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Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum - Health - Nairaland

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Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by beeijeoma: 5:16pm On Oct 11, 2019
A lot of times first time moms think delivery of the baby is the toughest part of the journey in becoming a mom . Sorry to burst your bubble it is just the beginning. Taking care of a baby as a newbie is not easy at all. My main aim of opening this thread is just to pass across detailed information based on research and my own experience as a mom of 3. I will go through topics like breastfeeding, immunization, episiotomy care and any other topic that a lot of ftm have questions about. I will start with breastfeeding.

My mom is a nurse and midwife and an exclusive breastfeeding advocate, right from when I was pregnant she had been ringing it in my ears that I must do exclusive and I decided to give it a go. I did exclusive breastfeeding for my 3 kids . I breastfed my first for 10 months in total , exclusively for 6months and started giving formula from six months. My 2nd never had formula he was breastfed for 2 and a half years, at 6 months we went staright to food and his cereals were mixed with breastmilk. I could do this because I was almost a full time housewife. My work hours were very limited. My 3rd was breastfed for 19months in total, 6 months exclusive and formula at 6 months plus. The first was the hardest and luckily my mom was with me and helped to encourage and show me what to do .

Breastmilk is the best food for babies . Before your baby is born your body is already preparing to nourish your baby . The very first thing your body produces as soon as your baby is born is colostrum which is very important to the well being of your baby. This is because it contains antibodies that will help prevent your baby from catching viruses or diseases. As soon as possible after your baby is born put the baby to your breast .

I must warn ftms breastfeeding is painful and it takes a lot of patience to establish milk supply, also getting the correct breastfeeding position takes practice and it is best to put the baby to breast every two hours to help your milk supply come in. Babies are usually okay with just colostrum for about 24 hours after birth and their stomachs are so small that about a tablespoon of colostrum or breast milk is okay at every feeding. Do not start to fret because proper breastmilk for a ftm may take 24 to 48 hrs or even more to properly come in. But if you are worried and feel like the baby is really hungry please buy formula and give baby with cup and spoon. This advice on cup and spoon is for moms that want to breastfeed exclusively.
This is to prevent nipple confusion some babies find it easier to drink from a bottle than to suck the breast and once you give them bottle they refuse sucking the breast.

Some moms say their babies do not get full with breastmilk. Breastmilk production is based on demand and supply. The more your baby sucks the more you produce. If it seems like the baby is not full put him or her on the breast more and your supply will definitely increase to match your baby 's need. For you to be able to meet up with exclusive breastfeeding you must eat well and be properly hydrated. Drink a lot of water, tea and watered down pap. For each meal take a big mug of watered down pap, then your main meal and a bottle of water. You may not have appetite but you just have to try so your breastmilk will flow.

Breastmilk is the best for the following reasons
1.Your body adjust the consistency and constituents of breastmilk to suit your baby at every point in time. If it is a hot day the body waters down the milk (which is why they say do not give babies water for the first 6 months). It also adjusts to meet the nutrient requirements based on your babys age

2.It is the cheaper and more hygienic option and does not require any preparation beforehand. Formula is expensive and needs hot water, bottles etc. By the time I had my 3rd kid I carry just my handbag no baby bag . Anywhere I am just breastfeed my baby without carrying too many items. Feeding bottles are also the number 1 culprit for stooling and infections in babies due to improper washing

3 Breastfed babies are relatively healthy. My kids are quite healthy particularly the one I breastfed till he was 2 plus. My kids never stooled excessively for 1 day, even when they have the occasional cold or fever it usually subsided in good time.

4 It creates a bond between baby and mom. The kid I breastfed the longest is my person o. Takes my side in all issues, we are actually very close and I believe that bond is as a result of the amount of time we spent breastfeeding.

On a final note when you baby is ill breastmilk is the best for him or her. This is because the bacteria in your babies saliva passes into your breast prompting your body to produce antibodies that will be passed to your baby via breastmilk to help fight whatever illness your baby is battling with

NB
Formula is close to breastmilk but it does not have all the nutrients that are contained in breastmilk so I would encourage ftms to try and breastfeed their babies even if its just for a week or a month you do not have to do exclusive for 6 months if you don't want to. If you are unable to breastfeed at all for whatever reason please do not feel bad or feel pressured formula is good and your baby will still be healthy. the most important thing is for baby to be fed . Any questions on breastfeeding are welcome will try to respond promptly.

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by beeijeoma: 10:01pm On Oct 12, 2019
Today I will look at lochia, episiotomy and episiotomy care

Lochia is simply after birth discharge that is experienced by women after giving birth. It is made up of blood and mucus and tissue . The discharge can last for up to 6 weeks and usually starts out as very deep red and lightens in color as the days go by. It is important for a new mom to take things easy after delivery as too much stress can increase the quantity of lochia experienced.
As a ftm the things you need to deal with this discharge are
1.Disposable pad eg Lady Sept and always . Lady sept is just like thick cotton wool with a net holding it together . It has no wings like always so there is a tendency for underwear to get stained so its advisable to buy always too.What I did was layer my undies first with always before I now put Lady Sept . It saved me the stress of washing stained undies
2. Disposable underwear (optional)
3. Undies that have a good or tight grip to be able to hold the pad in place
It is advisable to wash yourself with water every time you change your pad and the pad should be changed as often as possible to avoid bad smells and infection.

Episiotomy
If a woman has never had a baby the birth canal is usually very tight and sometimes when delivering a baby for the first time the canal may be so tight that it does not allow the baby come out easily. If the baby is left to force his or her way out it could result in terrible tears that may not be easy to repair and could also cause excessive bleeding . What medical personnel do is give you an episiotomy which is basically a cut and this cut is done at the peak of a contraction . My first child had a very big head and I was given a double episiotomy that is cut in 2 places. I didn't feel the first one but I felt the second cut and it was really painful. Once the episiotomy is given the baby slides easily out of the birth canal. Once the baby and placenta have been delivered the next step is to stitch the episiotomy. I was given anesthesia before my stitch was done and I feel every mom should ask for it. I cant imagine being stitched without them numbing the place first.
For episiotomy care you need
Sitz bowl or a big bowl you can sit in comfortably
Salt
Disinfectant ie Dettol
You fill your sitz bowl or regular bowl with warm not HOT water , put in the salt and Dettol and sit in the water for about 10 mins . It is good to do it twice a day both morning and evening. I did this for about a month when I had my first and would do it after I had my morning and evening bath
The episiotomy site gets a bit swollen and can be quite painful . I used to seat on a hard surface stool and it helped the swelling go down a bit, but the pain was a bit much and I was walking funny for about a week after having my son

Plaese do not use hot water for sitz bath it can damage your stitches and you may have to go back for re stitching. It is also advisable to have someone check your stitches before you are discharged from the hospital . My double episiotomy was not properly stitched and i almost cried anytime i looked at my vjay are in the mirror it was a mess and intercourse with my hubby was slightly painful. It improved but i knew something wasn't right, It was when i had a tear with my 2nd baby that they were able to stitch me properly and put everything right again and i was back to normal

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by futuremoma34: 10:55pm On Oct 12, 2019
Woow... Nice work ma'am.. Hope you will be updating us.. I love your write up. Good job

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by futuremoma34: 10:57pm On Oct 12, 2019
Will soon be a FTM, and am so scared of what the future holds.. Scared of how I will take care of the baby and thinking of leaving my 50k stressful banking job because of the baby is another thing.. Any advice pls

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Anonymous29: 6:36am On Oct 13, 2019
Really enjoying your right up ma. Am also a soon to be ftm. Those thoughts sometimes are overwhelming.
please what are some measures one can take to ease labour/delivery?

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by beeijeoma: 10:24am On Oct 13, 2019
futuremoma34:
Will soon be a FTM, and am so scared of what the future holds.. Scared of how I will take care of the baby and thinking of leaving my 50k stressful banking job because of the baby is another thing.. Any advice pls

Thanks I am glad you find the write ups useful . We all worry about what the future holds but it is best to have a positive mindset that everything will turn out alright eventually. As a FTM just prepare yourself mentally that it will be tough sometimes but you are strong enough to handle it. Taking care of a baby is something you learn and before you know it you will become an expert. If you have any doubts how to care for the baby google is there to guide you . You can also ask medical personnel or other experienced moms
Based on the current economy I would say try your best to keep your job. The expenses that come with having a baby is not something you can easily calculate. Having a baby is not cheap at all. I was a banker too when I became a FTM . I was always exhausted during pregnancy but I could not leave my job as my hubby was just doing small business here and there pending when he gets a job. I was so happy when it was time to go on maternity leave. I would say go on your maternity leave first, see how things work out. If possible during the leave start looking for another job that will not take up your time like banking does. After your leave if you are unable to get another job still resume back, try it out for a month and see if you can cope . If you cannot then you can decide to leave but put plans in place for a steady source of income.

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by beeijeoma: 10:38am On Oct 13, 2019
Anonymous29:
Really enjoying your right up ma. Am also a soon to be ftm. Those thoughts sometimes are overwhelming.
please what are some measures one can take to ease labour/delivery?
Thank you for enjoying my write up. Yes the thoughts are overwhelming . Fear of labor pain, fear of how to care for the baby , fear of if you will be a good mom. You are not alone it is the same for all FTM. Anytime I start getting scared back then I would just think of all the women that have kids and just be like this person did it, that person did it. Why would my case be different. You just have to push all those thoughts and fear out of your mind.

I am a realist and I don't like sugar coated information just give it to me the way it is. I don't know anything that can ease labor and delivery except epidural . If it is available in your hospital take it. My first two kids was normal delivery while my 3rd was with epidural. The epidural birth was completely pain free in fact I was watching TV till it was time to push. Labor and delivery is painful but it is not unbearable and it only last for some time. Its good to have a family member with you to help rub your back when the contractions come and in your mind just focus on the fact that the baby you have been growing inside you is almost here. As a FTM what surprised me most was not even the labor pain but the pushing part. I just felt the baby would slide out once you get to 10cm cervical dilation. Pushing the baby out is a bit tough as well and you have to get it right. I will do a write up on how to push during labor in a later post. Be strong and yow will be fine

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by beeijeoma: 11:30am On Oct 13, 2019
Surprising things you may not know about newborns

1. Some babies are born without eyelashes and eyebrows, but it grows as the baby gets older

2. In the 24 hours after birth you may notice baby spitting up saliva or bubbles. This is normal they are just spitting up the remnant of amniotic fluid.

3. The first poop from your baby is dark green or black looking. This is meconium that has been sitting inside your baby's digestive tract. It is usually kind of sticky as well . It is also a sign that your baby is getting fed and his or her digestive system is working. The quantity varies from baby to baby and usually by the next day or day after the poop changes to the normal yellow mustard color that is characteristic of baby poop

3 Newborns hiccup a lot. They can have hiccups up to 10 times a day. Once this happens just breastfeed the baby and they will be fine

4 Newborns kind of jump or shake like they are scared. This is also very normal. The baby has been enclosed in a tight space for 9 months and when they move while in the womb they touch your insides and all. but now when they move they don't feel anything around them so it is kind of startling for them. Hence the jumpy kind of reaction.

5 Newborn babies eat a lot . If you are breastfeeding don't be surprised if your baby cries for food every 2 hours day and night. It is normal for some babies. My first kid would breastfeed all night, if the breast falls out of his mouth he would scream. I quickly learnt to breastfeed him lying down as that was the only way I could sleep

6 Newborns are prone to Jaundice . Please ensure you check your baby's eyes and skin after you have been discharged from the hospital as jaundice causes yellowing of the eyes and skin . It is not good for babies as it is caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. If you notice this take the baby to the hospital asap

7Newborn babies breath fast and they breathe in a funny way too. Just keep an eye on the baby to be sure that its not more than just the regular breathing

8 Newborn babies are born with 3 soft spots on their head 2 at the back and 1 in front. The frontal one is the most noticeable and it pulsates when you look at it. Do not do anything to it as it is normal and will close on its own after sometime

9 Newborn babies can cry. Do not let this scare you most times its either they are hungry, need a diaper change or they just want to be carried. As you and your baby get to understand each other you will be able to tell exactly why your baby is crying.

10 Babies are born with wrinkled and sometimes dry skin. This is normal because of the amniotic fluid they have been in. Use the normal baby soaps and lotions and before you know it your baby's skin will be smooth


Dos and Don'ts of newborn care
1 Do not put silverbird eucalyptus oil on a baby's soft spot. It can cause burns

2 Do not put your baby directly under a ceiling fan or facing standing fan to avoid colds and coughs and breathing issues

3 If your baby is unwell and you have tried home remedies please head to the hospital once 24 hours have passed with no improvement

4 Do not use anything to press the babies belly button just do normal cord care and your baby will be fine

5 Do not give newborns any medicine except it is prescribed by the doctor. No paracetamol, no vitamin c,, no cod liver oil, no antibiotics .It is not necessary.
6 Please do not give your baby any form of agbo or herbal medicine sometimes they cause more harm than good.

7 Baby should sleep under a mosquito net to avoid the baby catching malaria

8 Always put barrier cream on your baby at each diaper change. Vaseline is best and will help prevent your baby from getting diaper rash

9 Never give a baby under 1 year of age honey. It can make them seriously sick.

These are the things I remember now will update if anymore come to mind

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Digipro: 2:00pm On Oct 13, 2019
Important
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by naijaguy123456(m): 2:01pm On Oct 13, 2019
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by helinues: 2:02pm On Oct 13, 2019
Don't give a new baby honey?

Hahahahha
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by lovienna: 2:02pm On Oct 13, 2019
Sure, when I put to birth, I will come back and read this long epistle.
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by spencekat(m): 2:07pm On Oct 13, 2019
Good write up

2 Likes

Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Nobody: 2:08pm On Oct 13, 2019
Makes sense.


Wives and expectant mothers take note.

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Ololanla: 2:08pm On Oct 13, 2019
Thank you

1 Like

Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by emeijeh(m): 2:09pm On Oct 13, 2019
futuremoma34:
Will soon be a FTM, and am so scared of what the future holds.. Scared of how I will take care of the baby and thinking of leaving my 50k stressful banking job because of the baby is another thing.. Any advice pls

Why?
What happened to maternity leave ?
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Madibah(m): 2:11pm On Oct 13, 2019
Dat note too long na
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Lumina1702(m): 2:15pm On Oct 13, 2019
U are on point.. Breastfeeding is d key..So excited to see my daughter grow healthy and fit daily..[quote author=emeijeh post=

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by FloraEC(f): 2:19pm On Oct 13, 2019
helinues:
Don't give a new baby honey?

Hahahahha
Yeah till 1year, if possible from 13mths

12 Likes

Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Guwa7aa: 2:19pm On Oct 13, 2019
G

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by VORTGATEENERGY: 2:20pm On Oct 13, 2019
Wow
This really Blessed my life. I can't wait to be a mom. And I know God will do it for me soon. Thank you cos I have a lot for future use. Smiles. Please keep writing and if you have WhatsApp group, kindly add me. 08050433711

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by kernniejay(m): 2:24pm On Oct 13, 2019
beeijeoma has laid bare basic facts about baby and mother health, as a FTF, I can say she is absolutely correct. Kudos to you Ijeoma, may God keep all your children for you and make them prosper, amen.

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Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Ladycewhy(f): 2:24pm On Oct 13, 2019
Followed for future reference.Good job op
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Ritelar: 2:24pm On Oct 13, 2019
Nice post
Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by kcbaba007: 2:31pm On Oct 13, 2019
i love this thread, learning, so as to know how to handle issues with my would be wife

3 Likes

Re: Caring For Yourself And Baby As a First Time Mum by Taiwo20(m): 2:32pm On Oct 13, 2019
futuremoma34:
Will soon be a FTM, and am so scared of what the future holds.. Scared of how I will take care of the baby and thinking of leaving my 50k stressful banking job because of the baby is another thing.. Any advice pls


Just attend antenatal clinic. Listen to the experienced nurses and matrons of the hospital preferably government hospital..
Believe in God and you are good

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