Everything you need to know on the third day
with your newborn baby.
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Practical information about your baby
Newborn babies want to be fed every two to three hours. The usual frequency is 6 to 8 feedings per 24 hours. It is not necessary to do this at fixed intervals. You increase the amount of feeding with 10 ml per day per feeding.
So on day 3 most babies drink 30 ml per feeding.
When your baby is small and/or less hungry she might drink 20 ml per feeding and when your baby is big and/or more hungry she might drink 40 ml per feeding. That is all okay.
If your baby stops drinking at the end of the quantity offered, then she shows you she is finished for now.
General information on increasing the amount in the first week:
As mentioned you increase the amount of feeding with 10 ml per feeding per day. This does go on like this ontil day 7. At day 7 most babies will drink between 60 and 80 ml per feeding (depending on their birthweight) divided by 7 feedings to calculate the total amount per 24 hours.
So for example: your baby is 7 days old and drinks 7 X 70 ml = 490 ml per 24 hours.
When she drinks this amount of 490 ml in 8 feedings she will drink around 60-65 ml per feeding.
When she drinks this amount of 490 ml in 7 feedings she will drink around 70 ml per feeding.
After day 7 your Child Health Centre will guide you on how to further increase the amount of feeding of your baby.
Your baby will show you more often hunger signals by now and wants to drink often, up to 12 times a day. You can put her to your breast when she wakes up from her deep sleep or makes some noise or starts to stick her tongue out of her mouth and make movements with her tongue. Transitional milk will replace your milk for the next two weeks, then your mature milk supply will come in.
A bunch of video's on latching on and different positions to feed are shown on day 1 and 2.
Jaundice (seeing yellow)
If the baby is in normal health, her skin will take on a normal color soon after birth. In some cases, the babies skin and the whites of her eyes can look a bit jaundiced (yellowish) a few days after birth. This happens if the baby cannot yet break down her own waste products. Make sure your baby stays alert and drinks well so that these waste products can leave the body through natural excretion. The midwife or district nurse will always look at the babies color when she checks her. The yellow color will usually fade away within two weeks. In some cases, the color may persist for more than three weeks. Possible causes are mother's milk and, very exceptionally, a liver disease. If the yellow color persists for more than three weeks or if the color intensifies after the first week, contact your home doctor (GP) or pediatrician: a blood test will be conducted to determine the bilirubin level.
Pimples and spots
The babies skin may show small red spots. These develop because the babies blood vessels have not yet completely 'settled down'. Another possibility is that the babies blood circulation is not yet working 'at full speed'. Not enough blood is being pumped to all the extremities of the body. For example, the babies hands may turn bluish when she is sleeping. This is harmless. As soon as you pick up and cuddle your baby, the color generally returns to normal quickly. Occasionally you may see tiny white pimples in the babies face: baby acne, caused by sebaceous glands. After around six weeks most of the spots and pimples will have disappeared by themselves.
Approximately half of all babies are born with an unpredictably shaped red or light pink mark in the neck, forehead or one of the eyelids. These are groups of expanded blood vessels. Because these spots often occur in the neck, they are sometimes called 'stork bite'. They look like the place where the stork held the baby when delivering her to her mother.
The baby may have a bluish mark on her lower back, the ankles and wrists. This is called a 'Mongolian spot' because these spots were first seen among the Mongols in China. Mongolian spots mostly occur in colored babies.
A babies intestines need further development, which may cause intestinal cramps. There is no medication. Intestinal development is a natural process, the cramps will gradually disappear. To support your baby to get through the (mostly short) periods of cramp you can do several things:
Feeding signs and how to hold your baby on your lap to sooth her
Bottlefeed your baby on your lap
Burping (after bottlefeeing)
More about crying
Sometimes there is no answer to her crying. Comfort and rest are the best you can give your baby on these occasions, however difficult it may be to see and hear that you cannot entirely remove the cause of her crying. The average baby cries for around two hours per day, although some babies cry much longer. Crying time peaks around the age of six weeks. As a parent, you can feel fairly powerless and even become angry. It can help to look at your watch and keep track of the length of time your baby cries because it often seems longer than it really is. Never Iet it get to the point that you, out of sheer helplessness and anger, shake the baby! That could be dangerous. You can always ask for help from the Child Health Centre if the crying is too much for you. In any case, it is good to know that it is impossible to spoil young babies. Don't let just any little sound make you get her out of bed, but there is no harm in doing so if she goes on crying.
Dunstan baby language is a simple method to distinguish different crying sounds of your baby.
Why is it dangerous to shake a baby?
A babies head is large and heavy in comparison to the rest of her body. If the head is not supported, it will shake to and from, because the neck muscles are not strong enough to keep it in position. Shaking the baby exerts serious pressure on the head and may cause tiny blood vessels in the head to burst, possibly leading to blindness, deafness, epilepsy, learning difficulties, brain damage or even death ('shaken baby syndrome').
Shaken baby syndrome
Note: Important advice:
Even if it looks as if the baby has stopped breathing, do not shake her. Medical advice is to give a slight tap on the sole of the foot, to cradle the cot gently or to pick up the baby (don't forget to support her neck).
The baby's position in the cradle or cot
The recommended position for the baby is on her back in a cradle or cot halfway, with her head turned on one cheek. The baby should not sleep on her stomach. It is better not to let your baby sleep in the playpen if the floor of the playpen is too hard, which most of the time is the case, although nowadays it is also possible to buy thick matrasses with the exact size of the playpen. Having your baby sleep on the couch or on the dressing table is dangerous because there is the danger of rolling off.
Skin to skin contact
In general a good time to have skin to skin contact is in the morning hours after you have been taking care of the first morning feeding and of yourself! You are probably tired again of taking a shower, having breakfast etc. and it is to early to go to sleep again. But resting and have this quality time with your baby is wonderful. Just leave the outside world outside and enjoy and recover at the same time!
Explanation how to pick up your baby safely and ways to comfort your baby
The third night after de delivery might be a better night then the second night. Your baby has most probably be latched on a lot during the day and evening and probably sleeps a bit longer in between feedings during the night. If she wants to drink many times in the night that is perfectly okay.
It is heavy on you as parents, but your baby knows exactly what she wants and when. So if she wakes up even after an hour or so, just feed her again!
Tip: Especially when breastfeeding you might feel hungry durig the night. Make sure you will have some nutritious food at hand to eat in the night.
When you give your baby formula the advice is to increase the amount already during the last feeding of the day (usually between 22.00-23.00 hours). So around the mentioned time of the evening you offer your baby 40 ml and you will keep on offering her that amount during the whole night and next day.
Note: Use as less light as possible when you feed your baby. Do not sing songs or talk to her to much. Use the daytime to interact and the nighttime only for nutrition. This way you help your baby to addapt to our day and night rhythm as soon as possible.
Engorgement is a natural phenomenon starting on the third or fourth day after delivery as the breasts fill up with mother milk. The milk glands are working flat out and all the veins have been activated. Engorgement is a combination of moisture, swollen glands and mother's milk. Your breasts may feel hard and very full. A good bra will serve to give good support to your breasts. Relief can be obtained through a warm towel over the breasts, a hot shower and allowing your baby to drink all the available milk from the breast. By applying warmth on the breast before you latch your baby on the let down reflex is activated.
If the relief is not sufficient, it is perfectly okay to take paracetamol (not more than 3000 milligrams in 24 hours; preferably every 8 hours 1000 milligrams).
Engorgement and latching on
Latching on can be difficult for your baby at this stage of the engorgement process. You have to imagine that you blow up a balloon and you have to put your mouth around it. That can be a challenge. So what you will see your baby do is get on the breast, do some sips and get of again. This process can be repeated several times to get the first pressure of and then she can get enough grip to keep on drinking.
It is sometimes to difficult to get grip and then you will notice that your baby gets really frustrated. A trick is to express some milk by hand into a little cup and give that to your baby by putting the cup on her lip. If you lay her head slightly backward she will just lick the milk out of the cup. By doing so you have accomplished two things:
One: your breast is less hard and your baby will be able to latch on better now.
Two: your baby is not as frustrated anymore because she has been drinking a little.
Another trick is to start the feeding by palpating the breast that you start the feeding with, with your fingers. Just tip with the top of your fingers gently over the breast.
You can also put a warm beanbag on the breast for around 3-5 minutes before you start the feeding. The best spot is on the armpit side.
And while the warm beanbag is doing its work to soften the glands and get the milk to flow, you palpate at the same time. Don’t forget to put a small cup or a burp cloth underneath your breast while adding warmth and palpation, because the chance is big that some milk will come out of your nipple. if you collect it in a cup, your baby can lick it out!
After a few minutes of pre-work you can latch your baby on.
After the feeding is finished you will experience relief when you cool your breasts. This can be done in three ways:
1. by putting white cabbage leaves on your breasts. The leaves already have the round form of your breasts. Taking them of the cabbage can be a bit of a challenge. They will not stay perfectly whole: break the veins on 3 parts, because the juice from the veins will protect you from getting a breast infection. If you put on a bra the leaves will stay put.
2. put cottage cheese on your breasts and lay a hydophilic diaper over your breasts and a towel. After about one hour you can rinse it off in the shower;
3. put cold gel packs (wrapped in a thin cloth) on your breasts for about 15 minutes.
Engorgement while giving formula
Women who do not give breastfeeding will also experience engorgement, starting today or tomorrow. Your breasts may feel hard and have become large. This will take one or two days to dwindle again.
The advice is to wear a tight bra or sport bra day and night. Even while taking a shower leave your bra on. Don’t put the water jet directly on the breasts, because that way you get more stimulation. Quickly change your wet bra for a dry one after you have dried your body.
While changing the bra give your breasts a quick look to check for any red spots that might indicate a breast infection. The chance on a breast infection is not great, but if you see a red spot on one of your breasts which feels warm and painful if you touch it, contact your midwife or home doctor (GP).
The post-natal period is a time of keenly felt emotions. A lot of change is taking place in your body, which needs to recover. Important changes are taking place in your hormone system.
A new member has been added to your family and this baby needs a lot of attention. That is a big responsibility, requiring radical changes in your daily routine. You will have to get used to the fact that your days will be different than before. As a result, you may experience mood swings: happy and smiling one moment, bursting into tears the next. This is such a common phenomenon that there is even a word for it in the dictionary: 'baby blues'. These blues affect most women. Timely support for you and your baby is advisable. You can, if you wish, be assisted by your partner, friends or relatives.
It is known that baby blues often occur on day 3. If it comes later or not at all it is also normal.
Being a parent is not always what you had expected, at least not immediately. Make sure to talk about this with your district nurse or someone from the Child Health Service. It may be that just talking and being heard provides relief, in other cases a lot more may be needed.
Occasionally baby blues may develop into a postnatal depression. If you think this might happen to you, talk to your midwife or home doctor (GP).
Note: Because of the fatigue and the hormones, most mothers find it difficult to keep up with the household and to concentrate and to absorb new information. You as her partner, can be a great help by taking care of most of the washing, cleaning and caring work and give extra support in the mental part.
Perineum and stitches
If you have stitches it is important to give your bottom rest by lying down a lot during the first days. If you sit up it is important to sit up straight on a hard surface (so not in your bed!). The counter-pressure may help to reduce the swelling.
To remove the waste products from the traumatized tissue more quickly, you can take Arnica D-6 drops 3 times a day, 10 drops with some water.
It is important to keep the traumatized and stitched tissue clean by flushing with water after you have urinated. Most practical is to use a sports-bottle with a pull cap to squeese the luke warm water in the right direction. Cleaning this area using the shower head twice a day is also recommended. Further it helps the recovery of this area to lie down without your underwear on a cellulose pad once or twice daily for about 1 to 2 hours to allow the stitches to heal in the air.
Stool urge will generally start up again a couple of days after delivery. Your stool may be a bit harder. It helps if you drink a lot and eat fibre-rich food.
Eat and drink well
For new mothers, it is important to eat and drink well. You have made a super effort, both during your pregnancy and while giving birth. Becoming a mother is sport for stars. So in the post-natal period, you should look after yourself well. You will need to get used to a new rhythm, with your baby asking a lot of your time and attention, with night-time feedings requiring more energy, and with visitors coming to admire the new baby. Because so many new things are coming your way you intend to forget to eat and drink! So please ask your partner to remind you to drink and ask him or her to provide you with food several times a day. We often see that women have lost their appetite the first few days after the delivery, due to the fact that their body is out of balance. Make sure you have things in the fridge you like to eat or even long for since you where not allowed to eat all foods during pregnancy.
After delivery, you are probably still a few kilo's heavier than before your pregnancy. Now, more than ever, is the right time to get back to full fitness with the help of a good and varied diet and sufficient liquids. It may sound strange, but this is the way to return quickly to your former weight.
What not to eat or drink while breastfeeding
Nowadays we do not give any restrictions on food anymore. Your baby is already used to the things you ate during pregnancy. What is best to avoid is to consume ‘too much’ of some foods or drinks like: onions, cabbages, chocolate, orange juice or strawberries. These are a few things to which your baby can react with colic.
Note: The only advice against is to drink alcohol.
How Does Alcohol Affect Breastfeeding?
If you drink alcohol while you are breastfeeding, your milk production may decrease. The more alcohol you drink, the less breast milk you produce. Alcohol in breast milk can also reduce the letdown reflex.
If you drink alcohol while you are breastfeeding, the concentration of alcohol in breast milk becomes as high as that in the mother's blood. So when your baby drinks this milk, the baby gets alcohol into the body through breast milk. Alcohol changes the taste and smell of breast milk. Your baby may become irritated, sleep badly and/or want to drink less.
Your baby's brain is still developing. Research shows that alcohol affects organs that are developing. So if your baby drinks breast milk that contains alcohol, you may be damaging your baby's brain and disrupting psychomotor development.
How much alcohol is harmful?
If you drink one or two glasses of alcohol, it will affect your baby. The baby will then drink considerably less in the next three hours and will have a disturbed sleep-wake pattern.
Try to get sufficient rest. This is really one of the most important things!
Try to sleep when your baby sleeps.
As partner you will also notice that you need to rest during the day sometimes in this first week. Maybe the afternoon is a perfect time to all sleep, since your nighttime sleep will be interrupted, because you help the new mother, especcialy if she is not very mobile yet.
Don't forget to switch off your doorbell when you sleep.
Another tip is to (also) go to bed early and already have 1 or 2 hours sleep before the last feeding of the day which usually takes place between 22.00-23.00 hours.