newborn

Wait, is it Normal if My Breastfed Newborn Goes a Few Days Without Pooping?

YES, it is completely normal! Newborn poop can be a mystery as it changes. It is hard to wrap your mind around your baby not pooping anywhere from 4-8 times a day, especially when you feel like all you do is change diapers in those first few days and weeks.  Some newborns poop with every feed, while others only go a couple times a day.  Every baby is different.  Again, it is completely normal for your baby, who has been pooping several times a day to move to only go a few times a week.

WHY does that happen and WHERE does that poop go?

Great questions. “Newborn babies often poop after every feeding, about 6 times per day.  In the first few weeks after delivery your baby’s intestines are maturing and becoming more efficient at extracting nutrition from breast milk or formula.  As their intestines get better at digesting food, the time between bowel movements gets longer and longer.  Before you know it you have a two-month-old that is going several days without dirtying their diaper. If your baby has blood in his or her stool, persistent crying, fever, or isn’t feeding normally, you need to seek medical care. ” https://childrensmd.org/browse-by-age-group/newborn-infants/long-can-baby-go-without-pooping/#:~:text=Breastfed%20babies%2C%20especially%20if%20they,babies%20are%20almost%20never%20constipated.

Diaper output is one way to help parents feel assured that your baby is having his or her needs met since we can’t measure how much breast milk they are getting from your breasts. Your newborns first poop is called meconium, the dark green or black tar like substance for the first few days after delivery.  This slowly transitions as your milk comes in and turns into a mustard seed like runny consistence but can vary from brown to yellow green, this too is NORMAL.

Charts and Visual




Days 1-3
First 6 weeks                       
BreastfedNewborn will pass meconium by 24-48 hours after birth. It will change to a green-yellow color by day 4.Runny, yellow stool. Expect at least 3 bowel movements per day, but may be up to 4-12 for some babies. After this, baby may only poop every few days. 
Formula-fedNewborn will pass meconium by 24-48 hours after birth. It will change to a green-yellow color by day 4.Light brown or greenish stool. Expect at least 1-4 bowel movements per day. After the first month, baby may only pass stool every other day. 
https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/how-often-should-a-newborn-poop#by-age

Always chat with your pediatrician or health care provider if you have concerns or something seems out of the ordinary with your newborns bowel movements.  If your baby is pooping only once a day in the first few weeks, this can be a sign that they are not getting enough to eat. Unless your health care provider suggests, do NOT give your baby water or juice if you think they are constipated.

There can be a variety of changes in your babies poop based on what you, as their parent are eating, if you are introducing formula, solids or if they are having a sensitivity or allergy to any of the above.  Rest assured, know that your breast milk provides everything your baby needs, so nothing goes to waste! If you would like even more helpful hints to read about, check out my blog page at http://www.yourfamilysjourney.com/doula-blog/

I Feel Fine, Do I Really Need to go to My 6 Week Postpartum Visit?

YES, yes you should. Even if you feel like everything is going well and you are feeling great, please schedule your 2, 4 or 6 week postpartum visit.  WHY? It is important to have a physical and mental check up with your medical professional.  He/She can reassure you that you are doing ok, assess any complications from delivery or immediate postpartum period, see how you are coping with parenthood, if you are healing properly and it is a great time to discuss birth control options.  PLUS it is SELF-CARE! [Read more…] about I Feel Fine, Do I Really Need to go to My 6 Week Postpartum Visit?

12 Days of Postpartum Care

12 Days of Postpartum Support and Education 

 

for the Holidays

Gift certificates for Postpartum support

 

Looking for the perfect gift for PARENTS-TO-BE this holiday season?

Going from Me to We, means transitions are coming

Look no further

HIRE an in-home MOTHER-BABY-FAMILY RN expert and you will be the TALK of the HOLIDAYS

Feel Free to sing along

 

 

On the first day home from delivery, my After Baby Consultant gave to me:

[Read more…] about 12 Days of Postpartum Care

How to best support your friend when she is the NEW MOM?

The new mom….

New Mom-Tucson Postpartum DoulaYou are the FIRST of your friends to be pregnant. Everyone is so excited and over the moon to meet your little bundle of joy. Soon though, they realize that having a baby is A LOT of work.  You can no longer just drop everything and meet up.  You are not as free to go to happy hour, the gym, or meet up after you get off work.

Messy buns, yoga pants and puffy eyes are your new attire but your heart is FULL. You are in love.  Exhausted. Missing your friends. Feeling alone.  Where is everyone? Why is no one coming over anymore? Your phone rarely buzzes.  Did my friends forget about me? [Read more…] about How to best support your friend when she is the NEW MOM?

Being a grandparent in 2017

Grandparents:how times have changed

Last Sunday was National Grandparents Day and I read a statistic that was shocking to me: “Grandparents lead 37% of all U.S. households in this country — that’s 44 million households nationwide.”  Grandparents play a vital role in families and should have a day to be celebrated by those who love them.  Grandparents

A little history about Grandparents Day.  A woman named Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade of West Virginia started pursuing her goal to honor the importance of Grandparents in 1970 but it did not become a holiday until President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day in 1979. Her three main purposes for creating National Grandparents Day were to:

  1. Honor grandparents.
  2. Give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  3. Help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

Parenting Practices

Parenting practices have changed tremendously over the past 20 to 50 years as guidelines and recommendations have further developed.  As a result, these changes have contributed to many communication issues between parents and grandparents. Sometimes, feelings get hurt and misinformation is handed out leading to frustrated and overwhelmed parents. What can we do to help smooth this out for all generations? Educate Educate Educate.

I love including grandparents in family and newborn care. By learning how grandparents parented their own children and dispelling myths with evidence based research, it is easier to help them see how times have changed and how they can best support their grandchildren. My goal is to bring families closer together and allow everyone to peacefully celebrate the newest family member.  The three biggest topics I discuss with grandparents are: sleeping, breastfeeding and spoiling, however I am knowledgeable about plenty of other topics.

Sleeping

Prior to 1992 when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) introduced placing babies on their sides or backs to sleep, most babies slept on their tummies.  In 1994, the Back to Sleep education campaign was introduced to share research stating that it is best for babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). 1996 brought the AAP revision of their recommendations again to add that babies be placed to sleep on their backs on a firm surface with no soft bedding. In 2000, the Back to Sleep campaign revised its message again to include that bed sharing may be “considered hazardous under certain situations.”  Yes, there have been several revisions since 2000 but the current recommendation is still BACK TO SLEEP and sleeping in their parent’s room, not same bed, for at least the first 4-6 months!

Breastfeeding

Did you know that the infants grandmother has the most influential impact on whether the mom exclusively breastfeeds? Yes, this is true! Grandma’s, it is ok if you did not nurse, you can still support your daughter or daughter in law.  Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to boost the new mother’s breastfeeding confidence. Moms with newborns want and need your support! Do not let lack of breastfeeding knowledge and/or experience influence how you provide support.

Ways to help breastfeeding moms: offer to go to a breastfeeding class with them. Read about the numerous benefits of breastfeeding. Bring pillows for support, food for nourishment and water for hydration. Research evidence based websites together if they are struggling (kellymom.com).  Keep moms company when they sit down to nurse. Offer to burp baby in between breasts. Snuggle babies between feeds so mom gets a little break, but encourage her to feed on demand, not on a schedule.  Reassure her that she has enough milk for her baby and she does not need to supplement (unless the lactation consultant/pediatrician is concerned).  Build up moms confidence and help her trust her instincts, ask for help when needed and together you can get through the initial challenges of breastfeeding.

Spoiling

Last but certainly not least is that holding your baby all the time will spoil them.  This is not the case! Study after study show how crucial touch is for your baby’s growing development. Babies are completely incapable of being manipulative, therefore unable to “be spoiled” by being held all the time. Meeting your babies’ needs by quickly responding, snuggling, singing and talking to them immediately builds trust, safety and security for your infant.

Research shows that holding your babies results in less crying and more contented babies. Who doesn’t want that?  Therefore grandparents, encourage your family to hand the baby over to you for cuddle time. Share with the newest member how their parents were as babies.  If you are comfortable, ask to wear the baby. Keep the baby close. Holding and responding to your grand baby’s cry’s is meeting their basic needs.  You will have plenty of time to SPOIL them later in life.

Some things haven’t changed much

Disposable diapers are pretty much the same but definitely more absorbent. Most have newborn cutouts for the umbilical cord and lines that change color when baby is wet.  Cloth diapers are making a comeback and are much easier to use these days with buttons instead of diaper pins.  Swaddling blankets are made bigger and therefore easier to swaddle.  Sleep sacks are pretty common and have made swaddling a breeze for parents and grandparents alike.

It is hard to keep up with the constant changes in the world of moms, babies and families. As a grandparent-to-be or a veteran grandparent, ASK first how you can help and then support the parent’s decisions.   One of my many roles as a professional RN/Doula/Lactation Educator is to inform and educate.  I discuss the current recommendations and guidelines as to the WHY. Then it becomes the parents job to think about and apply what they believe will be the best decision for their family.

“I do not hold grandparents to be glorified babysitters but rather as parents’ surrogates who bring love, a continuance of generational values, and a sense of the child’s worth to the integrity of the family…”                  Marian McQuade

How to Overcome Unrealistic Expectations in the First Few Weeks of Parenting?

Get to know what your parenting expectations are so when the unrealistic expectations creep in, you can kick them to the curb!

Part One

Unrealistic Expectations

Have you heard that “your expectations determine your reality?” It is so true especially when it comes to having a new baby at home. Your body, daily routines, sleeping, eating, showering and all your activities are going to change.  It will be a time of transitions and adjustment, not just for you but for everybody in your household.  Embrace it! Talk about it and most importantly, believe that you can do it!

When you don’t know, what you don’t know, how do you know what to prepare for?

Setting unrealistic expectations only makes your job as an exhausted parent harder than it has to be. In all my years supporting families I have yet to meet a mom that is not exhausted, does not want to cry or parts of her body are sore at some point in the first week.  It is normal to have ALL these feelings. If you go into parenting with realistic expectations, the early days of parenting don’t seem so bad.

Parents should expect that

Babies:

  • Cry, sometimes a lot
  • Typically do not sleep at night but love to sleep during the day
  • Nurse a lot, possibly 15-20 times in a 24-hour period
  • Prefer to sleep on a person, not by themselves
  • WILL likely pee on by you at some point
  • Go through diapers and clothes like crazy

Moms:

  • May feel like a Mack truck has hit you on day 3 or 4
  • May bleed through your clothes
  • Breast milk may leak through your clothes and all over your bed sheets
  • Happy one minute, sad the next
  • Wish someone else could feed the baby
  • Long for alone time and a HOT shower
  • Dislike night time because you know you are not going to get enough sleep

Dads:

  • Wonder what happened to your partner(emotionally)
  • Utter exhaustion
  • Miss your partner, crave time together
  • Frustrated because you can’t “fix” everything
  • Not sure how to BEST help your partner
  • Feel helpless because you can’t nurse the baby (there are many other things you can do)
  • Are ready to go back to work

Parenting is HARD! Parenting a newborn is overwhelming.

As a postpartum registered nurse, working in a hospital, community health settings and in families homes made me feel like I had a good handle on what “life” would actually be like when I had our first. Ha Ha, I was wrong!  I had years of knowledge and experience plus my husband and I felt as prepared and ready as we could be.  However, knowing she was all our responsibility, made things a tad more overwhelming and scary. Having my own was very different from helping other families adjust and transition.  As an After Baby Consultant, my job is to stay current on all things mom, baby and family related and support parents in their parenting philosophies. I help them feel prepared for the unknowns, shorten their learning curve and give them the support to feel educated, informed and confident.  As a new parent, I learned that all my experiences and knowledge would only take me so far.  I had to rely on my instincts and trust my gut. Thankful for all the wisdom I gained while helping others as it made my transition easier and my expectations more realistic. You can be the best babysitter, nursery worker, auntie or friend, but when it is 2 a.m. and your baby is screaming while the world is sleeping, you realize parenting is HARD!

Appliances and cars come with instructions manuals, so why don’t babies?

You can read and research everything on newborns, but nothing can prepare you for the first night, week and month of life with your baby. The staff (instruction manuals) are with you at the hospital or birth center for the length of time you are there but once you leave, they do not come home with you. You are on your own. That first night home can be exciting, overwhelming, scary and downright exhausting.  Being in your own bed is heavenly but there is NO call light to push when you have questions or need help. You probably will not sleep much and if you do sleep, it will be with one eye open. Learning your baby’s noises and adjusting to their sleeping and feeding takes time, but you WILL get there. You try a lot of trial and error before you find out what works for your baby, then they change it up again. Not all things work with every baby and that is NORMAL too. Keep trying, talk to other parents and trust your gut.

Unrealistic Expectations

Call me today to talk about your postpartum expectations and we will make a plan together.

Check out part 2 on knowing what unrealistic expectations to ignore.

Due to COVID 19, Colleen will only be providing virtual in home support.

Feel free to call, text or email her for virtual support in the comfort, safety & security of your home. You are not alone!