Welcome to the Expectant Parents

You are expecting a baby. Congratulations! This is such a special time in your life. You may have researched a wealth of books and online resources about what to expect after baby’s arrival. You probably feel more and more excited, and anxious, as you get closer to the due date.

I am always happy to meet expectant mothers or couples coming to my office for a first interview. The fact that you took the time to come and meet me shows that you truly care about the future baby. I will highlight some practical points that may be important to you in the first weeks after birth:

Your baby will be seen by a pediatrician who will come to the hospital on the morning after delivery, and every day until you are discharged. Usual hospital stay after vaginal delivery is less than 48 hours.

It is best if you decide to breastfeed. Get your baby to your breast within 30 minutes after birth. Ask your nurse to help you. That first feeding is extremely important, it sets you and your baby on the right path. During that first hour after birth, the baby is usually alert and able to latch and feed well, so you both feel happy and confident. Afterward, the newborn falls asleep and may not be interested in latching for the next 12 to 24 hours.

In fact, newborns are very sleepy on the first day and sometimes are not eager to nurse. It is not a concern in most cases. On the second day a newborn usually starts waking up for feedings every 2 or 3 hours and is sleeping the rest of the time. This pattern continues for several months. It is normal for newborn babies to eat frequently and sleep a lot.

Taking care of a newborn requires time and effort, so plan accordingly. It is not a good idea to schedule big events like a move, a party or a trip within a month after delivery. During the first two weeks you will be tired, sleep deprived, recovering from giving birth, and learning new skills. You probably will need help, and I do not mean just from your husband. If your mother or mother-in-law is willing to help with cooking and cleaning, you are lucky. If not, line up some friends and relatives to at least drop some frozen dinners and groceries at your house.

All these relatives and friends who have been waiting for the new arrival, are probably very impatient to see your baby. You have to remember the rule of thumb – the mother of the baby decides who and when she wants to see. If you are too tired, not comfortable to nurse in their presence or just not in a mood for visitors – you tell them that you will invite them when you are ready. Now you need time to recover and get used to a new routine. Be honest about how you feel, people will understand.

And, finally, remember that time will pass faster than you think. Enjoy the precious moments while you can. Feel free to post your own experiences or words of wisdom, I would love to hear from you!


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