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Following your birth

Congratulations of the birth of your baby and the beginning of your journey as a parent.

Directly after birth you will be given some time with your baby. It is important that your baby remains skin to skin for the first 2 hours or until after the completion of the first breastfeed, unless you or your baby require medical attention. Skin to skin contact is beneficial for mother and baby, even if you don’t intend on breastfeeding.

It’s normal to have vaginal bleeding after the birth of your baby and it’s normal to loose up to 500 mls.

Blood loss changes to a pink and watery type of loss at around 48 hours and then can change to a brown colour which is completely normal. Once this change has occurred, if your loss ever goes back to being thick and fresh, you notice clots or your loss becomes offensive smelling, please advise the midwife, or return to hospital or your GP for assessment and treatment.

You’ll notice your breasts change in the postnatal period regardless of whether you choose to breastfeed or suppress lactation. If you’re concerned about any of these changes, notice any reddened or hot areas, discuss with your midwife, Child and Family Health nurse or the  Australian Breastfeeding Association 24hr hotline: 1800 686 268

It’s normal to have many parenting questions. If you’d like advice on crying, settling, nutrition or breastfeeding below are some useful links for parents:

Fact sheets for parents:

The ‘postnatal or baby blues’ refers to a range of feelings you may experience around the third or fourth day after your baby is born. The ‘blues’ are very common, with more than 80 percent of new mothers experiencing them.

These feelings may include being tearful, irritable, mood changes, over tired, anxious and feelings of sadness or loneliness.

These feelings are thought to be caused by a number of factors, including sudden changes in hormone levels after childbirth, breastfeeding hormones, adjustment to parenthood and sleep deprivation.

These feelings should disappear after a few days with no specific treatment apart from recognition, empathy and support from family and friends.

However, if these feelings persist for longer than two weeks, you need additional emotion support and should seek professional help from your GP or child health nurse.

Birth trauma is a wound or injury either physical or psychological and can occur in either the mother or father of the baby. If you feel you may be suffering a birth trauma or need additional support in your current pregnancy, or support to process events surrounding your birth there are many services that offer support.

Talk to your midwife, doctor or Child &family Health Nurse to see what options best suit your individual needs.

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