Your 1-Week-Old

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Your Baby

You did it! See, birth wasn't that bad, was it? And now you're a mama! Isn't your baby the most amazing creature you've ever seen? So tiny, so real and so absolutely dependent. But here's a secret: Even now, your baby can communicate her needs.... Read more

Your Life

Talk about a whirlwind! One minute you're pregnant, and the next, there’s this tiny, crying, hungry thing that's coming home with you! Your life has changed more in the past week than in probably any time in your past, so you're not going to... Read more

Moms Like Me

Umbilical care: You can just leave it alone. Those are the hospital recommendations now anyway. The only time you need to be concerned is if you see redness, irritation, or pus, or if you smell a foul odor. Then it means it could be infected. ... Read more

Your 1-Week-Old: Your Baby

You did it! See, birth wasn't that bad, was it? And now you're a mama! Isn't your baby the most amazing creature you've ever seen? So tiny, so real and so absolutely dependent. But here's a secret: Even now, your baby can communicate her needs. You'll be surprised at how you'll soon be able to detect her subtle (and not so subtle) cues signaling that she's hungry, tired, wants to interact, be held, or left alone. Until then it's all about trial and error—when she's crying, go through the usual list of potential issues (wet, gassy, over-stimulated, hungry, tired etc) to see if you can make her happy.

Don't worry if your baby doesn't look anything like the babies on TV. Real newborns never do. Some have puffy eyelids, enlarged breasts and testicles/or vaginas. Newborns can also have a fine coating of hair over parts or all of their body (don't worry—it falls out in a few weeks. Babies also grow and change incredibly quickly, so snap lots of photos to capture these first moments and days.

Hold off on the baths for now. It's important to keep your baby's cord stump clean and dry until it falls off. A quick wipe with a wet washcloth (avoiding the cord area) is all that's needed. If the cord stump gets wet, don't worry—just dry it off.

If your baby boy was circumcised, be sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Some babies will have a plastic ring that remains around the head of the penis. If so, leave it alone; it should fall off by itself in a week to ten days. If there's no ring, apply a fresh layer of petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment with each diaper change.

Your Life

Talk about a whirlwind! One minute you're pregnant, and the next, there’s this tiny, crying, hungry thing that's coming home with you! Your life has changed more in the past week than in probably any time in your past, so you're not going to have it all down pat for a while. Feeling overwhelmed? You're normal! Got friends and family who've offered to come in and help out? Say yes! They can make dinner, do the laundry, walk the dog—lots to keep them busy these days. Right now, your goal should be to give your body the rest and care it needs to heal.

And speaking of healing ... if you had an episiotomy or a tear, you'll likely feel sore for a while. Ibuprofen can help; so can warm sitz baths. Our Healing After Birth video will walk you through the specifics. If you had a C-section, watch the incision area for any redness, swelling or drainage, which could be a sign of infection.

Nursing moms will probably experience some breast engorgement around day three or four. When the engorgement is severe, your breasts may feel rock-hard, and even your areola will seem firm. This makes it tough for your baby to latch on to your breast and, even if latched on, he may find it difficult to extract any of your milk. Engorgement can be uncomfortable for you and frustrating for your baby, but it's actually a sign that your body is producing plenty of milk. If you’re really uncomfortable, try expressing just enough milk to alleviate the pressure. If you're having any problems at all with breastfeeding, call your healthcare provider or lactation consultant immediately.

Moms Like Me

Umbilical care: You can just leave it alone. Those are the hospital recommendations now anyway. The only time you need to be concerned is if you see redness, irritation, or pus, or if you smell a foul odor. Then it means it could be infected. -- imhavnagirl

What Moms Are Talking About

Pacifier? We used a pacifier with Paul from pretty much the start. He also wanted to be on the boob all day and night and was very much into sucking for comfort. I had not intended to use a pacifier with him but I do not have the personality to be used as a pacifier. We never had any issue with nipple confusion or him being turned off from the boob. --cl-trghig Read More

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