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Women's Services & Antepartum Testing Center - 1423 Magnolia

1423 Magnolia Ave.
Chico, CA 95926

Maternity & Newborn Care

A Guide to the First Weeks

Meeting your baby for the first time is an exciting moment. But the days and weeks to come can be overwhelming. The more you can learn about caring for your newborn and yourself postpartum, the more confident you’ll feel.

In this video, health professionals cover some basic information that will help boost your confidence and get you through these first couple weeks as a parent.

Postpartum Care

After labor, you may notice physical and emotional changes. These may include:

  • Dry skin
  • Mood changes
  • Night sweats and hot flashes
  • Swelling
  • Hair loss in the early months after birth

Activity and rest are very important during this time. The physical efforts of labor, delivery and caring for your newborn, along with the emotional challenges that a new baby places on your family, can be tiring. To care for yourself:

Mother rocking child while father kneels

  • Rest as much as you can and try to nap when your baby naps.
  • If the weather permits it, take short walks outside.
  • Be mindful, and only do light housework if you feel up to it.
  • Let your loved ones help with meals, laundry, vacuuming and heavy cleaning.
  • Don’t lift anything over 10 pounds, including your baby, for two weeks if you had a vaginal delivery and six weeks after a cesarean section (C-section).

Feeding Your Baby

During the first weeks, it will seem like your baby is always eating. This is normal. Your infant needs frequent feedings to gain weight and to stimulate your milk production. There are no rules about how long to feed your baby. Let your infant eat as long as he or she needs to.

Feedings can vary in length and can occur frequently. You should feed your infant on demand and at least 8-12 times in 24 hours. As your baby gets older, the frequency and length will change. It’s best to feed your baby at the first signs of hunger. Do not wait until your baby cries. Crying is usually a late sign of hunger and can make latching harder. Here are a few other hunger cues your baby may show:

  • Hand-to-mouth movements
  • Sucking on his or her fingers, or hands

Need help with breastfeeding? Enloe caregivers are here for you. Schedule a private appointment to talk to one of our lactation consultants. Call (530) 332-3970 or contact us online for more details. Please note there is a fee.

Sleeping BabyYour Baby’s Sleep

Your newborn will spend a total of 14-18 hours a day sleeping, but this sleep will not be constant. Infants usually wake up every 2-4 hours to eat. Getting used to a newborn’s sleeping schedule can be tough. Be patient.

As your baby’s inner time sense begins to work, patterns of daytime activity and nighttime rest will start to form. Some babies sleep better at night if they spend more time awake during the day. If this is the case for your baby, help him or her tell day from night by:

  • Keeping the house bright, even when your baby is sleeping during the day
  • Spending time playing, talking and singing with your infant in the day
  • Letting your baby hear normal household noises during waking hours

Then at night:

  • Start a bedtime routine, for instance give your baby a warm bath, read a story, or sing a lullaby to help him or her relax.
  • Keep the lights dim, speak in a soft voice and limit distractions during nighttime feedings.
  • Cuddle and rock your baby to soothe him or her.
  • Lay your baby down when he or she is drowsy.

Mother Holding NewbornBe Aware of Postpartum Depression

Although having a new baby is an exciting time, it can also be challenging. In fact, postpartum depression affects 10-15% of new mothers in the United States. It can occur any time in your baby’s first year.

Women who have a personal or family history of depression are more likely to become depressed during pregnancy and/or after birth. Watch for these symptoms:

  • Feeling anxious, sad and alone
  • Low interest in normal activities that you used to enjoy
  • Changes in your eating or sleeping patterns
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless or guilty
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Problems concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby

If you think you may have postpartum depression, talk to your obstetrician or midwife, attend a support group and ask a loved one to help you get the care you need. If it is an emergency, call the Butte County Crisis Line at (530) 891-2810.

Going Home BookletHave Questions?

View our Going Home booklet. It includes basic information on:

  • Mom and newborn care
  • Breastfeeding
  • Bonding
  • Help for new moms
  • And more

Esta información también está en español.Regresar a casa folleto

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If you have questions about your health or the health of your baby, contact your obstetrics provider or your baby’s doctor.

Enloe’s Nettleton Mother & Baby Care Center

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    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

  • video-img

    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

  • video-img

    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

  • video-img

    Drs. Voelker and Lobosky honored with 2014 Physician Legacy Award

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