5 Common Things That Occur After A Baby is Born

Imagine the environment a baby is in just prior to birth. There is plenty of fluid around to drink when an empty tummy triggers a feeling of hunger. There is a constant flow of nutrition via the placenta and umbilical cord. The baby is being held snugly and the temperature is at a constant level all the time. 

The swooshing sounds in the womb are there 24/7 and the mother’s movements provide a sense of being rocked and swayed for a large portion of the day. The mother’s blood stream carries an endless stream of hormones, such as those that regulate sleep and the ability to stay content, and there is nothing to cause pain or discomfort.

Within seconds, the whole world changes as the baby emerges out of the womb!! Bright lights, being touch, loud sounds and no longer any restriction of movement. The constant food supply has gone, and the baby now needs to signal when he/she is hungry, tired or uncomfortable. And to you it all sounds the same – WHAAAEEE!! That is, till you get to know your baby better.

It is going to take your baby around 3 to 4 months to begin to learn how to adapt to living outside the womb and you are there to facilitate this. However, you have never met your baby before until the moment of birth. There is a lot of getting-to-know-you – which will be a constant journey throughout your child’s life. As you start this journey, look at your baby and ask yourself “What is he/she trying to tell me?” They can communicate but the form of communication may seem totally foreign initially. We have instincts though that we can begin to tap into and as you spend more and more time with your baby you will quickly learn what your baby is trying to say. Be patient, with yourself and your baby. It all takes time!

There are some things though that may take you by surprise. Most of these are a result of the change in hormones your baby’s body will experience following the birth. Here are 5 common things to look out for in the first few weeks after the birth.

1. Withdrawal vaginaldischarge/bleed in baby girls

 

  • A mucus vaginal discharge that can even have some blood in it (pseudo menstruation).
  • This occurs because the baby’s uterus is experiencing a withdrawal from the estrogen and progesterone that have been going through the mother’s body prior to the birth.
  • It usually occurs in the first week of life and does no harm to the baby.
  • Once the bleeding or mucus discharge has stopped this won’t occur again till puberty.
  • You can view a medical image HERE (trigger warning – graphic image)

 2. Swollen breasts

  • At birth, boys and girls have the same amount of breast tissue
  • When the estrogen and progesterone levels drop a release of prolactin occurs.
  •  This will cause the breast tissue to react exactly like your breast tissue reacts.
  • This will resolve spontaneously but it can take a few weeks till the swelling subsides.
    If the breasts get very red and look inflamed then you will need to take your baby to the doctor immediately as he/she could have mastitis, but this is VERY rare. 
  • You can view a medical image HERE (trigger warning – graphic image)
baby acne (002)

3. Pimple like rash

 

  • The change in hormones can affect your baby’s skin
  • This usually occurs on the face and sometimes the neck and chest.
  • It starts at 2 to 4 weeks of age and clears by about 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Keeping it clean and moisturised can help, but it will usually clear by itself.
  • Some baby’s get a significant rash but if your baby looks well otherwise and the rash is mainly on the face then there is usually nothing to be concerned about
  • If you are concerned then take your baby to the doctor

 4. Irritability and crying

  • As the hormone levels change your baby may experience some irritability.
  • The effects from these changes peak at the age of 6 to 8 weeks where most of the crying can be at its worst
  • As your baby gets closer to 4 months the hormonal changes will have settled
  • Your baby’s body also gets better at releasing endorphins (natural pain killers) that help with dealing with everyday discomfort

5. Peeling skin

  • This has nothing to do with hormonal changes, but it is nevertheless something that happens to most babies after birth.
  • During pregnancy the top layer of skin becomes waterlogged and dries out after the birth.
  • The skin then peels off, and some babies will peel more than others.
  • This does not mean that your baby will have dry skin – usually once this layer comes off the skin is lovely and soft
  • It is very important not to use any oils on your baby’s skin. These oils can change the integrity of the skin and cause issues with eczema etc
  • Use a soap free wash such as Dermoveen as this does not have harsh chemicals in it that dry the skin out further.
  • The peeling will soon come to an end.
  • Do you have breastfeeding concerns? Click here to see how Wendy can help you