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Your First Week With Baby - Day 5 - Move It

Up until around day five you have probably been pretty slow and sedentary. Your body and mind went through a huge transition so it makes sense to get cozy and hunker down for a few days and get taken care of. But perhaps now you are feeling better and feel the need to get more active. Even get outside. Go for it! With some caveats.

Baby steps at first. Starting with a 10km hike is probably not the best idea. Start with a slow walk around the block. Do not take huge wide steps, as your pelvis is still sorting itself out and getting back into shape and position.

This light activity and getting outside can be very beneficial for your mental healing, however you are still healing physically and need to be mindful. Listen to your body. It will tell you if you are doing too much.

Hormone shifts in pregnancy and then a huge drop in hormones after birth can play havoc on your back so be aware of your posture especially while feeding baby.

Your joints, hands and feet will also be swollen from water retention and hormone shifts so make sure you are staying really well hydrated during this time to help flush the old fluid out and lessen the swelling and discomfort.

Baby is also going through some shifts and changes and is definitely becoming more aware. Feeding may be hitting a rhythm which is good but will be short lived.

Because you are getting more mobile, that may mean baby is needing to be put into devices more such as swings, bouncy chairs and items like doc-a-tot. Try to ensure baby doesn't spend a significant amount of time in these devices to prevent flat head and these items still need to be used under supervision. They are not meant for independent sleep or over night sleep, especially the swings and bouncy chairs as the angle can possibly be a suffocation hazard if baby's head is too far forward.

You may want to give baby wearing a try. My bias is toward a wrap because it allows baby to be close to you but is secure enough that you can be hands free. Here is a video to show you what putting a wrap on might look like.

Baby will also benefit from some informal tummy time. Basically being on their tummy on your chest. Doing this skin to skin will also benefit baby. And this activity is great for the non-feeding parent to do as a way to bond with baby that won't involve bottles and disruption of the body feeding process.

And finally, since feeding is hopefully going a little better you may find that baby wants to suck more at the breast but not necessarily because they are hungry. Sucking is a calming reflex for them, especially as they become more aware of this great big world they are now apart of. Plus this sucking can help stimulate the body to make more milk which baby is going to need as they get bigger. However, it is also exhausting for the feeding parent to constantly have the baby on them. They can get "touched out" and need a break. If that is the case, you can try a pacifier.

What!!! A Pacifier??!!! Stop clutching your pearls, a pacifier can have benefits. Such as:

  • Lowering the risk of Sudden Infant Death or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.

  • Can fill the need to comfort suck and give the feeding parent a break

  • Isn't necessarily bad for baby's mouth.

A pacifier can be used sparingly to give everyone a break. Some tips for pacifier use include:

  • Make sure baby isn't hungry. Feed first and if that isn't it then give a pacifier a try and see if it helps baby fall asleep and remove after they have fallen asleep.

  • Use a pacifier with ventilation holes, so that as baby gets bigger if a pacifier is still in use, if it ends up in baby's mouth or throat, it will allow air to pass through

  • Make sure its cleaned regularly...


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