Your baby’s needs
It may take weeks, sometimes months, to gain confidence in understanding your baby’s needs. Follow your own judgement and trust your instincts. Life with a new baby is an adventure in which you all learn together.
After the birth your body undergoes rapid physical and hormonal changes. Your caregivers will carefully check on your temperature, pulse, respiratory rate and blood pressure during the first hours and days after the birth. They will monitor the amount and character of bleeding, the position of the fundus and uterus, and the functioning of your bladder and bowel.
Providing there is good weight gain, it is quite normal and common for newborn babies to bring up small amounts of milk after a feed. The valve at the top of the stomach is not fully developed and allows the return of a little milk – this stops as the valve develops. Possetting is normal up to the age of nine months.
A baby’s bowels usually work within the first 24 hours after birth. The first stool, meconium, is blackish-green and sticky, with no smell. The colour changes to yellowish-brown over the next few days. Green stools are not a problem unless the baby loses his appetite and develops a temperature with diarrhoea, or starts to vomit.
A new baby cries a great deal of the time. It is her only way of communicating. It is difficult at first to know why she cries, but your ability to interpret her cries will improve with time. There are many reasons why a baby cries. Concentrate on discovering and responding to her needs.