You have made it one week enjoying your beautiful new baby and perhaps first few days of parenthood! Congratulations! While we know your first week may have been rather exhausting and while that period may not be over just yet, there are a few new things that you have to look forward to for week two.
Week Two Postpartum for Mom
If you had a c-section or stitches due to tearing, you may notice some vaginal itchiness when the areas begin to heal. Your sutures may also be bothering you, as they can swell with fluid when they disintegrate. It is said that if your stitches are annoying you and itchy then it is a good sign of healing!
Post c-section, you will probably still be feeling very sore. However, by week two it might feel a little easier to move around.
You may have noticed feeling a little sad or down this last week, baby blues are totally normal. Most women experience these same feelings after birth. However, if you notice that you are feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or sadness you may be experiencing something called postpartum depression. If you have noticed you aren’t bonding with your newborn or are having suicidal thoughts make sure to talk to your doctor.
Week Two Postpartum for Baby
By now the chances are you are starting to get the hang of the whole parenthood thing. You might find yourself settling into a rhythm and somewhat of a routine. You might have already learned to recognize the little signs your newborn will exhibit to show that they are hunger and what their different cries might mean. If you haven’t yet, don’t worry you have plenty of time to learn all of the little details about your new addition!
By week two your baby should be able to do the following:
- Briefly lift their head up
- Hear loud noises
- Look at your face (Usually while breastfeeding or close up)
- Cry when they are fussy, hungry, or uncomfortable
- Have a startle reflex
You will notice that your baby will be a lot more alert than they were during the previous week. Your little one will probably be awake for longer stretches of time than the week one.
You may have noticed that during the birthing process your baby had slight scratches or bruising on the eyelids, these should be disappearing by now. Some infants also have red spots from broken blood vessels in their eyes at birth due to delivery or the force of contractions. These should also be resolving by this week.
If your newborn’s umbilical cord has not fallen off yet, you may want to reach out to your doctor to learn techniques to help the cord dry out.
- Try to avoid getting it wet or submerged with bath time and allow it plenty of time to dry out.
By this point your baby should be done passing their meconium (the black, tarry poop). They should be able to pass three or more loose stools every day and have six or more wet diapers.
Your Baby’s Growth
After the first week, usually around day 10 your newborn should be back up to their birth weight or perhaps even a little over. You will notice that your baby will gain about two-thirds of an ounce per week for the next little while.
You may also notice your baby’s first growth spurt around this time period. That may make them want to eat or nap more than normal and may be a little more fussy. Your baby should be putting on about 1.5 to 2 inches of height by the time they are four weeks old.
When to be Concerned
If you notice that your baby does not seem to respond to loud noises, appears to be in pain that cannot be resolved, or is having trouble waking up for feedings, it might be best to consult with your pediatrician.
You may notice birthmarks appearing on your baby during this week, that is normal. They may be strawberry in color or you may notice a lighter brown color that darkens over time. If your baby develops any marks that look unusual or are close to their mouth or face it may be something to discuss with your pediatrician.
Things to Remember During Week Two Postpartum
Learning how to be a parent is going to be filled with many questions and concerns. Here are a few tips to try and help the process a little easier:
- If you are breastfeeding, you may want to make sure to have lanolin on hand for sore nipples and to keep an eye out for clogged ducts.
- Try to get a little bit of movement into your day, walk around the house if you can or perhaps even the block.
- Make sure to keep your diet healthy to help with your healing process.
- Remember that you just gave birth a week ago, so your hormones will still be changing and your body is still healing.
- Try to start incorporating a sleep routine if possible. This will help to establish a schedule later, but if you can’t quite yet that is fine.
- Never leave your baby alone on a bed, changing table, or couch. You baby may get startled and slip to an edge or fall.
- Don’t be afraid to set your own rules about limiting visitors or taking your baby out in public.
Enjoy your time with your little one and if there is ever anything that you are concerned about make sure to reach out to your doctor.
Related Content: The Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping
In the past, the common practice was to pass Dad the surgical scissors and have him perform a quick snip just before the newborn babe was whisked away to be cleaned, measured and dosed with vitamin K. Any delay in cord cutting was viewed as unnecessary in promoting general health for the baby or mother. However, recent research suggests that a delay of even three minutes can have a significant positive impact on infants.