baby what to expect

By Dr Janice TUNG, Associate Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital


It’s really exciting when you arrive home with your new bundle of joy. But many mums, especially first-time mums, worry about juggling both their and their baby's needs. There’s no cause for anxiety once you know what to expect.

A New Routine

a new routine

Once your infant arrives, you’ll have to make some adjustments to your usual routine. Disrupted sleep, bath time, changing diapers, feeding and more will have to be incorporated into your daily schedule. The important thing is to be patient as you learn the ropes.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, be it from a family member or a confinement nanny, if you choose to hire one. Stay positive and learn to manage your expectations as you cope with the changes. Motherhood will give you the strength you didn't think you have!

Related: New Baby Checklist: Home and Baby Equipment

Disrupted Sleep

disrupted sleep

Your sleep and rest time may often get disrupted, as newborns have tiny stomachs so they need to feed in parts every two to three hours. Some may get hungrier more often.

Here’s some advice: If you're breastfeeding, seek help from family members or your confinement nanny to put your baby back to sleep after a feeding. If you're bottle-feeding, ask someone to help you when you're tired so that you can catch up on some sleep. Try to nap when your baby naps and rest as much as you can during the day.

Related: Sleepless Nights! But it is all worth it now that baby's home

Post-delivery Recovery

post-delivery recovery

Your body needs to recover after delivering a baby. Here’s what you may experience:

Lochia

This is vaginal bleeding that begins immediately after birth, is normally heavy for the first two days and then gets progressively lighter. It usually lasts up to 6 to 8 weeks.

After Pains

These are lower tummy cramps that you may feel after delivery caused by the contraction of the uterus as it returns to its pre-pregnancy size over the next six weeks.

Episiotomy

This is a cut made at the perineum (between the anus and the vagina) during childbirth, which is stitched after delivery. Tears of the perineum will also be repaired in the same way. Keep the area clean for the wound to heal faster and change sanitary pads regularly to prevent infection.

Caesarean Wound

If you underwent a C-section, you’ll have a dressing on the wound. The nurses will advise you on how to look after the wound before you go home. Avoid lifting heavy objects during the confinement period to allow it to heal.

Take note that lochia, after pains and pain from the perineum and Caesarean section will go away after some time. However, if you experience heavy bleeding or notice clots, or if there's swelling or persistent pain from the wounds, see your doctor immediately.

Related: First Week After Delivery: How to Cope With My Wound?

surviving baby’s first 24 hours 

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References

  1. Tan, T. C. (2008). The new art and science of pregnancy and childbirth: what you want to know from your obstetrician. New Jersey: World Scientific.

  2. Health Promotion Board. (2012). Healthy start for your pregnancy: healthier child, brighter future. Singapore: Health Promotion Board.