You're doing great Mama! I know life feels like a surreal haze right now but remember babies don't come with a manual, you are massively sleep deprived and you are doing your best. Washing can wait, eat what you can muster and be kind to yourself.
Nappies: As babies bladder increases in size the number of wet nappies will reduce to around 6-10 wet but still 0 – 10 dirty nappies a day. Nappy rash could develop now so still change nappies regularly and you may want to use a barrier cream, ensure you use a thin layer not thick one.
This will reduce to around 4-8 wet and 0-8 dirty by week 4. So you shouldn’t be changing as many nappies as their kidneys become more developed. You’ll find you’ll need to change less nappies at night. Wet nappies alone won’t cause nappy rash so can be left until the morning.
Bathing: Once the umbilical cord has fallen off you may want to start bathing your baby and getting them used to water more. You can use a muslin dipped into the bath water over their chest, arms and legs to stop them from getting cold.
You might want to try baby massage, this is a lovely bonding activity to do. You can use natural oils like coconut or grapeseed starting from the feet working your way up from feet to legs, to tummy, to arms, to head but avoiding the eye area.
Nails: Cutting babies nails can be really daunting, if using clippers the best time to do it is whilst they are sleeping as they are less likely to move. If you are to anxious to use clippers then you can also just file them with a nail file.
Wind - One of the incredible myths I was told before I had Harper was that breastfed babies don’t get wind. Well I can promise you this is utter nonsense! Almost all babies get wind and this can take up to 40mins to get out, most of the time its sooner but its an important thing to do as the trapped wind can cause discomfort and end up in endless nights of crying plus when it then comes out the baby is hungry again as the wind has left and empty space in their tummies.
You can burp your baby in the middle of the feed or at the end. Give your baby 5 minutes for any air to come up, or longer if they still look distressed. There are several methods of getting out trapped wind and you may find one method works better for your baby than the others.
- Over shoulder back rub
- Over legs facing down
- Seated front and back bend
Baby should be able to drink a lot faster by 4 weeks, meaning feeds could last about 40 minutes but that also there will be bigger gaps between feeds. They could go as long as 4 hours between feeds. More rapid drinking means more trapped air and a requirement for burping after feeds.
Breastfeeding - due to the increase in milk supply mastitis is more common around this time. Treatments include hot baths and hot flannels alongside plenty of sucking by your baby should clear the duct. If a duct becomes infected you’ll need antibiotics, you can still feed whilst taking these. Restrictions to the breast tissue can also contribute to mastitis, opt for a seamless non wired bra (like our seamless everyday bra).
Tips for mum:
Posture – as you spend countless hours holding / feeding your baby your shoulders will be rounded forward for the majority of the day. You’ll also spend a considerable amount of time sitting down, these two things can cause havoc on your body and posture. Try to spend 15mins a day doing a full body stretch, whether you follow along with one on Instagram, YouTube or an app just be mindful that you still have the relaxin hormone in your body so try to find one that’s for postnatal recovery.
Pelvic Floor – its never too early to start working on your pelvic floor. Even just a post it note next to your toothbrush as a reminder to squeeze is a good place to start. There is a great resource available through the NHS called the squeezy app, this gives you a great programme to get started with. As your recovery progresses you may want to see a women’s health physio and you should research “mummy MOT’s”.
Exercise – please do not start thinking about exercise more extensive than walking and internal core recovery. Avoid intense exercise as your ligaments are still lose and you could end up getting injured. After three months your ligaments will be tight enough to avoid most injuries. However it takes approximately five months for them to be back to normal.
Postnatal Depression – Being a new mum is really really hard! If your baby blues never went away, Postnatal depression (PND) could develop around now. This could develop from birth up to a year after the births. PND is very common and there are resources available. You can speak to your GP, health visitor or midwife, alternatively the PANDAS foundation are a great online resource.