New Baby Needs
To consider what you need for your first baby, you have to go back to how you give birth. Your baby will be much happier if she is born as naturally as possible. Therefore, you have to fight to have the kind of birth you choose. Make sure you have thought it through carefully, and vocalize your choices to your doctor or midwife. Have them put on your chart what you want. If you opt for a hospital birth, one of the first things they will ask will be how well, on a scale of one to ten, do you tolerate pain. They want to know just when to kick in the painkillers. It is not far fetched to say if you can make it through transition, you can make it all the way without any pain medicine. By the time you push the baby out, your perineum is numb anyway. Putting your baby first means researching childbirth and making informed decisions.
Don't let the medical profession's greed and selfishness rob you of your birth right by insisting you have a Cesarean, because the doctor wants to go golfing on Saturday or Wednesday. Put it on your chart. Don't let them hurry up your contractions with pitocin, because they think you are not progressing quickly enough. Get up and walk the halls. Gravity works wonders.
Assuming your baby's birth is uneventful, and he is placed on your breast from the get-go, he will latch on and know from whence his comfort comes. He will receive his first immunities while familiarizing himself delightedly with the most important person in his early years, YOU. This is crucial if you want to avoid buying expensive Infamil or Similac. Nurse her on demand, and you will have plenty of milk! To avoid sore nipples or mastitis, be sure you apply anhydrous or hydrous lanolin generously on your nipples each time your baby finishes nursing. You can toughen up your nipples before childbirth by using this inexpensive product frequently. Just ask your pharmacist for it. You and your husband can have fun with this!
You will find most babies like to be snugly swaddled at first. Caps and gowns (with 'onsies' underneath) are appropriate as they graduate from their warm womb to the bright world outside. If she has specially fair skin, cloth diapers and wool 'rubber' pants will keep her from succumbing to diaper rash. If she turns somewhat orange, she has a touch of jaundice. Put her naked little body in the sunniest spot of the house for several hours a day. It will go away. If she develops white spots in her mouth, it is thrush. Ask the pharmacist for some blue tincture
for it. If you have trouble letting down your milk, Becks dark beer is useful while nursing.
Now you will ask, how often should I nurse him at night? You would be well advised to nurse him as often as he asks in the beginning. You can keep him in a pack 'n play next to the bed. Depending on how light a sleeper you are, you can also keep him in your bed. It is soothing to fall asleep while baby nurses, so he can nurse as long as he needs. A bed rail is not expensive, and it is useful for years after weaning.
Baby will be more content as you are relaxed and content. You might consider having meals brought in for the first week, if your mom can't come right away. Also, be sure to be mindful of good nutrition. It is common to eat stewed prunes before meals for the first few days after birth. You will want lots of greens, whole grains, and a good source of protein and calcium. Try to avoid eating empty calories. You will burn a ton of calories each time baby nurses. Watch your baby weight fall off after each feeding!
If you are desiring to keep up with breastfeeding, 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' is an excellent resource. As with every book, eat the meat and spit out the bones. (This book, in particular, has its own obscure 'arsnic' in its insistence on non-discipline, but it is good on breastfeeding.) 'What to Expect' books are excellent as well. But remember, your babe is unique and you are the designated caregiver for your special love.
The bottom line is, your baby needs YOU. She needs your eyes, your heart, your time. There are many people in the world who don't have cribs, toys, daycare and Children's Place; but they give themselves to their 'chitlins', and their children grow into caring, sensitive, intelligent adults.
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