Sydney Obstetrician Gynaecologist
RN, MBBS, FRANZCOG

What To Expect When You're Pregnant : Going home with your baby

Your baby has arrived safely!

Congratulations and well done. At your six week visit we will discuss the birth and how you have been coping since.

You’ll find yourself at the mercy of your hormones as well as being sleep deprived, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed at times.

I’m a mum and have been through all of this too. If you’re feeling like things are getting on top of you, you’re always welcome to call me.

 

Once you're home

General Tips

  • Try to get some sleep whenever the baby sleeps;
  • Make time to get out of the house each day, even if it’s just for a coffee;
  • Mothers’ groups can be a huge source of support. You get to talk through shared experiences – what’s working and what isn’t. It can serve as reassurance that what you’re going through is normal. Or just a nice way to socialise in like-minded company;
  • Plan something you love to do once a week on your own. You might feel guilty at first but you’ll be a better, more patient parent if you retain some time and space for yourself;
  • When friends and family offer help, accept it. It could be as simple as making a cup of tea, preparing a meal, or putting on a load of washing. Most of them have been through it and it helps them share the experience with you;
  • If you’re having difficulty breastfeeding, seek help early. Call the early childhood centre, Tresillian, or a private lactation consultant. If you have a fever, redness or pain in your breast you must seek medical advice from your GP urgently as you could be developing mastitis. GP’s are experts in caring for this common problem and they are able to prescribe you with antibiotics and recommend a pro-biotic as well.
  • Remember, it’s okay to put housework on hold while adjusting to life with a baby and the sleep deprivation that comes with it. The Queen is NOT coming for dinner!

Post-Caesar Care

  • Keep up with regular pain relief;
  • The STERI-STRIPS that were placed on the wound in hospital can get wet. Just pat them dry post shower and when they fall off you don’t need to replace them;
  • Inspect the wound each day. If it’s red, hot to the touch, or oozing and you’re concerned, please let me know;
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby for first six weeks;
  • After your six-week check you can return to exercise. However, if you still feel sore, DON’T push yourself. Remember, you’ve had a major operation;
  • Most insurance companies allow you to drive within the first few weeks. However, make sure you check with your insurance company first, in case they have specific requirements;
  • Vaginal bleeding will last up to six weeks. If it gets heavier and you notice abdominal pain or a temperature please call me

Follow Up

Post-Perineal Tear / Episiotomy Care

  • The stitches are fully dissolvable and should be gone by the six-week check;
  • Take regular pain relief and avoid constipation;
  • If you notice any black suture material come away, don’t worry, this is common;
  • Don’t soak in any baths (apart from a salty bath) or swim in a pool or at the beach for two weeks;
  • If you’re worried about discomfort or discharge, please let me know;
  • How each woman bleeds following delivery varies. You may notice an increase in vaginal bleeding from day 10 up to three weeks. This is often due to the baby having a growth spurt. Bleeding may stop entirely for a few weeks then recommence;
  • Generally, vaginal bleeding will last up to six weeks. If it gets heavier and you notice abdominal pain or a temperature please call me;
  • After your six-week check, you’ll be able to resume intercourse, although at first it’s likely you’ll feel nervous. Don’t worry, this is normal.

 

PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH

Taking home a newborn baby is difficult at the best of times. Take time to monitor your mental health and that of your partner. Here are some amazing resources that provide useful information and support.

 

POSTNATAL Classes

  1. Raising children
  2. Right From the Start by Sue Nettleton
  3. Sarah Tooke is a registered Midwife

Find a good website to do postnatal yoga or pilates at home.

 

BREASTFEEDING HELP

  1. Australian Breastfeeding Association has a live chat option
  2. Kate Hale is a lactation consultant who can provide Telehealth breastfeeding help (or reach Kate via 041614386)
  3. The NSP website has links to breast feeding videos.

This list is not exhaustive. If you would like to share useful links that you’ve found, please let Deb and I know via email.

Your Six Week Check Up

  • Your partner is welcome to attend
  • We will discuss how both of you are adjusting to parenthood or juggling more than one child
  • We will discuss how your body has adjusted physically since the birth
  • We can debrief about the delivery
  • We will discuss contraception (remember, if you are breastfeeding you cannot use a method of birth control with estrogen in it)
  • I will perform a CST smear if this is due
  • We will discuss when to resume intercourse
  • You’re also welcome to discuss any other concerns either of you may have

Still have questions?

For more info on what to expect in the first few weeks following birth, check out this resource from RANZCOG.

Dad’s handbook: a guide to the first 12 months.