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Baby
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Baby and Maternity Period

You baby is here! The birth is behind you and the maternity period starts. A time which many new parents experience as intense. Many young parents have also indicated that they do not feel sufficiently prepared for what may happen during the first week. It is therefore very important to do your homework so you can be ready for the maternity week.

Maternity period

During the first 10 days after the birth the maternity nurse will be at your home to look after you and your newborn. Also during this time we will visit at least 3 times to check on your progress and answer any questions you may have. This way you have access to good care close to home. After the initial 10 days, the post natal maternity period will last another 6 weeks. This is a period of recovery, discovery, trial and error. Give yourself time to recover and discover what your life with a child will be like.

So that you are well prepared for this period, it is a good idea to read through the groeigids (growth guide) ‘maternity period’ so you will be ready for any surprises!

Things to arrange

Apart from arranging some small matters, you can now spend most of your time and energy recovering from the birth and getting to know your little one. Things you need to arrange yourself are:

  • Contact maternity care immediately after or during the birth
  • Register the birth at your local council
  • Add your child to your health insurance policy

Heel prick

ScreeningOnce you have registered the birth with your local council, your baby is also automatically registered with the Child Health Clinic. You may have already visited the clinic for your 22 week vaccination. The heel prick and hearing test will now be performed at your home. Please read the relevant information brochure. Once the first week after the birth has come to an end, we pass your care over to the Child Health Clinic.

They will be your point of contact for checkups and questions about your baby’s development.

Physical recovery

The process of physical recovery from giving birth is not the same for all women. Do not compare yourself to others and focus on your own recovery. It is important not to force anything and to resume physical activity step by step. For important tips, read the topics below.

Pelvic floor

We recommend that you check out the following links about pelvic floor recovery. Timeline of a normal recovery and post natal exercises for the abdomen and pelvic floor.

Breasts

Your breasts change during pregnancy and continue to do so after the birth. Even if you are not breastfeeding you can experience breast engorgement. Should you choose to breastfeed, these are some of the most common complaints; sore nipples, cracked niples, engorgement, hard spots, breast inflammation. Besides our care during the first week you can request extra support from a lactation specialist concerning any feeding issues.

Stitches

Many women need stitches when there is a tear or cut to the perineal area during the birth. These stitches are always dissolvable so they don’t need removing at a later stage. The wound can still be painful and swollen for the first few days. It is recommended to take paracetamol and keep the wound clean with fresh tap water and let it dry naturally by lying down without wearing underwear. Sometimes a cold compress can provide relief. If after the first 2-4 days the swelling has gone down, start moving around again and try to sit on a hard chair. Do not sit on an inflatable. By moving around you stimulate the blood flow, which benefits healing of the wound. After 6-7 days, the wound may start to ‘pull’ a little, this means the wound edges are pulling together and healing!  If you are still experiencing a ‘pulling’ sensation from the stitches after a week, we can remove them for you.

After a caesarean you will have stitches in your abdomen which usually dissolve on their own. An abdominal wound remains painful for a longer period of time, so moving can be difficult for the first few days. In any case it is important not to rush your recovery, do not exhaust yourself. Getting out of bed and going to the bathroom on your own is already quite an achievement!

For a wound to fully heal it will take at least 6 weeks, so keep building up your activity during the first weeks and do not force anything if you experience any discomforts.

Mental health problems

It is a big deal, becoming a mummy, living your life to a new rhythm, processing the experience of childbirth and accepting the physical discomforts. Your hormones will also be out of balance after giving birth. For many women, this imbalance peaks on the 4th day. You can be emotional, depressed or feel down for a while. But, don't panic! Let all emotions come out and talk about them especially with your partner, loved ones, maternity nurse and / or us. You will often notice that your mood will improve again within a few days. If you or the people around you believe you are struggling with balancing your emotions, please talk to us! Persistent low moods or acting out of character are signs you may need some help. Postnatal depression happens to 10-15% of all new mothers and is therefore not a rare occurrence. So do not feel ashamed to ask for help, from us, your doctor or check out Babublues-domstad or Mama-en-meer.

Post natal checkups

A maternity period lasts up to 6 weeks after giving birth; during this time you are always welcome to have a follow up check at the practice. We check your physical recovery, discuss the pregnancy/birth and answer any questions you may have.

Contraception

Place your
IUD by a midwife

After giving birth, your menstrual cycle will start again, so it is important to think about the use of contraception. When you are breastfeeding it can take a long time before you menstruate again. But as you will not know for certain when you are ovulating again, breastfeeding is not a safe method of contraception. More information about different types of contraception can be found here. Are you considering having a coil fitted? Then we are pleased to tell you that experienced midwives can perform this procedure at our ultrasound clinic at Focus Midwifery Centre. With a calm and pleasant atmosphere we insert the coil while always checking its position by ultrasound.

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