"...no question is a dumb one."
As founder of the newborn care and parent support service Boston Baby Nurses, Carole Kramer Arsenault and her team have cared for hundreds of first-time parents. To them, no question is a dumb one. In her new book, The Baby Nurse Bible, Arsenault taps into her expertise as a former labor and delivery nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a lactation consultant and an educator to answer a range of questions, providing the nitty-gritty on everything from crazy cravings to coping with labor pain to using sunscreen on a newborn. Her easyto- read and sympathetic approach to concerns, big and small, is just what a new mother needs most.
Here’s a sampling of some questions tackled in the new book:
Q my sister told me that she had the urge to clean everything in sight the day before she gave birth.At the end of my third trimester, I am the opposite – I can’t even get off the couch. Is this normal?
A don’t worry about whether or not you have the urge to “nest.” Not every woman experiences this sudden burst of energy to prepare and organize the new baby’s home.Some women are so exhausted during these last few weeks that the only thing they have the urge to do is lie down – and if that’s how you feel, go ahead and do that!
Q should I change my baby’s diaper before or after I breastfeed him?
A during the early weeks, it’s a good idea to have your baby wide awake and eager to eat when you start your breastfeeding session. Changing a diaper will help you accomplish that. Most babies do not like to be moved around much, so unswaddle your baby, rub his tummy, move his arms and legs a bit, and then change the diaper. Of course, if your baby dirties a diaper while you’re feeding, it is generally a good idea to go ahead and change him. Keeping an infant in a soiled diaper will not be comfortable for him and can lead to diaper rash.
Q does my baby really know my smell?
Ayes, your baby will be able to taste and smell to some extent from the time he is born. Researchers have found that the sense of smell and taste are linked and a newborn is capable of recognizing the scent of his mother. So hold your baby close – he’ll love it!
Reprinted from The Baby Nurse Bible: Secrets Only a Baby Nurse Can Tell You About Having and Caring for Your Baby, © Carole Kramer Arsenault, R.N., IBCLC; 2011. Reprinted courtesy of the publisher, The Experiment, New York.