rest will help you restore your strength, so try to sleep every time your baby does. Don't pressure yourself with other things you feel you have to do. Let others take care of the house cleaning, cooking, and shopping. Take some time for yourself to get your strength back and get to know your new baby.

You will have a bloody vaginal discharge, called lochia, for the next four to six weeks. It was probably heaviest about 12 hours after you delivered, and will continue to taper off. If your lochia continues to be heavy or increases a few days after delivery, tell your doctor.

Remember that if you experienced any vaginal tears or had an episiotomy, you will need to take special care of the area. Whenever you use the toilet during the first week, use a squeeze bottle filled with warm water to rinse the area, and pat dry-don't wipe. Sitz baths can also help. Try to soak for 10 minutes, three times a day. To relieve some of the pain, sit on an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time and take ibuprofen. Call your doctor if your perineum becomes very painful or starts bleeding, or if you notice a discharge, foul odor, redness, or stinging when you urinate; these are all signs of infection.

Your breasts may become engorged two to six days after delivery, usually when your milk comes in. It may also happen if you are not expressing or nursing often enough. To prevent engorgement, try softening your breasts before each feeding with warm, moist heat (use wet towels or take a shower), and gently massaging them. To relieve engorgement, try applying cold towels to your breasts or line your bra with cold cabbage leaves. Seriously!

Click here to read about the first days after birth.


Your New Baby

Your baby probably nodded off to sleep an hour or so after birth-it was a traumatic and exhausting experience for him too! This sleepiness will last for the first few days; take advantage of the down time to get some sleep yourself.

He may have made his grand entrance into the world looking a bit red and swollen, especially if you had a vaginal birth or long labor. This is normal and will subside in a few days. Your baby's little hands are probably clenched and his arms and legs pulled in - this is the position he's been in for the last nine months, so it will take a few weeks for his muscles to relax.

Your baby is operating primarily by instinct right now, with a strong urge to suck and the ability to recognize your scent and your voice. He will turn his head toward your finger if you stroke the corner of his mouth-this is the rooting instinct that helps him find and latch onto your nipple for feeding. He even knows the smell of your milk if you are breastfeeding.

Your baby's first stools were probably thick and tarry, and black in color. This is meconium and will quickly change depending on how you feed him. If you are breastfeeding, his stools will be yellowish in color and very loose. If you are formula-feeding, they will range from yellowish to brown and will probably be firmer. The frequency of a newborn's bowel movements can vary from a few times a week to once a day, or even several times a day.

Click here to read more on meconium.


Your Baby Journal

Be sure to record all the details of your baby's birth and include his first photo. You may think you'll never forget a second of your delivery, but trust me, the details will begin to fade. Take a moment and jot down a few notes and memories that stand out. You can always come back later and give the complete play-by-play. Write now.

Click here to access your journal.

Be sure to add all your new baby pictures to your photo album and share with your friends and family.

Click here to access your photo album.


A Quote Worth Repeating

"There is only one beautiful baby in all the world and every mother has it." ~ English Proverb


This Week's E-poll

Does being a mom feel differently than you thought it would?


A Tip from the Trenches

Even when you are at home, pack a diaper bag with everything you might need for you and your baby and keep it close at hand. This will give you only one thing to remember (other than the baby!) when you move from room to room. Having the necessities handy while you're recovering will save you running back and forth gathering bits and pieces. Be sure to add a roll of scotch tape to your bag if you're using disposable diapers. A little piece of tape allows you to reuse a clean, dry diaper or fix one when a tab comes off.


Links to Other Features

Click here to check out the lists to organize your life.

Click here for more helpful baby resources.


Until next week...




Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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