After nine months of waiting your beautiful baby is finally here! The maternity period has arrived. Love, happiness, sleep deprivation and tears will alternate. People usually live up to the birth of their child, but it’s only after labour that all the joyful and emotional changes in your life become clear. We want you to know that we are there for you, not only during pregnancy and labour, but also in the maternity period. We are available 24/7 for guidance and all your questions concerning your maternity period.
After labour you have the option to spend a few more nights in a birth center. In a birth center maternity nurses are available day and night to help you take care of your newborn. When you feel ready, you can choose to go home. During the first eight days a special nurse will be around to support you at home. She will do regular check-ups with you and your newborn to see if all is well.
During this week we will come by multiple times to see if all is well with you and your newborn. During our visits you can ask us all of your questions. The midwife is responsible for mother and child. That’s why the maternity nurse will always contact us if she thinks extra check-ups are needed or if she’s in doubt about your health or the health of your newborn. In principle every mother and child have the right to 49 hours of special care by the maternity nurse. Together with the maternity nurse you can choose to spread these hours according to your wish. But usually the nurse will be around eight hours a day for the first couple of days and after those first couple of days she will start to reduce the hours. If it turns out that you still need some extra care, it is possible to request extra days of care. This will be arranged by your midwife in agreement with you and the nurse.
Every child is different. It takes time to get to know your baby. The first few weeks after the birth can be very difficult. You have little sleep and are busy exploring the needs of your baby. These first weeks can feel very irregular. Sometimes it will seem like you are losing track of the rythm of day and night. Your child will indicate when it wants to drink. The minimum is to feed every three hours. If your child does not wake up by him- or herself, you have to wake him or her up. A newborn baby can only communicate with you by crying. Crying does not have to mean that your newborn is sad or in discomfort. It might just as well be a call for attention, a sign of hunger, a dirty diaper, a little hiccup that is in the way or so many other things. You will find that after a few weeks you know exactly what your child needs when crying.
The follow-up check takes place approximately six weeks after the birth. This check is preferably carried out by the person who has guided you during labour. During this check your pregnancy, delivery and the maternity week will be discussed. How do you look back on it? Do you have any questions? Moreover, your recovery will be looked at. Checks are done. For instance, we might check your bloodpressure and we’ll figure out if your abdominal muscles have recovered properly. If you still have physical or emotional complaints, we can refer you to the relevant healthcare provider if necessary. There will also be the option to discuss methods of contraception. And of course we love to see you and your baby again! Your child is already a lot bigger and often looks very different than directly after birth. We would like to admire him or her even more! You can always call us to schedule a follow-up check.
Breastfeeding or formula?
Research has shown that breastfeeding is the best food for a newborn. But this does not mean that formula is bad for your baby. The most important thing is that you choose a feeding method that makes you feel comfortable and is based on the right information . During the maternity period the midwife and your maternity nurse will help you to feed your baby. If you have any questions during childbirth, or if you have any questions about breastfeeding or formula, please let us know.
Your breast milk is unique. It is specifically made for your child. The composition of nutrients is precisely tailored to what your child needs at that time.
Your newborn baby, for example, does not need much food, but it does need food that is easily digestible for an immature gastrointestinal tract. The first portions of breastfeeding are called colostrum and look yellow, these drops are also thicker than “normal” breast milk. The composition of colostrum protects your child in the first days outside the womb and protects against infections. If your child is a few days old, it needs a little more nutrition. You will also notice that your breasts will become fuller.
Research shows that breastfed children are sick less often and have less chance of allergies. They also have less chance of developing obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease at a later age. In addition, breastfeeding has the advantages that it is cheaper than formula and that the milk is always at the right temperature.
In addition to breastfeeding being the best food for your child, mother’s recovery from breastfeeding is also faster. For example, your child’s sucking reflex on your nipple causes the uterus to contract. This will make your uterus recover faster from delivery. This ensures that you have less and shorter blood loss during the maternity period.
You can buy formula at any drugstore or supermarket. It doesn’t matter which brand you choose. It is important that you choose the right formula depending on the age of your baby (mostly 0 to 1 months old). On the back of the formula is described how you should make the formula.