After the Birth

Congratulations on the birth of your baby… or maybe it’s babies!

In the following content we have outlined some of the things you may need to know after the birth of your baby. The information includes vitamin K for your newborn; what you may need to buy for the baby; cold and flu treatments during breastfeeding and sex after the birth of your baby.

Sex after the birth of your baby

After the birth of my baby, when could I begin having sex again?

You can begin having sex as soon as you feel ready. Research has shown that couples who communicate well, before and after pregnancy, are more comfortable discussing the issue. Talk to your partner about when you feel ready to have sex.

Is it normal not to feel like having sex after giving birth?

It is completely normal to have a low libido after giving birth. The birth and the demands of being a new parent can be stressful and extremely tiring. It is not unusual for women to delay having sex for several weeks or months after the birth of a new baby.

Is sex after birth painful?

Sex after birth may be painful for the woman due to stitches or vaginal dryness. Once the woman feels physically recovered from the birth, sex should be comfortable. This may take up to six or eight weeks if there has been significant suturing of vaginal tearing.

How can my partner and I make sex after birth more comfortable?

Using lubricants may make penetration less painful and should help enhance the experience. Couples should try different positions so that there is no pressure on the perineum, the lower abdomen (if a caesarean section was performed) or breasts. Often an orgasm may stimulate the ‘let down’ reflex, resulting in milk leaking from the woman’s breasts.

How soon after giving birth is it possible to fall pregnant?

You could fall pregnant immediately after giving birth. If you do not wish to fall pregnant you should consider what contraception you would prefer to use after birth. Please discuss your options of contraceptive with your doctor.

Vaccinations during breast feeding

Is it safe to have vaccinations if you are breastfeeding?

Most vaccinations are safe to have during breastfeeding. When you visit your doctor for a vaccination please inform them that you are breastfeeding and they can discuss any issues specific to the particular vaccine.

I will be travelling overseas with my baby; will my baby also need to be immunised?

It is important to ensure that your baby has had all routine immunisations and that you discuss what additional vaccinations may be required for your baby, depending on the countries you will be travelling to.

Vitamin K for newborn babies

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K occurs naturally in the body and helps to clot the blood and is essential to prevent serious bleeding.

Why is my baby given Vitamin K?

After a baby is born it takes a few months for their bodies to make enough Vitamin K to ensure their blood can clot properly. By giving your baby Vitamin K it makes sure they will have enough to clot their blood and can prevent a rare disorder, known as, haemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN). HDN can cause bleeding into the brain and could result in brain damage or in extreme cases even death.

How will Vitamin K be given to my baby?

Vitamin K can be given to your baby by injection or orally. Only one injection is required, however, oral dosage is more complicated. To give your baby Vitamin K orally you will need to make sure your baby has one dose at birth, one between three and five days after birth and another one in their fourth week of life.

There are a few reasons babies may not be able to have Vitamin K orally including if they are ill; if they are born prematurely or it their mum has had medication during pregnancy for epilepsy, blood clots or tuberculosis.

How long does the dose of Vitamin K protect my baby?

One Vitamin K injection is enough to last your baby for months. They will only need one injection or one course of oral treatment.

Can all babies be given Vitamin K?

Yes. All babies can be given Vitamin K.

Does Vitamin K have any side effects?

No. Vitamin K has been used in Australia for more than 25 years without any apparent side effects and has eradicated HDN. There was one study that suggested there could be a link between Vitamin K and childhood cancer, but this study has since been disproved.

Do all babies have to be given Vitamin K?

No. It is your choice if your baby is given Vitamin K. However, medical experts in Australia agree that babies are given Vitamin K to prevent the very serious disease of HDN.

When is my baby given Vitamin K?

Your baby will be given a Vitamin K shortly after birth.

This information is provided as general information only. It is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always see your doctor regarding your personal health matters. © National Association of Specialist Obstetricians & Gynaecologists 2010