* Prices may differ from that shown
When I had my first baby and I was still in the hospital , I could not fault the after care that I received. I was shown how to change nappies, and bath my baby. Also in the night the midwives would quite often take my baby away for a while so that I could get some sleep. However when I got home I felt a little left in the lurch. The community midwife visited me the next day, and said that I was coping very well and that they would come again in a few days time. That seemed like a life time. I had only three visits from them until they discharged me to the health visitors at 10 days. The health visitor came twice in a couple of months. It was left to me to take my baby to the clinics to be weighed. I felt a little let down by the system and had post natal depression which went un-noticed too. Next time around I will at least have some idea what to expect!!
I had an excellent team for my postnatal care however i had twins so i guess my care was very different to those of a single birth. We stayed in hospital for 7 days just until my girls could keep their temperatures , feed and get rid of their jaundie. I was looked after brilliantly by the hospital team on transitional care i was still looking forward to going home though. They kind of like to let you get on with it once youve had them and like you to pretty much do it all yourself so it was a relief to get home to a partner that would help me with night feeds. However once home i had a visit on day 1, day 3, day 5 (even though it was the xmas period) and every 2-4 weeks after that until they were around 4 months old. The health visitor was brilliant she fetched me any information i needed and made sure i was coping ok. Ive been fine and luckily have suffered not postnatal depression but they are really good at helping you spot the signs of postnatal depression and help you through it if you do develop it so dont think everyones out there just to judge you they are there to help. She even used to come out just to weigh my girls so i didnt have to get to clinic which was fab with one of them. I understand that also different areas have different schemes of care but i have to say the one i received was brilliant.
Pre baby you may not give much thought to what happens afterwards, so, here's a bit of information about how it all works. If you have a normal delivery, you can go home as soon as you are able (If you have a sucessful homebirth, you stay home and are visited.) It is recomended that you stay in hospital for at least six hours as after this time you are less likely to develop problems. Most women stay in the first night, possibly two nights then go home, but you can stay for as long as you feel you need to. If you've had a difficult birth, a cesaerean or similar you may need to stay in for longer. When the hospital feels it is ok for you to leave, they will offer to discharge you. You can of course discharge yourself at any time. If your baby was premature or had difficulties he or she may need to stay in a special care baby unit after you are disharged, in which case you need to find out what your hospital's visiting arrangements are. In hospital: Midwives will keep an eye on you and your baby, checking blood pressure and temeprature, helping with feeding and getting the hang of nappies. A paediatrician may well come and check your baby out, and it isn't unusual for a physyotherapist to give you some advice on getting back into shape. First days at home: Normally a midwife will visit you every day for ten days. If you are coping really well (you've done this before perhaps) you might want something less frequent. If you are having trouble with feeding, or get an infection in your stitches or some other problem, midwife care might continue for longer - up to 28 days. If you have any worries or questions, you can phone your midwife for advice or to get another visit. At day ten, you are signed over to a health visitor, who will weigh and measure your baby, organise immunisation, support you with breast feeding, offer information and advice, keep an eye on you for post natal depression and the like. Initi ally health vistors come once a week (unless you request an extra visit) then from six weeks it gets less frequent - monthly normally. You can during this time take your baby to your local clinic if you have any concerns. You can also phone your health visitor for advice. Post natal depression checks - midwives will probably have asked you how you felt from early on, and your health visitor will generally keep an eye out for signs of distress. However, at six weeks you get a questionairre to help them asses how you are doing. These are repeated later in the year. If it looks like you might be depressed, help will be offered. Immunisation - for baby this starts at 8 weeks with polio, diptheria and whooping cough. MMR is much later on. Typically these aren't much fun and baby can get a temperature and feel quite poorly. Monitoring - if the health visitor picks up signs of anything awry with baby - hearing, sight, heart beat, growth or whatever, then this will be monitored and you may have to go back to hospital for checks now and then. The health visitor will monitor your baby's growth and mental development. If there are any signs of problems, you will get advice and support. Your health visitor stays with you until your baby is five. Health visitors are trained first as nurses and then do an additional course to specialise in this field of work. Mine is lovely, very helpful and supportive, very encouraging. They offer a good service and lots of advice, but you don't have to be inundated if you don't want to be. The post natal care available seems to be very good - much better in terms of providing information than antenatal classes, at least in my expereince.
When you are pregnant, it?s easy to focus all your time, efforts and thoughts on that which takes you up to and includes your labour, and why not, it?s human nature, giving birth is a big deal. It?s also incredibly difficult for a first time mum to actually visualise herself with a real baby, but a real baby you will have, and sooner than you think. New motherhood brings so many wonderful new emotions and experiences, yet it also initially, brings a various range of physical problems for the new mum, which individually could be quite manageable. The trouble is though, that they all seem to come along at the same time. Add to this the fact that unless your little bundle of joy is a one in a trillion baby, you won?t be getting much sleep to begin with, and you are likely to feel tiredness like you?ve never felt before. It all adds up to a situation where things can rapidly start to get on top of you. So, for a run down of the sort of problems that you are most likely to encounter when you have just given birth, read on. This opinion is actually going to focus on the maternal side of things, although I am well aware of the fact that new mums put their baby?s first. To write all about the needs of the newborn is a complete opinion in itself, so for now, I ?m just going to focus on the problems new mums can encounter. Who Provides Postnatal Care? **************************** Postnatal care is all about helping you to get through the first 6 weeks of parenthood not just safely, but with help and support from a multidisciplinary team. To begin with you will be cared for by midwives in the hospital who will carry out a daily postnatal check of you and your new baby, and be there to answer any questions you may have. If you have had problems ante-natally or had a caesarean, you will be followed up by the obstetricians before you are discharged from hospital. Your baby will also be given a full check by a paediatrician before you take them home, but the support doesn?t end when you are discharged. Once home, you can expect to be visited by the same team of midwives who delivered your antenatal care. By law, midwives are required to visit you until 4 weeks after you have given birth, for specific obstetric linked problems. In reality however, most women feel that they are coping well enough, and have made a satisfactory recovery from the delivery by the tenth day. If you feel that you need your midwife to visit you a few more times after the tenth day, tell her, it shouldn?t be a problem. Your midwife will usually visit you daily to begin with, but can visit you every other day or so once you both agree that less frequent visits are needed. In the first 10 days of your baby?s life, you can expect to get them weighed several times. Many babies, but not all, regain their birth weight by the tenth day(most loose up to 10% in the first few days), but not all. Don?t worry if yours hasn?t, it will in time, and the midwife can help to ensure that you are happy with the way the baby is feeding, and offer you further support. When your baby is 6 whole days old, it will have the ?Guthrie? test. This is a routine blood test that involves pricking the heal of the foot. The blood that is collected is tested for two things. Phenlyketonuria( a rare inherited metabolic disorder), and Hypothyroidism(also very rare in children). No parent likes to see their newborn baby upset by a blood test, but it is an important one, and you can help by ensuring your baby?s feet are warmly wrapped up on the day the blood test is due. This makes obtaining the blood sample much easier and less traumatic for your baby. Some even sleep through the test! Around the 11th-13th day, the midwife signs you over to the care of the Health Visitor. Health Visitors are a great resource to new parents, and will se e you up until your child is 5 years old. They carry out all the developmen tal t ests, as well as running clinics that you can drop into when ever you wish to have your baby weighed or get advice. Your GP may visit you around the time the Health Visitor takes over your care. They check you over and can prescribe further iron tablets or pain relief if you still need them. At 6 weeks, you see them again for a more detailed postnatal check. This is to make sure that you have recovered from pregnancy and childbirth. They can discuss and arrange contraception with you and also check your baby over for you. I Feel Like Mrs Blobby ********************** Anyone who has given birth, will confirm what a shock it is to have a ?period? when you haven?t had one for more than 9 months. The bleeding(Lochia), that can start off as a very heavy period , usually trails off over a couple of weeks, but can stop and start for upto 6 weeks, although rare. Most women find that by the tenth day their loss is pretty light, and pink in colour. It?s common for the blood loss to be heavier in the morning when you get out of bed, because it tends to pool at the top of the vagina during the night, and ?fall out? when you stand up. It can also get heavier during breast feeds, as the sucking motion stimulates the production of Oxytocin, the same hormone that made your uterus contract during labour. This is good, not only does it show that your baby is latched on properly, but it helps your uterus to shrink back to it?s original size, and thus reduce the risks of further heavy bleeding. If you find you are bleeding heavily and frequently passing clots, you need to contact your midwife. If you are constantly dripping blood, call an ambulance. Infection of the uterus, and retained matter from the delivery, such as small pieces of placenta that didn?t come away, can cause a secondary haemorrhage, altho ugh rare! For most women, the bleeding after childbirth is a minor inconvenience, but if you have stitch es, a tear , or are just generally sore, wearing a pad can make everything a bit hot and lacking in air down there. The best thing to do is to wear proper maternity pads(no plastic backing), change your pad frequently, and go without at night or whenever you have a lie down. Just lie on an old towel instead! Count Me Out Of The Hurdles Race Girls ************************************** If you walk away from your delivery with no soreness whats-so-ever, that?s great, but don?t boast about it. Not only will you make other women seith with jealousy, you will also be telling the world that throwing a sausage up the high street, or waggling a little finger in the Albert Hall has not a patch on you, are you with me? No most of us ?walk away? from the delivery looking something like John Wayne, and wondering how we ever managed to get our legs to go back together again. So for all those who have a degree of soreness, so called ?labial grazes?(not to be confused with the kind of graze obtained from climbing trees), first degree tears(involving just skin), or second degree(involving skin, vaginal wall and muscle), here are some helpful tips; 1.Take regular pain relief if you need it. Try to avoid anything that says it contains codeine, as this will make you constipated(more on this later). 2.Keep a jug by the loo and poor warm water between your legs when you pee. This helps to dilute your urine, stop it stinging so much, and keep the area clean at the same time. Pat the area dry with tissue. 3.Air your ?bits? as much as possible. That means no trousers until it?s all healed, no matter how tempting it is to throw on those multicoloured leggings you look so fetching in. At night, try to lie on an old towel without knickers on to get the air flowing nic ely. 4.You can use a hairdryer on a cool setting to thoroughly dry the area, avoid the hot setting at all costs! 5.Takes at least one bath a day(or shower if you prefer). Believe it or not, a hot bath with a couple of drops of Lavender oil in can be really soothing, and doesn?t sting like you might think. 6.Avoid rubber rings, they might feel as if they?re taking the pressure off, but actually increase swelling in the middle. 7.Lay on your side whilst bottle or breastfeeding, this is so much more comfortable. 8.Take Arnica tablets if you like homeopathic remedies, it can really help to reduce bruising. These days most suture material used is very soft and dissolves quickly. Your midwife will keep an eye on things for you, but the main things are to keep the whole area as clean and dry as possible, and you should find a great improvement within a couple of weeks. If you have long term discomfort, or problems making love, see your GP, you can be helped. A Double Portion Of Prunes For Me Please **************************************** Don?t expect to go to the loo straight away. Most of us have a jolly good clear our when we go into labour, and it?s quite normal not to go for a few days afterwards. However, don?t get yourself all worked up about it, thinking it?s really going to hurt. Most women find that it?s not too bad. I would suggest that you fold a little toilet roll and hold it against the area between your vagina and anus,(perineum), to brace the area and give support. This seems to really help. Make sure you drink loads of water, and eat a good quantity of fruit and fibre in your diet. However if you are breastfeeding, be careful not to over do the amount of fruit you eat, eating a whole bunch of grapes may help the constipation, but your baby won?t thank you! If you find yourself having not been for a number of days, a nd feeling uncomfortable, ask your midwife for suggestions. She may suggest Fybogel(an orange drink), which you can get free on prescription, or may offer you a small suppository or enema. < br> What Do You Mean By Bunches Of Grapes? ************************************** I?m afraid quite a few women suffer with haemorrhoids not just during pregnancy, but also after all that pushing during labour. They are no joke in fact, and they can really hurt. Ask for some ?Anusol? cream,(love the name), when you are at the hospital, then plaster it on when ever you can. If you don?t find that effective, ask your GP if he can prescribe a different preparation, and follow the advice to avoid getting constipated, as you want to avoid any more pushing. Long term problems can be followed up with your GP. Help, My Nipples Are Dropping Off! ********************************** Anyone who has ever breastfed will tell you that no matter how hard you try to position your baby correctly at the breast, some degree of soreness still occurs. In the early days, it?s crucial that you get a midwife to check that you are latching your baby on correctly, however, as there is no doubt that poor positioning will cause sore and cracked nipples. Breast care is one of those areas where women say they get conflicting advice, but the truth is that different things will help different people. If you do develop sore nipples, these things may help; 1.No matter how tired you are, always make sure the baby is latched on correctly, and not just sucking on the nipple. Make sure you are comfortable, and if sitting, that your back is straight and well supported. The baby should be lined up on it?s side , ?nose to breast, ?chin to chest?. It should have as much of the areola,(the circle outside the nipple) in it?s mouth as possible, and when it sucks it?s cheeks shouldn?t cave in. 2. Rub a little cholostrum or milk later on, onto your nipple after each feed. It contains natural antibiotics and will help prevent infection entering any cracks and help them to heal. 3. Use nipple cream if you find it helpful, Kamilosan is good. Ho wever, I would say using your own milk is best. 4. For engorged, swollen breast,(especially around day 3), try hand expressing a little milk before latching baby on. This will soften the nipple and areaola, making it easier for the baby. White cabbage leaves have natural anti-inflammatory properties, so pop one in the fridge and place a leaf down each bra cup as you require. Don?t forget to change them fairly frequently though, or your friends will wonder what the bad smell is. Also for engorged boobs, try dunking them in warm water before a feed, or showering them whilst massaging to help get the milk flowing. After a feed, put a cold flannel, or cabbage leaf on from the fridge. 5.For really sore nipples that you cannot bear even a draft to blow across, get a couple of tea strainers and cut off the handles. Put one over each nipple to stop your clothing touching them. 6.Nipple shields are very useful as a temporary measure to help you continue breastfeeding. You can get them from the chemist, but make sure you sterilise them first. 7.If all else fails, you can express milk and cup or bottle feed for 12-24 hours to help rest your nipples. In time, you will find the soreness improves. IT WON?T ALWAYS HURT! Oh Gaud, Not The Dreaded Mastitis ********************************* Mastitis is a condition of the lactating breast caused by either stasis of the breast milk in a duct, which then becomes infected, or infection entering the breast via a crack in the nipple. It?s signs and symptoms are; 1.A red, painful area somewhere on the breast. 2.Pain when breastfeeding. 3.Feeling like you have the flu, a hi gh temperature and going hot and cold. Despite this, you won?t necessarily require antibiotics if you catch the condition early enough. The important thing is to keep on feeding from the effected breast, this helps to ?flush? out the infection. The in fection cannot be passed on to the baby, so don?t worry. Often, it will clear up on it?s own, but if it doesn?t, your GP can give you antibiotics that are compatible with breastfeeding. This is just a list of some of the more common physical problems you can encounter, but most women also get the ?blues? around the third day. I?m not going to go into this here, but I have written an op on postnatal depression in which I mention the blues. I have also written about breast feeding and getting your baby to sleep at night, should you be interested. Well, I?ve come to the end of yet another rant. I do hope it wasn?t too boring a read. If you have just had a baby, I hope you found something useful in there, try to remember that as dreadful as all this may have sounded, you'll have the biggest consolation prize of all time nestled in your arms to help take your mind off things.
I recently had a baby and not long after having her I started having bad feelings towards her. It is a very weird feeling as you remember looking forward to this baby being born and then all of a sudden bang your feelings change and you cant click your fingers for them to go away. You may feel down and cry alot and cant understand why. If you do get any of these feelings after having a baby, ask for help from parents or your doctor. I am getting the help I need at the moment because I opened my mouth and asked for help,and I am now starting to feel alot of love towards my daughter again. It is hard work and it takes time but if I can do it so can you. Dont give up get help and advice..