On Becoming a Parent
Prenatal Advice from North Shore Pediatrics
Welcome to North Shore Pediatrics and to the world of parenthood. As you get closer to the time of your delivery, here is some information that can help you get ready to care for your new baby.
Hopefully, when the baby is born, you’ll be able to hold him or her right away. Brand new infants like to be cuddled, and they are usually ready to nurse at the breast. Even if you don’t want to breastfeed, holding the baby close to you can make you both feel good. It’s good, too, if Daddy, grandparents, and siblings can be close by for the labor and delivery. They’ll want to cuddle the baby also. They will be important players in the baby’s life and can be a great help for the new mother. We are well prepared to support breastfeeding mothers and work closely with the lactation specialists at Beverly Hospital. If breastfeeding is not the family’s choice, your pediatrician will advise you about formula preparation and proper bottle feeding.
The first few weeks at home will be a lot different from the time before the baby was born. Both parents will be tired, sometimes not sure how to handle the infant’s crying and other behaviors, and often a bit frustrated. When you don’t quite know what to do next, or if you feel blue, edgy or angry, that’s a good time to contact your support network for advice; that may include family, friends and even your pediatrician.
Your sleeping with be interrupted by the baby needing feedings and diaper changes, new infants may need to be fed every 2 to 4 hours in the first several weeks. Learn to take a nap when the baby does, and let the housework be done by family and friends during the first few weeks.
We would be glad to offer you advice or suggestions about supplies, furniture, and other baby needs, as well as safety tips. For example, it’s much safer to put the baby to sleep on his or her back, not on the tummy, and the bassinet or crib should have a firm, smooth mattress. Both alcohol and tobacco use by the pregnant woman can be harmful for the developing fetus. Tobacco smoke anywhere near the baby may lead to breathing problems for the baby then or even months later. You should also consider sending us any pertinent information that is relevant to your baby’s health and help us prepare for any special needs. Feel free to send it to us by regular or electronic mail.
It’s amazing and exciting to see babies develop and change in the first few weeks. As you get to know your baby’s routine and personality, you’ll be more comfortable in handling him or her and making decisions in the baby’s best interest.
Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Whenever you need an answer about anything related to your baby, you should feel free to call or email us. Another great way to find out more about us it to attend one of our monthly Group Prenatal Visits. Give us a call if you are interested. We at North Shore Pediatrics wish you the absolute best. We look forward to meeting you and your new one soon!