Everything you need to know on day 7 of the first week with your newborn baby.

Priceless information for your first week as a new parent

Practical information about your baby

Formula feeding
Newborn babies want to be fed every two to three hours. Your gynecologist or midwife or nurse in the hospital have explained you how often you need to give her a bottle. 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 7 most babies drink 70 ml per feeding.

When your baby is small and/or less hungry she might drink 60 ml per feeding and when your baby is large and/or more hungry she might drink 80 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.

Thrush looks like white coating or white spots on the babies tongue, on the inside of her mouth or her palate. You cannot get it off. If a baby has thrush, she will cry more and may refuse to drink. Thrush is an unpleasant fungus infection (candida) affecting the skin and mucous membranes. A few days later the infection will make its way through the intestines and diaper rash is likely to occur. Thrush infections generally only heal with medication prescribed by your family doctor to you and your baby; if you are breastfeeding, you and your baby may infect each other. As a result, your nipples may feel burning and It may lead to fissures. Painful nipples and pain inside your breast may indicate that you and your baby are suffering from thrush. If the first symptoms occur you can put coconut oil on your nipple after every feeding. This has an anti-fungal effect.
More hygiene is essential: wash your hands even more often and change wet breast pads every time. Bras, towels, bedsheets, hydrophilic diapers and  burp cloths should be washed more often on a minimum of 60'C (140'F).

Note: with a hydrophilic diaper around your finger you can go through your baby's mouth. If something gets on the hydrophilic diaper it is milk, if nothing occurs on the hydrophilic diaper your baby most probably has thrush and you have to contact your home doctor (GP).

Measuring the temperature of your baby
After the first week you can stop measuring your baby's temperature (unless her temperature is not stable between 36.5 ‘C (97.7 ‘F) and 37.5 ‘C (100.5 ‘F)).
When you want to know whether her temperature is okay, you lay two fingers along your baby's neck. If it feels warm, your baby's temperature
is fine.

Note: We intend to dress the baby to warm because we are concerned. If the hair in her neck is moist that is usually a sign that she is too warm.

Going outside for the first time
After a week may be the right time to take your baby outdoors for the first time. You do not have to: it is more important that you make a good recovery. If you are feeling fit, you might like to get some fresh air already before day 7.
If you want to take your baby outside, her growth curve should be pointing up and she should be almost back at her birth weight. She must be able to retain her temperature. In the pram, she should be well protected against the elements: rain, wind, cold, sun and noise. Turn up the hood, but do not curtain it off because of the ventilation. Take somebody with you and do not overestimate your own strength: the way back is often longer than you expected. Remember, for now and all later occasions, always to have your mobile phone with you.

Transporting your baby safely 
Almost all babies love to be carried around. Baby slings, baby carriers, kangaroo carriers and portable car seats are available in all types and sizes but they are not always suitable for every baby.

  • Read the instruction manual carefully to make sure that your baby carrier is suitable for the age and weight of your baby.
  • If you carry your baby against your body make sure that she is not to warm in her clothes. Your body is warming her too! If the hair in her neck is wet then she is certainly to warm and it is better to remove a layer of clothes.
  • Another thing babies enjoy tremendously is being pushed around in a baby buggy. In the beginning the baby should be laid flat as this is better for her back.
  • In the car a baby may only be transported in an approved car seat, not on your lap or in a carrycot. That could be extremely dangerous in the event of the car making an unexpected maneuver or braking suddenly.
  • In the event that you have to drive somewhere with your baby unexpectedly, both parents must know how the car seat works and to mount it in the car. Make sure to practice before your baby arrives.

The sun is strong nowadays, so protecting your baby from it is essential. Always use a sun factor on her face and other parts of her body that are without clothes. Don’t put sun cream on her hands, because she sticks them in her mouth all the time.

Note: Make sure you never leave the pram in the full sun or behind a window where the sun is shining through. It will very soon be to hot for your baby.

Your seventh night as parents

The seventh night after de delivery things most probably are a bit in a scedule already. Your baby in most cases shows some kind of rhythm by now and you most probably wake up when your baby does to feed her. Especially with breastfeeding there is an invisible line between mother and child which helps you to feel relaxed and confident.
If you are also more mobile, chances are that your partner will sleep through and you and your baby will enjoy the quiet nightly hours.

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 80 ml and you will keep on doing that during the whole night and next day.

After today your Child Health Centre will guide you on how to further increase the amount of feeding of your baby.

Information about the mother's recovery

Loss of (blood) clots and anti-conception
By now the blood loss will have reduced even more. The color has changed from bright red to dark red to brown (older blood), pink and at the end it is more yellowish wound fluid. It is still possible to loos one or two larger blood clots up to 6 weeks after the delivery.
The bleeding is allowed  to last for 6 weeks at most, but in many cases it will stop sooner.
If you have not had any blood loss or yellowish wound fluid anymore for one week and after that you start to loose bright colored blood, your period has started.
You are fertile before your first period, so take precautionary measures on time, because you never know in advance when you will be ready to have intercourse again.

Perineum and stitches 
The stitches have lost there function by now. You may notice that some stitches already fell out or fall out by now.
If you started to take Arnica D-6 drops 3 times a day, 10 drops with some water, keep on doing so for a few more days.
It is important to keep the traumatized and stitched tissue clean by flushing with water after you have urinated. If you feel clean enough without flushing with water after every pee, you can stop it.

Post-partum: hormonal changes
After you have given birth, major changes in your body's hormone production will take place. This post-partum process can take between 3 and 6 months and even up to 9 months.

It will take a while before you are physically back to normal. You can feel more tired then you are used too and/or for a longer period then you wish.

Besides the physical recovery you can ‘feel’ different then you are used to or wish: you can react more emotional then you are used to or be more irritated than usual. You can even experience feelings of sadness, the so-called baby blues. All those feelings need to be allowed, just like those notorious moments of tearfulness. So be kind to yourself and listen to the signals your body and mind give you! It is all temporarily and will in most cases disappear by itself in time.

Be aware though if your emotional feelings are starting to take the upper hand! You might develop a mild or heavy post-partum depression. Something to take very serious and not to deny or neglect. Contact your home doctor (GP) when you have any doubts or do not feel well.

Post-delivery exercises 
By now you are much more back on your feet again and you can exercise by walking outside with your baby everyday.
The exercises to flex and relax your pelvic muscles are very imporant to keep on doing. This helps these muscles to recover and so to prevent or reduce urine loss, which is not uncommon after giving birth. From about 6 weeks after delivery you can go to post-natal fitness sessions: they help you get back in shape. And you will get to know other new mothers. Those contacts may be pleasant and, as they can lead to valuable mutual support and the exchange of experiences, therefore also be very useful.

Remaining questions

You may still have questions. Fortunately, there are lots of people who can help you out. The most important of these are: 

Your home doctor (GP): if you or your baby is sick, or just feel sick, you can contact the home doctor (GP). She/he is the one who can help you and, if necessary, refer you.

Your midwife: If you have urgent questions or feel concerned about your recovery, do not hesitate to contact her. 

Child Health Care: Together with you, they monitor your child's growth and development from birth on. If you have questions or concerns, contact a nurse or doctor at the Child Health care Centre. 

Lactation consultant: specialist in the area of breastfeeding. If you need help in this area, this is the person to turn to. A simple phone call may be enough to answer your questions. If not, they will make an appointment with you, either at your home or in their practice. These services are not free of charge.

Breastfeeding support groups: check in your own town or city or on the Internet.

Health insurance for your baby
Again: do not forget to register your baby with your health insurance company. 

Look after yourself 
Children are not the only ones who need a compliment or encouragement from time to time. Adults are no different. There is nothing wrong with reflecting, from time to time, on what you have done right. For instance:
"I managed to stay calm while my baby was crying incessantly'. It is nice to pay your partner a compliment or to get one in return. It feels good and it boosts your confidence, in yourself and in each other.

Note: Make some time available for each other, for instance when your baby is sleeping. Besides being parents you are also partners!

Not always a perfect bliss 
A new baby is not always a totally happy event. There may be medical problems: your baby may be premature and/or too small. After a difficult delivery it may take you a while to recognize and feel the bliss. Having a baby is a major event with a heavy burden of responsibility. You do not have to be happy all the time. Do not carry on in silence, talk about your feelings. 

Getting out of the house/ Meeting other parents
Getting out of the house is good for you. Are you mobile again? Then try and get out of the house for a stroll with you baby every day! Remember that your body has not yet fully recovered from pregnancy, and plan your excursions in such a way that you can get back home easily and quickly if you need to.

There are several places where you can meet other parents, for example at baby massage courses, baby spa’s or baby swimming.

Last but not least

Being a good parent does not mean everything has to be perfect!
When your baby is welcome, when you feed and caress her and tell her you love her, support and protect her and lovingly offer her space to explore her impulses within set limits so that she can learn what she can or cannot do in every stage of development she will be able to develop into a free and spontaneous person!

Dear parents

Give yourself time to find out who I am, how I distinguish myself from you and
what I can give you.
Please feed me when I'm hungry. After all, in your stomach, mommy,
I didn't know what hunger was. 
However, I have no sense of time and hours yet.

Please hold me close to you, hug me, caress me, kiss me, tell me sweet stories. In your stomach, mommy, I always felt carried. 
I was never alone there.

I hope you are not too disappointed if I am not the perfect baby of your dreams. And be gentle with yourselves, too, 
if you are not as perfect as you would have liked.

Don't expect too much from a newborn, I don't expect too much from new parents. Give us all six weeks - as a birth gift, so to speak. Six weeks for me to find my rhythm and six weeks for you to truly 
incorporate me into your life.

Forgive me if I cry a lot. Please be patient with me. I will cry less and less and I promise to make you happy with my company.
If you take a good look at me, you will see how you can comfort me and what makes me happy. After all, I can speak without words. I'm really not a little tyrant who's coming to ruin your life. 
But crying is the only way for me to say something is wrong.

Remember that I am already strong and tough. I can handle the mistakes you will make with me in the lack of experience. If you love me, 
nothing can really go wrong.

Please don't forget to take good care of yourself. Provide healthy food, rest and exercise so that you are energized and strong in the moments we spend together. Try to distinguish between important and unimportant and don't let anything or anyone rush you. 
Then you will enjoy me much more intensely.

And take good care of your mutual relationship, because it is my breeding ground and shows how you can love other people.
Although I have confused your life now, 
don't forget this hectic period is passing.

I thank you both,
your child