At the end of this week, you should prepare for a first month doctor’s visit. Come up with a list of questions that concern you as you may not get another opportunity to have your questions answered for weeks.
Your baby’s development
A wellness check at the end of the first month is essential for both the mom and the baby. Your baby most likely began to lose weight even before you left the hospital, so this first visit will be very gratifying knowing that your baby has put on all of the weight that she lost along with a few extra pounds.
The doctor will also measure your baby’s length and head circumference so that a growth chart can be created to monitor the baby’s development. The visit will also include listening to your baby’s heart and lungs and feeling for any abnormal growths or bumps. An examination of your baby’s soft spot or fontanelles will determine if it is closing too quickly. Any vaccinations that your baby did not receive at birth for reasons ranging from low birth weight to jaundice must be administered during this first visit.
You as a Mom
It is normal to wonder if your breast milk production is keeping up with your baby’s growth. Almost every mother wonders if she is making enough milk for her baby. If your baby is latching on well to your nipple, it is more than likely that she is getting enough milk. Typically a baby will feed 9 to 12 times a day of which, at least one is during the night.
If you think that your baby feeds much more often than that, you should consider talking to the pediatrician and having her weighed. On the other hand, if you are bottle-feeding your baby, it may be easier to know exactly how much she is drinking. Most babies do not consume more than 3 or 4 ounces at this stage, which can gradually be increased by 1 ounce with every passing month.
If you are breast-feeding, it is particularly important to keep your liquid consumption up so that milk production is at its optimum. Rest at every opportunity you get and take advantage of anyone you trust that is willing to help with the baby.
It may require a lot of patience and hand holding for mom to get through the first few weeks after the baby is born. Postpartum depression is a real condition that many women go through and can vary in intensity from person to person. So besides just soothing your baby when she cries or handing her over to mom for a feeding, dad’s role in helping mom cope with the ups and downs of post natal depression, cannot be ignored.
This may come with a lot of sacrifice, and aside from dad’s work, there may not be much time for anything else. Just let mom know that you are there for her and that she’s not alone in this new undertaking. She needs dad’s support now more than ever.