What happens in the days after birth?

Hospital Injections

There are two injections that are usually administered to your baby in hospital. They are vitamin K to help prevent a rare condition called vitamin K deficiency bleeding and hepatitis B to prevent exposure to this virus that affects the liver. You can choose to refuse these injections so research them to see if you want them for your baby. You will also be offered a PKU test. A PKU test is a new born screening test routinely performed on all babies born in Australia. A blood sample is taken from your baby's heel between 48 and 72 hours after birth. The blood is examined to detect a number of rare but important inherited conditions. After these first initial injections and tests, you will be given a schedule by the maternal health nurse or your paediatrician regarding the early childhood vaccination schedule.

At home

The first few days when you get home with your baby can be a very emotional time for you and your partner. There is a lot to do and a lot to learn. You'll also be tired and your body will be recovering from labour and the birth, and you'll be getting used to frequent feeds.

Continue with holding your baby on your naked chest for skin to skin contact to help your baby feel more settled and secure. Your partner should also do some skin to skin contact to promote bonding.

It is recommend that you keep visitors to a minimum and have short visits in the first few days, especially if you're planning to breastfeed. It is best to establish breastfeeding when you have some privacy rather than having to entertain or talk to people who are visiting.

Your baby will be feeding every two to three hours so try and rest or sleep whenever you can in between feeds. During the night having your baby close to you such as beside you in a bassinet can be easier with feeding. If you are looked after and well rested this will help you heal quicker and cope better as the weeks progress.

Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of fluids is also important in the healing process. If you are exhausted and not eating or drinking enough this will impact on your milk supply.

Before your baby is born try and organise support for the days and weeks after birth. Is there anyone that can help you with housework and cleaning, can your organise food and grocery deliveries, is there anyone who can help walk the dog or take your baby for a walk so that you can nap? Have some meals and healthy snacks prepared in the freezer that you can defrost when you get home from hospital. Consider using a post birth Doula to come to your home and help you.

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