Breastfeeding and nipple care
Generally, ongoing pain, cracks, or trauma to the nipple are due to an incorrect latch. This needs to be addressed as early as possible with your healthcare provider to prevent further damage and to prevent complications.
Your breasts will adjust to meet your baby’s nutritional needs. Avoid trying to fit your baby into a feeding schedule or routine at this early age. Instead, watch for hunger cues and aim to feed them as they demand. Doing this will help your breastmilk supply to establish and reduce the likelihood of either of you developing complications.
If you are having issues with latching your baby or any other aspect of feeding, talk to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant.
A lot of your baby’s energy will be going towards feeding at this age. If your baby was born prematurely, they may be sleepier than a full-term baby, and you may need to wake them up for feeds. Jaundice, a low birth weight, and pregnancy complications can also cause newborns to be overly sleepy.
The safest place for your 2-week-old baby to sleep is in their own bassinette or crib in your room. This way, you can hear the baby and the baby can hear you. Babies can be very noisy when they are sleeping. Grunting, groaning, whimpering, and moving around are all common sleeping behaviors and are considered normal.
You will undoubtedly find yourself looking for similarities and differences between your baby and yourself. Genetics accounts for a large percentage of inherited characteristics, but remember that your baby will be their own unique individual.
Umbilical cord care
If you haven’t taken naps in years, you might want to try now. And if you are breastfeeding, taking naps can help boost your milk supply.
If you have had a Caesarean section or more serious tear in your perineum, your body will take longer to heal. Avoid straining, driving, heavy lifting, or sexual intercourse until you have been given the okay by your doctor. The general recommendation is to delay these activities for six weeks after birth.
If your labor and delivery were not what you had planned or you don’t feel as well supported as you would like, this may add to an already stressful time.
These hormonal fluctuations, plus being tired and adapting to the changes in your relationship with your partner, can all take time. Be kind to yourself and don’t worry about being an expert in caring for your new baby or getting everything done. It will take time, practice, and lots of patience. Lean on your family and friends and call your midwife or doctor if concerns come up.
The reality of having a new baby will undoubtedly be hitting home for them as well this week. The newborn period is generally a time when partners tend to be doing the housework, shopping, and running errands. If you are usually the one who does these things, you may need to go through some of the details. Lists can be helpful for the whole family. This is a time for you both to work smarter and conserve as much energy as you can while looking after your new baby.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.