Tips for new Moms from a Pediatrician and a Mom
By: Dr. Lisa Di Enno, MD, FAAP
Whether you are a new mom or a new mom again, leaving the hospital with your new baby requires you to listen to some important training. It’s like that pep talk that will get you through any challenges that may come between the day you leave the hospital – and your first appointment with the pediatrician. This training is known as newborn discharge training. And, its goal is to touch on major points of care as well as go over the most popular questions most new parents have.
Today, we’ve put together an overview of info that may help the new moms out there. Though, this list is not exhaustive.
When it comes to eating, you probably wonder how often your newborn should eat, right? Believe it or not, newborns need to eat every 2 to 3 hours. At most, every four hours. Until they are 4 months of age, their livers are not fully functional which requires them to need to eat more frequently.
For those who are breastfeeding, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes is good. If it takes an hour to deplete the milk, you may want to alert the doctor. Babies who are on formula, start with 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours.
Absolutely do not expect your newborn to sleep through the night. This is not going to happen. Remember, they need to eat every two to three hours – and nighttime is no exception.
Your newborn baby should pee 3 times in 24 hours. From this moment right now until this time tomorrow, you should have 3 wet diapers. This is a good sign that your baby is well hydrated. Anything less, there could be a concern of dehydration.
Your baby should be pooping. If not, you will want to contact your pediatrician. You should know, however, that breastfed babies can go up to a week without having a bowel movement because the breast milk is so efficiently used. Formula babies should be pooping every 24 to 48 hours.
If your baby is pooping little hard rocks or poop that is black, bright red, or white/chalky, contact the pediatrician right away. And, if possible take the poopy diaper with you.
Newborns are going to spit up. This is completely normal – and is expected. The question is how much and how often they spit-up. See, a newborn’s lower esophageal sphincter is not fully functional at this age. But, don’t worry, it will develop more as they get older. In the meantime, pay attention to the color of the spit-up. Here’s when you need to be concerned:
If your baby is releasing any of the above, get to the ER right away. And, if possible, bring whatever the baby spit up on to show the Doctor.
The umbilical cord stump will typically dry up and fall off at 2 to 3 weeks. And, there is nothing you need to do with this at all. Doctors used to tell parents to wipe around it with alcohol, but this is no longer common advice because it isn’t necessary.
You may see a little discharge, or you may even see new skin that appears wet. That is ok. Relax. When do you worry? If you see firm skin around the bellow button that is an angry shade of red and may even appear to cause pain – or, there is persistent, ongoing drainage – then, go to the doc.
These are the highlights for new moms and dads. If you have any questions or other concerns, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. XpertCare’s pediatricians are available to you from the comfort of your home. Schedule your appointment today: https://xpertcare.vsee.me/u/clinic
Dr. Lisa Di Enno is the Chief Medical Officer at XpertCare Pediatric Digital Clinic. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or text her at 760.696.0601 to schedule an appointment.