The first 24 hours

This is the moment you have been looking forward to. The baby finally has been born and you are at home. Ofcourse these first hours are a little scary as well. During daytime the maternity nurse is there to help but at night you have to manage yourself.

Below you will find some advice for the first hours

Baby

Babies cry. One more than the other, but all babies cry. The first weeks every parent will experience moments of desperation, not knowing how to soothe your baby. This is absolutely normal and part of the process. Reasons your baby might cry are: hunger, dirty diapers, cramps, burps, feeling too warm or too cold. However, often babies cry simply because they have to get used to being born. Hold your baby close to your chest and he or she will recognize your voice, scent, heartbeat, which will calm your baby down.

After birth your baby has reserves for the first 24 to 48 hours, so it is not necessary to feed your baby every three hours on the first day. Often babies fall asleep for a few hours after being born, they do not need to be awakened. From the moment your baby wakes up you should try (breast)feeding your baby (10ml if using a bottle) every 3 to 4 hours.

Newborn babies are pink. Because the circulation of your babies blood has to set in it is possible that your baby have some blue coloration around the nose and mouth, and hands and feet. This is absolutely normal. Do pay attention to your babies mouth and tongue, it is not normal that those are blue. If your baby looks blue-grey or in the first 24 hours yellow something might be wrong, so in this case please call us on our emergency number straight away.

A lot of babies are a little nauseous the first 24 hours because during delivery they often swallow some blood and amniotic fluid. They will eventually vomit this out. To ease that you can lay your baby on its side the first 24 hours.

A normal body temperature for your baby is between 36,5 ºC and 37,5 ºC. Some babies have trouble keeping themselves warm. Make sure you have hot water bottles at hand in case your baby needs some extra warmth. This way you can preheat your baby’s crib or stroller. If your baby’s temperature is too low you can use an extra blanket or warm water bottles or hold your baby to your chest wearing only a diaper and hat and crawl under the blankets together. If your baby is too warm you could take off a piece of clothing or use a thinner blanket. If the temperature of your baby does not become stable and normal despite your efforts we would advise you to call us.

Mother

After delivery you will lose more blood than during your menstruation. This is completely normal. It is also possible to lose some blood clots, which can be the size of a tennis ball. If you lose more than two big clots or blood keeps running continuously we advise you to call us.

Having a fever after giving birth is not normal. It is possible however to have a higher temperature than usual (up to 38,0ºC) when you are having engorgement. If you get a fever during the first 24 hours after giving birth you should call your midwife.

A full bladder stimulates the loss of blood. This is why it is important to pee within the first 6 to 8 hours after delivery. If you are having trouble going to the bathroom, call your midwife, she can help empty your bladder with the use of a catheter. Sometimes it is hard to feel the urge to use the bathroom after giving birth, we advise you to try to pee every three hours to make sure your bladder is empty.

After delivery your uterus contracts to shrink to its normal size and reduce bloodloss. This may cause some pain sometimes, especially during breastfeeding. If necessary you can take 1000mg paracetamol every 8 hours to ease the pain.