Find out what to expect in the first few weeks after baby is born – including how you may feel, getting out and about with your new baby, being referred to a Well Child Tamariki Ora service and enrolling with a general practice.
How you may feel
Until your baby settles into a regular sleeping and feeding pattern you are likely to feel tired. You may also feel down after having a baby – known as the ‘baby blues’. These feelings usually only last a day or two. If these feelings don’t go away you may be developing postnatal depression.
Talk to your doctor or midwife (or the midwife working on behalf of your specialist doctor) or see the Postnatal depression page to find out more.
Once you have recovered from the birth, you can start doing some gentle exercise to help you get back into shape. See the Being active section of the Looking after yourself page.
It’s normal to bleed from your vagina after the birth. See the Normal changes to your body page to find out more.
Feeling hungry and thirsty
Your body needs energy to make breast milk, so you will feel hungrier than usual. You’ll also need to drink more. See the Eating well section of the Looking after yourself page to find out more.
Getting out and about
Make sure that you stay healthy and well. After a few weeks getting out and about with your new baby can help, and you’ll be able to do some gentle exercise at the same time. See and talk to friends and whānau. You can also join new parent groups. If you went to classes to learn about pregnancy, birth and parenting you may be able to catch up with the other new mums from your class.
Health care and checks
Your midwife will visit you for 4–6 weeks after the birth, and will refer you and your baby to a Well Child Tamariki Ora service. Your midwife will also check that you have chosen and enrolled with a general practice (doctor and practice nurse).
Referral to Well Child Tamariki Ora
It’s important that you join up with a Well Child Tamariki Ora service in the first few weeks so that they can see your baby when your midwife finishes visiting you. Your midwife can help you to choose a service that’s right for you.
See the Well Child Tamariki Ora services page to find out more.
Enrolling with a general practice
In the early years you and your child will need lots of help and advice about sickness and keeping healthy.
It’s important to enrol your child with a general practice as soon as possible so that the doctor and practice nurse can get to know you and give you the help you need – including the first immunisations when your baby is 6 weeks old.
See the Your child’s doctor and practice nurse page to find out more.