15 Sep 2018
Congratulations, you are now a mother… Your baby is lying in your arms and you're probably counting his or her fingers and toes, examining your precious bundle from head to toe. Once you have given birth, the pain miraculously disappears and your body may have been taken over by a massive feeling of relief.
You may be feeling grateful, elated, happy, empty, shocked, confused, tired – or all of the above – but looking at your new little person, you know that your life is about to change forever and truthfully, that’s ok.
Every woman is different and every birth story varies. Some moms find it easy to bond with their baby right away, while for others it may take some time. Either scenario is ok, what matters is that you take the time to find your new normal and you make the most of the miracle that is lying in your arms. The idea that your baby already recognises your voice is a confusing one. You have not met until this moment and even though your baby's vision isn’t very good, he or she can see your face and knows that you are their mother.
Straight after being born, many babies are alert, as their adrenaline has been flowing throughout the birth. They’ll probably be very hungry and will want to be breastfed. Having said this, the birth may have been long and tiring which means both you and baby will benefit from some sleep first. Listen to your body because it will guide you to what you need.
If you had a natural delivery, you may notice that your baby’s head it’s slightly cone-shaped and their skin may be red and inflamed – this is the result of squeezing through a tight passage but don’t worry, it will all normalise as time progresses. There might be a little lanugo left on their shoulders and back, and a whitish greasy substance, like petroleum jelly, in the folds of their skin. Their hands may also be a bit blue because their circulation is not yet perfect. These are all aftereffects of birth and it’s completely normal so – there is no reason to panic.
It is important to remember that your little baby has a lot of work to do and still needs to develop their muscle strength. Right now, your baby can’t even carry the weight of his or her head. It’s far too big in relation to body size, which is why it is extremely important you support their head when you’re lifting or holding them.
Hold your baby close to you for as long as you like… You’re a mother now.