Q & A Tips for Adjustment for First Week Postpartum

Q & A Tips for Adjustment for First Week Postpartum Q & A Tips for Adjustment for First Week Postpartum Q & A Tips for Adjustment for First Week Postpartum

The first week is the time when new mothers just start recovering from the birthing process. (more so in case of a cesarean section. The first week is considered the most painful period.) The newborn also has to do some major adjustments after being inside the mother’s womb for 9 months, to be able to eat, sleep, excrete, and wait for many organs to fully grow and develop. Mothers have to prepare their bodies and minds to deal with each issue or problem that they must face in different periods.

We have tips for adjustment to deal with the little ones during the first week, with the courtesy of Dr. Ann, an expert pediatrician from Samitivej Hospital Sukhumvit who has helped to answer questions and give advice.

Q: How to deal with postpartum stress?
A: I have discovered that if mothers have lowered expectations regarding problems in child rearing in advance, it will help the mothers deal with problems as they emerge. In this first period, mothers get less rest, which can cause moodiness and irritation. This is normal.  If you know your emotions, you can control your emotions. And the most common problem is that the mother easily feels guilty, especially in regards to anything to do with the baby.

Q: There is not enough breastmilk and my baby does not seem full. However, my nipples are already sore. What should I do
A:  If there is a problem with breastfeeding, such as cracked nipples, constantly crying baby like he/she is not full, seek professional help as soon as possible. Going back to the hospital to evaluate the breastfeeding and get advice to fix the problem will be the most helpful. Sore and cracked nipples are usually caused by breastfeeding in the wrong method. This will gradually improve when the baby adjusts to breastfeeding correctly. Do not worry too much about the amount of milk that infants consume. If the baby latches well and the mother’s nipples are not in pain, if the baby sleeps after breastfeeding, urinates, and defecates well, then this is enough. 

Q: If the baby is asleep for several hours, should I wake the baby up for feedings?
A:  During the first week, the baby will sleep a lot. You have to wake up your baby to breastfeed every 3 hours because the baby cannot feel hungry and wake up automatically yet. Do not let your child fall asleep for too long, otherwise, the baby will be malnourished.  In some cases, infants will wake up to be fed every 1-2 hours. This is normal. Do not worry that your child will not get enough sleep. The baby will doze off while breastfeeding anyway.

Q: The baby’s stool is green and liquid, resembling diarrhea. 
A: Newborns will have green stool in the first period. Then, after being breastfed for a while, it turns golden yellow and liquidy. Newborns will often defecate 6-7 times a day. This is normal for newborns and is not diarrhea. And we also look at the stool to determine whether the baby is being fed adequately or not. If the baby is well-fed, they will defecate often, almost every time after being fed. The diapers should be changed every time after the baby defecates since stool may irritate the skin on the baby’s bottom and easily cause rashes. 

Q: My baby has red rashes all over his/her face and body. What should I do?
A: A newborn baby's skin is delicate and usually has rashes, such as peeling skin and red spots,  which will disappear over the course of the first week. There is no need to use creams or lotions. Just bathe the baby with clean water and baby soap 1-2 times a day, as well as change the diaper immediately when wet.


Ask for help when you feel overburdened and tired. Mothers should not carry everything by themselves and should ask for help from the people around them if necessary in order to find time to rest or go out to relax. The body and mind of mothers need care as well.

Do not overwhelm yourself with guilt. There is no perfect formula for parenting. Each person is different. Each home has a different method of raising children. You should not constantly compare yourself to others. Most importantly, small mistakes are quite normal. Mothers should not be overwhelmed with guilt because this may cause depression.

Snooze for a bit. Mothers that breastfeed need to wake up constantly to feed their babies. This may cause them to get insufficient rest, which can affect the amount of milk production. So it is necessary to sleep, both for yourself and your baby.

The navel area must be kept clean. The first week, the baby's umbilical cord is usually not yet fallen off. This is an area that should be kept very clean. It must be cleaned every time after a bath by wiping with a cotton swab, alcohol or antiseptic, which doctors recommend. Do not let the area remain damp since it  can cause inflammation. Choosing a baby diaper with a curved waistline helps to facilitate cleaning. It also protects the navel area from dampness really well. 


Source: Dr. Anne – Piyarat Lertbunpong (MD) Pediatrician Specialist From Samitivej Hospital, Sukhumvit


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