For some, reliving a traumatic birth is painful and you and your partner may need support to work through difficult memories.

Your baby today

By now, you may feel that your baby is beginning to interact a bit more as you notice that he loves to gaze at faces and enjoys watching you talk and smile. However, he won’t be able to smile back for a few weeks yet.

Once the acceptance and realization that you have had a baby sinks in and you are beginning to adapt to your new role as a mother, you may start to reflect on your birth experience and may want to share this with your relatives and friends. You will remember your birth story for the rest of your life and later share it with your baby.

Sometimes the labor and birth may not have gone as you wanted or anticipated. For example, you may have gone over your due date and had to be induced, and this may have led to interventions and possibly an instrumental delivery or an emergency cesarean section. You may feel some disappointment and be unsure about why certain things happened and whether you could have been able to do anything to prevent them from happening.

Occasionally some women, and their partners, who had a particularly difficult birth experience can suffer from post-birth trauma. If the birth was traumatic and you feel upset and unsettled, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your birth experience. She will be able to explain events that you are unsure about and, if necessary, may be able to arrange for you to see the obstetrician who cared for you during labor, although this isn’t standard, or recommend a mental health professional for you to speak with. If your partner feels traumatized by your birth experience and felt helpless during the process, he can also talk to the doctor, or if he prefers, to a mental health professional.

Talking to your partner about the labor and birth can help you relive good memories and to come to terms with the more unsettling ones. Your partner is one of the best placed people to reassure you about how you managed during labor, and talking together can help you open up and express your feelings about the birth.

… Doctor

Q: My baby’s eye is constantly sticky. What can I do about this?
A: Many newborn babies wake up with sticky eyes. This is due to a temporary blockage of the tear ducts, which are tiny in newborn babies. Clear his eye by wiping it with a cotton pad soaked in cooled, boiled water, using a fresh piece for each wipe. The problem usually resolves with time, but if the secretions become yellow and look infected, tell your doctor because your baby may need antibiotic eye drops.

… Your baby’s senses

Your baby’s world

Your baby will focus on your face when being fed. He has been able to hear since he was in the uterus, and loves the sound of voices and music. He is startled by sudden noises, but can’t locate them yet. He can taste; he loves the sweetness of breast milk and can tell if you’ve eaten something different! He can recognize your smell, and loves being cuddled, stroked, and carried close to you in a sling.

Your baby is fascinated by your face and loves making eye contact with you.

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