Most babies will have no problems and only need to stay in the hospital along with you for as little as one day. For cesarean sections, the stay is usually around three to four days. Sometimes a baby will have a complication. Some of the more common ones are discussed below.
This is when the baby’s skin and whites of the eyes develop a yellowish color. It can be caused by several things. Usually, it is a normal occurrence caused by a chemical from the breakdown of the extra blood the baby is born with. It starts at about the second to the third day and usually is gone by the end of the first week, without treatment.
Jaundice can also be caused by infection (rarely) or by a difference between your blood type and that of the baby. The jaundice is measured by a blood test for bilirubin. The blood is usually taken from the baby’s heel. If the bilirubin gets high, the baby may need to be treated for jaundice by being put under special lights. Usually, these cases of jaundice are easily treated. Rarely is there any harm to the baby from jaundice.
During the first day, the baby’s appetite might be small. This is normal. By the second or the third day, the baby should be drinking well. A small amount of spitting up is not unusual and is not a cause for worry unless most of the food is coming back up. It is not unusual for your baby to lose a small amount of weight in the first few days. This is also normal and is usually regained in the following few days.
Burping and passing gas are also normal for the baby.
Crying is the normal way the baby communicates with you. Usually the problem is hunger, a wet diaper, or wanting to change positions. Your baby may just want to be picked up, held, talked to, or patted. Your baby may be tired and need help in falling asleep.
Then, there always seems to be some crying for no reason at all. It seems as if the baby “just wants to cry.” Usually, this is perfectly all right.
Many mothers, fathers, grandparents, and doctors feel it is all right to pick up the baby whenever he/she cries. On the other hand, many other such persons feel quite differently, and they suggest that the baby be allowed to fuss for a period of time. It seems that no one has the “right” answer.
We suggest that you first do whatever needs to be done to make your baby comfortable. You and the baby’s father will then want to decide how much “extra” crying is reasonable and just how much you want to let your baby cry before picking him/her up again.
If the crying seems to be excessive and you are concerned, do not hesitate to let us know. It is usually not a serious problem, but we may need to check the baby.