"In order not to startle your baby leave your hands underneath her for a few seconds before you lift her up, or put her down. Talk to her as you are doing this. Holding your baby firmly, but gently, close to your body(most of them seem to love shoulders) will also reassure her."
"Most mothers will experience afterbirth pains, but if you are breastfeeding they are likely to be more pronounced. These pains are contractions of your womb caused by the release of oxytocin. They may be uncomfortable, or even extremely painful, especially for the first 24-48 hours. You may feel that you need extra pain relief, in particular during or after feeding so it is best to take pain relief 30 minutes before feeding (if you can estimate when that will be!). They usually subside by day 3. It can help to heat a hot water bottle or heat pack before you sit down to feed and place it at your back or on your tummy."
"You will find that on the second and third night after birth your baby may want to feed continuously – even those being bottle-fed. These are the nights that most parents find most difficult after the birth of a baby, so take heart; things will improve. If possible nap – or at least rest with your feet up - whenever the baby sleeps. Try to get your 7- 8 hours sleep over 24 hours, even if it is broken between day and night."
"The night before the Newborn Screening/Guthrie heel test is due (usually day 4 or 5) put an extra pair of socks on your baby. This will help warm up her feet and make the test easier and quicker to perform, decreasing any stress for baby, and you!"
Don't attempt to scrape cradle cap off with your fingernails. It can take a little persistence to remove. Rub in a little olive oil, coconut oil or emulsifying ointment to soften it overnight, then rub gently in a circular motion with cotton wool, or with a baby brush to lift the scales. Comb out, or if you have used emulsifying ointment wash out when giving a bath.
”Back home, in the days after the birth you may find yourself veering back towards your birthing ball to take pressure off your sore bottom bits. And your new baby will also enjoy the motion of being rocked back and forward while you both sit on it.
"Stay in your pajamas for two weeks. When you are dressed you are considered to be back to normal by visitors, partner and your other children!"
“I attended water exercise classes run by a physiotherapist, which were great. She kept stressing the importance of pelvic floor exercises, and warned that it took doing the exercises 9 times a day for nine months after the birth to re-tone the muscles. She recommended putting a P on the fridge door as a reminder, and to do one every time the car was stopped at a red light. I did them religiously – and I can now cough without fear when I have a full bladder. I couldn’t do that before the baby!”