MEET THE EXPERT: Dr Ellie Cannon is a GP, mum of two, and author of Keep Calm: The New Mum’s Manual (£10.99, Vermilion).
This week or next, you’ll probably see your baby’s first real smile. Not a wind-induced gurn but a genuine smile, directed at you. One, two, three... heart melt.
Make a list of questions for the 6-week check
A medical once-over is carried out between six and eight weeks to assess your baby’s development and pick up any physical abnormalities. It’s a great opportunity for you to discuss any worries you have about your baby. Think about what you might ask beforehand, and perhaps conduct your own tests as to how well your baby can see and hear.
Have a think about your family history and if you have any concerns about genetic conditions. And don’t be embarrassed to ask if something is normal or not – the doctor will have heard it all before.
Let dad work it out for himself
You know you’re only trying to help. We know you’re only trying to help. But he thinks you’re criticising his every move and this can dent his confidence. If you feel yourself about to say something ‘helpful’, leave the room.
Visit your GP
Never, ever worry about ‘bothering’ your GP. If you’re concerned about your baby, go to the doctor. ‘If your instinct is telling you something’s wrong, get your baby checked out,’ says Ellie.
Always take your baby to the GP if:
- He’s under six months old and has a fever. This means that you can feel he’s hot, or, you’re getting a thermometer reading of over 38 degrees
- He’s showing signs of dehydration
- He has a rash
- He’s so sleepy that you can’t wake him easily and he’s not interested in feeding.
Buy a carrier
When you feel up to getting out and about again - or simply doing a bit of vacuuming - a front carrier means you have your hands free. It’s the key to having a bit of your old, pre-baby life back, doing what you like to do, as well as what you as a mum needs to do.
You’ve survived the first six tricky weeks. Being a mum is the hardest job in the world, but also the best!