Four issues that would stress you out in the first month after childbirth
Is a fussy baby a myth? Turns out, this dad talked to a lot of other recent parents. 9 in 10 parents concluded that their baby fussed a lot in the first month. If you are doubting your parenting skills, this article is for you.
My son completed his first month yesterday. To be perfectly honest, it was a tiring month with sleepless nights, doctor visits, diaper accidents and incessant crying. The only solace was that he slept on a full stomach!
When we talked about our experiences with other recent mums, we heard similar stories. There is a pattern that most of the kids follow, and it is helpful to know what to expect and not be alarmed.
Here are a few things you should expect in the first month and not worry excessively, especially if you are a first-time parent.
1# Breastfeeding difficulties
Everybody will tell you that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in this world, and the child will feed instinctively. Let me tell you that it is a big fat lie! According to the statistics published by UNICEF, the rate of early initiation of breastfeeding in India is just around 40.5%! There are some real issues while breastfeeding the baby.
Ask any recent mum, and she will tell you horror stories of engorgement, cracked nipples and sore breasts. This is the lighter end of the spectrum. There are cases of mastitis, because of improper breastfeeding. The worst part is, no one is at fault!
Your kid is learning to suckle, and you are learning to find the right position for the perfect latch. Even after you find your position, chances are high that you would encounter difficulties, especially if you take your advice from non-professionals (read mother and mother-in-law).
The best way is to find a lactation consultant and figure out the way.
2# The fuss is real
The dude displayed model behaviour in front of my parents and in-laws. When they left, he started showing his asli rang! Or at least I thought so. He would squirm a lot, even while feeding and stop suckling. After we moved him, he would summon the hell fire in loudest screams ever!
It turns out, he needs to be burped now and then. He also likes to drink milk to pass motions, something related to a gastrocolic reflex. The fuss is not imaginary, and kids tend to exhibit it.
Run through a mental checklist every time this happens
- Is he well fed? does the nursed breast feel softer or is it still engorged?
- Is he dry? (check the diaper before and after each feed)
- Has he passed wind/poop during the feed?
- Has he burped?
- Is he colicky? (my kid loves the arm drape)
- Is he swaddled?
- Does he have diaper rash?
If it is none of the above, he is probably just tired. soothe him and help him catch some sleep. Don't doubt your parenting skills, or wonder what you are doing wrong. These are just a few issues you would face in the first few weeks.
Remember, if he is crying continuously for two hours, exhibiting fever, consult your doctor.
Read on for more issues
3# Cluster feeds and growth spurts
The kid will feed at an interval of 2-3 hours in the first week. You are tired from the lack of sleep and probably try to catch a snooze whenever you can. Wait till he starts to cluster feed!
Cluster feeding is a phenomenon where he will demand a feed more frequently, at times, even an hour after a full feed. It is frequently associated with a growth spurt, and it will not last for more than a couple of days at times.
It is like a bad patch of road; it will soon pass. Be patient, because there is no other option! Enlist the help of your husband in burping, changing and pacifying him. Catch a snooze while he does all that.
All this would be worth it when you see his weight and height at the next paediatric appointment!
4# Scary noises, regurgitation, hiccups and sneezes
As your child grows up, he will start making new sounds. They will range from soothing coos to scary grunts! Do two things. Don't panic and don't try to decipher them. These are some senseless sounds he would make as he grows up. So go back to sleep if you hear him grunt but find him deep asleep.
He is also going to throw up a bit. As long as it is not projectile, you need not worry. It is a bit of milk that is locked over a burp air bubble. If you don't burp him properly, he is going to regurgitate a bit of digested or undigested milk when he is sleeping. It is imperative that he sleeps with his head sideways, as this is a choking hazard. Avoid pillows of any kind.
Two harmless things that would occur frequently are hiccups and sneezes. These are extremely normal, and do not distress the baby, so don't be distressed. He is not catching a cold, or he is not thirsty. This will go away on its own. Don't worry!
The first month is full of new experiences, from the new sounds to the appearance of tears when he cries. It may also be quite frustrating, especially when you end up feeling guilty about your reactions to all this. My advice is, be patient and talk to new parents.
At the end of the day, it is just the first month, and there is a lot of new stuff yet to come! The key to sailing through is not to burn yourself out.
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(Image courtesy: Jenniandjody.com)