The baby's return home

Giving birth is a magical and special time, but leaving the hospital to go home with your new born baby can be daunting for some mothers, especially if it is your first child.

Check the baby's weight: some weight loss may occur

  • A baby generally loses weight during the first days of its life.
  • The weight loss varies from 5% to 10% of the baby's birth weight.
  • Babies regain any weight loss usually within a week to 2 weeks from birth.

If the weight loss is greater than 10% within the first 10 days of being born then dehydration or feeding difficulties maybe the problem. Your midwife will assess your baby and advise you if any further medical attention is required. If you have any concerns do not hesitate to seek medical help.

Neonatal Jaundice

  • Neonatal Jaundice concerns approximately
    • 60% of full-term newborns
    • 80% of premature newborns
    • 10% of breastfed babies are still jaundiced at one month
    • It normally appears when baby is 2 to 3 days old.
    • It disappears after one week .
    • The baby's skin becomes yellow.
    • The intensity of the jaundice usually peaks after 3 or 4 days
    • Neonatal jaundice can be prolonged for one week in premature children
    • It is sometimes necessary to do a blood test to assess the level of bilirubin in the blood.
    • Jaundice does not normally require any specific treatment in most cases.
    • Sometimes, phototherapy light treatment is required if bilirubin levels rise or remain high. Phototherapy is carried out in hospital and babies are placed under a blue lamp.

If the skin of the baby is yellow for several days after returning home, it is essential to consult your GP.

The umbilical cord

  • The umbilical cord dries and heals gradually.
  • It falls spontaneously after one to 3 weeks, sometimes a little later, after 1 month.
  • The cord is cleaned with cooled boiled water and cotton wool.

If the navel oozes any discharge and releases an unpleasant smell, see your GP.

Your baby's eyes

Most babies are born with blue-grey eyes.

Their final colour will settle after about a year.
Your baby's eyes should be cleaned with cooled boiled water and cotton wool, starting from the inner corner of the eye near the nose to the outside.

Your baby's bath

The temperature of the bathroom must be sufficiently warm enough the temperature of the bath must be 37 degrees.
Choose appropriate toys according for your baby's age, so bath time can be enjoyable.

The ears

  • Do not use a cotton bud in the ears.
  • If necessary, the ears can be cleaned with a tissue wrapped around your little finger.

The nails

  • Do not cut the nails of the baby before one month.
  • Use round-edged scissors or a nail file.

The genital organs

Genital organs are cleaned with cotton wool and lukewarm water, especially for the first month as their skin has not developed it's natural protective barrier.

For the boy

  • Check the testicles are down in the scrotum and purplish-blue in colour.
  • The foreskin, the excess of skin which covers the tip of the penis is attached to the glans and is located at the end of the penis.
  • Do not to try to remove or retract the foreskin, as this can cause pain bleeding, and infection.

For the girl

  • Labia minora: they can remain inflamed during 2 or 3 days after birth.
  • Whitish discharge can be present sometimes outside the labia. It can be cleaned with lukewarm water as part of her nappy change and top and tail wash.
  • There may be some bleeding for a few days: it usually disappears after 8 days. Consult your GP if the bleeding is abundant or if it persists.

Clean the labias from the top, downwards towards the anus.
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