Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

being a new parent Jacksonville, FL | Jax, FL playdate

Being a New Parent, What’s That Like?

What’s being a new parent like? Let me paint a picture for you. You give birth to a beautiful baby. You’re over the moon about this tiny bundle of everything right in the world. Your heart couldn’t be fuller, it’s surreal being a new parent. There really are no words. The hospital stay has been a whirlwind. Nurses coming in and going out just as you doze off each time. Your pediatrician stops in, your photographer is working her magic, and excited family and friends with smiles from ear to ear.

You’re feeling ready to get home!

You make your way home for the first time as a family of 3! It smells like home, it looks like home, it’s wonderful. As you settle in you gush over this beautiful baby and family you’ve created. WOW! Being a new parent is so incredibly amazing! Tiredness is setting in. You’re feeling like you could easily sleep for 24 hours straight. You feed baby girl really well, change her diaper, and she’s back to sleep. Your bed has never felt so good, you are fast asleep in no time.

Suddenly you wake with a jolt!

She’ stirring again. Is she hungry again you wonder? Is she just working out some gas bubbles? She’s not waking and seems to be falling back into sleep. Your husband is snoring, the house is still. You start drifting off to sleep again.

. . .

Your husband wakes you, he’s standing over you with your little one in his arms.

“Babe, I think she’s hungry. I just changed her but she is still fusing and rooting around.” You sit up wiping the drool from your chin. You work to get her to latch, it seemed to be easier at the hospital. She’s finally on the boob, you look at your phone, it’s only been 45 minutes since you laid down, wow. Okay, she ate an hour and a half ago, but she definitely seems hungry. She is sucking away.

. . .

You call your husband to come back in.

“I don’t know if she’s hungry or not,” you tell him. “She was fussing and trying to eat. I finally get her latched and she sucked like she was starving and then she fell asleep again, not 5 minutes in. I don’t know what to do. Being a new parent is wild, huh?”

You both laugh an exhausted little laugh.

Your husband, the sweet daddy he is gets the breastfeeding book out. “Well, the book says she should be eating about every 2-3 hours. She ate about 2 hours ago, maybe she’s not hungry. Should I burp her if she wakes again, maybe it’s gas?”

. . .

Cue the dog barking at a UPS driver across the street.

You wake again and find your husband passed the fuck out! Poor guy is exhausted. He’s a champ. He’s stayed alongside you as you labored, never leaving your side. He came home cared for the dogs, updated family, loaded all your stuff in the car, cared for the baby so you can rest and now he is finally getting in a good rest. Good for him! You cover him with a throw and turn the lights down for him.

. . .

Fast forward to your fourth day at home.

Breastfeeding is way harder than you thought it would be, your boobs are sore and your neck is aching. Your pumping so your husband can give a bottle so you try to get rest at night. Rest, yeah that looks like 3 hours straight, if you’re lucky. You don’t know what day it is, but you know your baby is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. You’re starting to feel overwhelmed and slightly inadequate to be her mama. You think to yourself, wtf was I thinking, I can barely keep plants alive, being a new parent is insane, what a rollercoaster. Tears and silly laughter follow and you wonder if this ever gets easier.

Your husband suggests calling your mom over for some help.

You both need sleep. Breastfeeding feels more like a full-time job than the sweet bonding experience you envisioned and hoped for. You’re running on fumes. Your fuse is short. You have threatened to cut the next person who rings the damn doorbell. You didn’t want to call your mom, but her help is sounding better and better.

Let me stop you right there!

Being a new parent is ALL the things. It’s incredible, fulfilling, fun, scary, and H-A-R-D! Being a new parent is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. You can bond, shower, eat, and SLEEP, for more than an hour or two at a time with the right care and support!

With The Jacksonville Baby Company being a new parent means you’ll thrive!

Our team knows the ins and outs of postpartum and infant care. The physical, emotional, and mental aspects that come with giving birth. We are experts in breast and bottle feeding. We know how to handle, store, and prepare breastmilk and formula. We are very well-versed in deep latching, spotting troubles before they get out of control, feeding positions, different techniques for bottle feeding, burping, diapering, cord care, literally all the things. You can sleep, eat, shower, and do so with confidence that your baby is great hands. Toddlers, extended family, and pets love us too! There is no way not to thrive with us by your side!

Contact us today! It costs you absolutely nothing!

You’ll walk away with a crystal clear vision of what your first few weeks as a new parent will be like with proper support and care. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience, we are up to date and in the know on all things birth and parenting. We support ALL people, ALL parenting styles, and are genuinely happy to do so!

[This blog is meant to give you an idea of what being a new parent can be like for some, others have a unique experience of their own. We will talk more about other experiences in future blog posts]

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Umbilical Cord Care for Newborns | 5 Easy Steps

newborn umbilical cord care | Jax, FL Baby Nurse

Umbilical Cord Care for Newborns | 5 Easy Steps

Writing an informative piece on umbilical cord care is right up my alley! When I’m not helping parents with all the things after their babies are born I’m teaching classes that include information on optimal umbilical cord clamping and providing placenta encapsulation services. During that time I often get to talk with parents about the anatomy of the placenta and cord and the functions of the umbilical cord during pregnancy. After birth, the umbilical cord is no longer needed as the placenta will no longer supply nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to the newborn. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut leaving behind a small nub of cord still attached to your baby’s abdomen.

Clamped and cut, now what?

Your baby’s umbilical cord should begin to dry out, turn into a stump, and eventually, it falls off. What kind of time frame are we talking about here? Usually, within one to two weeks after your baby is born the stump that once was the cord falls off. Until then, follow the 5 simple steps below unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician.

Umbilical Cord Care in 5 Easy Steps:

1. Only give a sponge baths IF a bath is needed.

Generally speaking, newborns don’t need to bathe. A simple wipe down with warm, clean water and a cloth is sufficient. Pay close attention to areas that are moist and tucked away like the creases of their necks and their legs near their diaper area. Avoid their umbilical cord area. The idea is to keep it dry and sponge bathing your newborn will help with that!

2. Keep the stump dry.

You may hear all sorts recommendations such as putting breastmilk on it or applying Goldenseal and Echinacea powder to the area. Please consult your care provider before putting anything on the umbilical cord as it heals. Dry care is currently said to be the best care! There is research that suggests by putting anything on the cord you may be killing beneficial bacteria that is present naturally to help the cord heal on its own. What if my baby pees or soils the umbilical cord area? Don’t stress it! Just wipe it clean using a cloth and warm water (no soap), and let it dry out!

3. Let the umbilical cord air out!

Keep the umbilical area exposed to the air in a controlled temperature environment as much as possible. Fold down the newborn’s diaper, don’t allow it to touch or rub on the cord! Won’t my baby get cold with his umbilical cord area exposed? As long as you have him dressed for his environment he should be fine. For example, if your home is kept around 76 degrees Fahrenheit and you’re wearing shorts and a tank, your baby will be fine in a shirt, diaper, socks, and loose blanket over her lower half. Better yet, snuggle up!

4. Leave it alone!

Let the stump fall off on its own. No pulling or picking at it! If there’s some dried blood around the cord itself (that’s normal) on the skin, you can leave it or wipe it off with a cloth and warm water (no soap), being careful not to get the cord wet. Can I do something so my baby will have an “innie/outtie”? Nope! There’s nothing you can do to encourage or ensure your baby will have an “innie” or an “outtie” a belly button is a belly button! If it’s meant to be it’ll be!

5. Report any problems or concerns to your pediatrician.

Similarly to a scab, the stump might bleed a little when it’s falling off, that’s normal. However, you’ll want to contact your baby’s doctor if: The umbilical cord area oozes or has visible puss. The skin surrounding the cord gets red and swollen. If there’s an odor or smell coming from the area. If your baby’s umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off by the end of week two, even without signs of infection.

Together we can keep dem’ babies safe!

There isn’t a general consensus for umbilical cord care everywhere. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that, “dry cord care without the application of topical substances is preferable under most circumstances in high-resource countries and for in-hospital births elsewhere; the application of topical chlorhexidine is recommended for infants born outside the hospital setting in communities with high neonatal mortality rates.20 ” Basically, they’re saying that that dry care is usually the best care in low-risk environments. In settings where the risk of bacterial infection is high, it may be prudent to use an antiseptic as per your pediatrician or general practitioner’s recommendations.

Here’s the recap:

  1. keep it dry
  2. sponge bathe only as needed
  3. let it air out
  4. leave it alone
  5. report possible problems or infections to your pediatrician right away!

That’s it, folks!

Sounds simple enough, right? For the most part, it is! Follow these recommendations, that of your pediatrician, and most importantly listen to your gut! Not familiar with that? Our postpartum and infant care specialists are amazing at helping you tap into that parental power! Book a consult with us today and grow more confident in parenting each day!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth Luke

From the Hospital Home after Giving Birth

from the hospital home after giving birth jax fl

From the Hospital Home after Giving Birth

As you transition from the hospital home after giving birth the ride will seem almost surreal. You’ll probably be tired, maybe even a little anxious. Your comfort level will fall anywhere on the scale from 1-10. 1 being slightly uncomfortable and 10 being “holy crap I feel like I was hit by a truck”. I’m sorry, but you can sugarcoat and cricket and it’s still a cricket. We’ve put together a little blog to help your transition be a little less stressful.

First on our list is a pillow!

This one goes out to all you rock star cesarean moms! After being stuck with needles and having your abdomen “massaged”, there’s absolutely nothing that sounds appealing about touching your incision. Holding a pillow against your abdomen while you navigate a seemingly treacherous stretch of roadway will help make the ride less painful. It also helps to do the same when coughing or sneezing. Lord has mercy with those sneezes!

Learn, install, and know your car seat before the big day.

Trying to wrangle a car seat around in your car and having no idea how it works is a rookie mistake! We love rookie and experienced parents alike, we’re only picking on the rookies in good fun! To make the transition easier from the hospital home after giving birth, read your car seat’s manual with your partner. Learn to install it together. Be sure to practice it! You want your baby to be as safe and comfortable as possible, especially in the car! Check out the Car Seats for the Littles, it’s an excellent resource for you!

Make sure baby has fed well before leaving.

Sometimes discharging from a hospital can be a challenge in itself. It can be a hurry up and wait game of sorts. Then a few hours after you’ve all but given up on departing your nurse appears. Discharge papers are finally signed and you can go home now! Take a few minutes to make sure baby is fed well and do a quick diaper change.

Have your Postpartum & Infant Doula at the ready.

And by at the ready I mean book her for the transition! First Coast Doulas are here to help you transition from the hospital home after giving birth and beyond! We’ll meet you at the hospital, provide support and assistance and focus solely on you and your baby! We can show you some ways to safely soothe your newborn on the ride home. When you arrive home your Doula can get you all settled in. Talk about relief!

Grab those Tucks medicated pads!

The hospital has them, you love them! Perhaps you have a love/hate relationship with those things, but I think most of us can agree; they make life a little easier! Just ask for an extra pack to take home when packing your bag to come back home!

Peri Bottle!

It’s like a bidet in a bottle, only better!  That peri bottle can mean the difference between feeling like you’re peeing shards of glass and relaxing just enough to pee with some sense of normalcy!

Mesh Panties & Ice Pack Pads

After this glorious event we call birth you’ll have earned your trophy panties! Your very own pair of sexy mesh mama panties you have heard others talk about!! Welcome to the mom club! Ask for an additional pair to two before you leave for home, they just work!

Take the back seat!

That first trip can be…a trip! Make it as stress-free as possible and maybe snap chat your bestie who is waiting to be flooded with all the baby mush!

Delegating chores early on!

Creating a postpartum chore list will allow you to focus on resting, healing, and bonding with you newborn. For 2-6 weeks let others focus on taking care of you! First Coast Doulas supports new families and helps keep the flow of the house moving. This allows families the freedom to be in the moment and to get enough rest to sustain and thrive!

We love sharing inside tips with new and expecting parents! Don’t miss a beat! Join the Jacksonville Pregnancy and Parenting group on Facebook for support. Get answers to your questions and of course a little fun too! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for laughs and commiseration. Oh, and Pinterest for all the great ideas we’ll probably never get to do!

Happy birth and parenting!