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Postpartum: First 6 Weeks After Childbirth - Newborn Basics

During your baby's first few weeks, you will spend most of your time feeding, diapering, and comforting your baby. You may feel overwhelmed at times. It is normal to wonder if you know what you're doing, especially if this is your first child. Newborn care gets easier with every day. You may get to know what each cry means and be able to figure out what your baby needs and wants.

Feeding

Breast-feeding is a learned skill—you will get better at it with practice. You may have times when breast-feeding is hard. The first two weeks are the hardest for many women. But don't give up. You can work through most problems. Doctors, nurses, and lactation specialists can all help. So can friends, family, and breast-feeding support groups.

Some women choose to feed their babies using formula. While breast milk is the ideal food for babies, your baby can get good nutrition from formula.

For more information, see the topics Breast-Feeding and Bottle-Feeding.

Sleeping

Most babies sleep for a total of 18 hours each day. They wake for a short time at least every 2 to 3 hours. Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back, not the stomach. This lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

For more information on sleeping, diapering, and other areas of newborn care, see the topic Growth and Development, Newborn.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 13, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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