Your first baby is a life-changing experience. With around 385,000 babies born each day worldwide, you are not alone: there are plenty of other mothers bringing a life into the world for the first time.
Even after months of carrying your child and preparing for their arrival, there are a lot of things you probably don’t know about your first night with your newborn. To give you an idea of what to expect, let’s explore what occurs during your first night in the hospital.
Expecting mothers in the Las Vegas, Nevada area can find expert help with Dr. Staci McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN. Awarded the 2021 Gold Best Women's Clinic in Las Vegas, we are dedicated to helping women of all ages with a range of medical services including contraception, prenatal care, and high-risk obstetrics.
After you give birth, you generally stay in a special postpartum ward. If you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, you may stay between 1-2 days. If you had a C-section, you can expect to stay between 3-4 days.
While you may have a general idea of life with a newborn, there are some things you may not know about your first night in the hospital with your baby. Here’s what to expect.
In order to encourage bonding, your hospital might offer ‘rooming in’ where your baby stays in a bassinet beside you in your room. It’s common for first-time mothers to avoid sleeping due to fear of missing out or something going wrong, but it’s important to rest where you can. However, if you need a break or require help, your nurses are nearby.
Because your baby doesn’t have a sleep schedule yet, they tend to sleep for short periods, often between 1-3 hours at a time. The first night is going to involve adjusting to your child’s sleep rhythms as your body gets used to the inevitable sleepless nights.
Your newborn might get up frequently throughout the night because they’re hungry. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, a large part of your first night is keeping your baby fed.
For breastfeeding, this means trying to get a good latch for your baby to feed which can be a real struggle. Breastfeeding generally gets easier with time, but it can be very frustrating for a new mother to deal with. Don’t hesitate to ask your nurses or lactation consultants for help.
Changing diapers may soon become the new normal for you, but the first night your child’s poop is a little different. Your baby’s first poop is filled with something called meconium, which is a tarry mess created from amniotic fluid and what they ingested in the womb. It’s often black, sticky, and hard to remove from your baby’s skin.
Crying is second nature to an infant, and the first night is no exception. Their first day on earth is often exhausting due to meeting new family members, facing new sensations, and feeling overstimulated.
Calming them down can be difficult, but it is an important part of helping your baby cope with this new world they find themselves in. Be patient with yourself and them.
Your first night with your baby also means your first trip to the bathroom after giving birth, which is an experience all by itself. It’s normal to experience constipation, hemorrhoids, or vaginal tears after giving birth.
This is a good opportunity to allow your nurses to help care for the child. If you’re nervous about distributing your stitches in the bathroom, be gentle with yourself and avoid straining.
During the postpartum period, your body undergoes hormonal changes that can cause night sweats. These hot flashes can leave you cold and wet.
Additionally, your body starts trying to get rid of the water weight you put on during pregnancy. While this should settle down with time, it can leave your sheets soaking and make you feel miserable for your first few nights.
There are a lot of things a new baby brings into your life, but the first night is an experience like no other. If you’re going through childbirth for the first time, contact Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today to be ready for the changes to come.