Now Your Baby is Here

Bringing baby home means many changes in the family. Taking care of yourself is an important part of being able to care for and enjoy your newborn.

Mom's body after baby

Your body goes through physical changes during pregnancy and it will take some time for your body to recover after childbirth.

You will also experience emotional changes in your new role as a mother and hormonal changes that happen after childbirth.

See your health care provider within six weeks after birth to make sure your body is healing well. It is important to take time for yourself and your own health needs.

Soothing your crying baby

Crying is normal for babies. It is your baby's way of telling you something is wrong. Learn to recognize and respond to the early signs that your baby needs you.

You can respond to the basic needs of your baby by:

  • Feeding your baby

  • Checking your baby's diaper

  • Speaking softly

  • Comforting your baby

If these needs are met and your baby is still crying try the following:

  • Hold your baby in a different way

  • Burp your baby

  • Play soft music or "white noise" as background sound

  • Gently rock your baby

  • Snuggle your baby skin-to-skin

  • Go for a walk with your baby

  • Make sure you are in a  quiet room with low light

All babies go through a period early in life when they cry more than at any other time, but each baby is different and may be harder to soothe.

Babies cry for many reasons, but never to make you angry.

If you are feeling frustrated or angry by the baby's crying, put the baby down in a safe place and ask someone to help you. Never shake a baby.

Self care

It is important to take care of yourself when you are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant, have had a baby or are a new parent. Men can also experience emotional difficulty during this transition. The following are some things you can do for self care: 

  • Ask for help when you need it

  • Take time to relax and laugh

  • Spend time with loved ones and friends

  • Get enough sleep

  • Enjoy a healthy diet

  • Make time to be active

Baby blues

Just a few days after giving birth, you may feel moody, weepy and irritable. This is called the baby blues. The baby blues are so common that they are considered to be normal. Baby blues usually start a few days after your baby's birth and last up to 14 days. Up to four in five new mothers experience baby blues in the first weeks after the birth of a baby or adoption.

These feelings often go away on their own. If these feelings last longer than two weeks or get in the way of your activities, contact your health care provider.

Postpartum Mood Disorder

Perinatal Mood Disorders, also known as Postpartum Mood Disorders, are more serious emotional ups and downs and affect one in five new mothers. You may feel:

  • Sad and tearful
  • Exhausted but unable to sleep
  • Overwhelmed and can't concentrate
  • Uninterested in activities you use to enjoy
  • Hopeless or frustrated
  • Restless, irritable or angry
  • Extremely high and full of energy
  • Anxious - you may feel this as aches, chest pains, shortness of breath, numbness, tingling or a lump in your throat
  • Guilty and ashamed, thinking you are not a good parent
  • Disconnected from your baby, not developing a bond or afraid to be alone with baby

If you feel like hurting yourself or your baby - get help right away. Call 911, go to your local hospital or call the Here 24/7 Crisis Line at 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247).

This is not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available.

A parent's mental health and wellness is important to the family's wellbeing. Talking with someone you trust about the way you are feeling can help you get the care you need.

If you are experiencing stress or mental health concerns, reach out for help from:

  • Your health care provider (family doctor, midwife, nurse, obstetrician/gynecologist)
  • Your counsellor, social worker or clergy
  • Public Health: 519-575-4400
  • Here 24/7: 1-844-437-3247 (toll-free)
  • Mental Health Services: 1-866-531-2600 (toll-free)
Now baby is here

Newborn screening and follow-up

After birth, the Newborn Screening Ontario program tests your baby for early detection of disease. Your baby will also have a hearing screen and a jaundice screen.

When to see a health care provider

It is important that your baby is seen by a health care provider within 48 hours of leaving the hospital.

Contact your health care provider if:

  • Baby is not feeding well or is refusing to feed 
  • Baby is sleepy all the time and is hard to wake up
  • Baby's skin and/or whites of the eyes appear yellow or becoming more yellow
  • Baby has fewer wet diapers or bowel movements than expected
  • Shows signs of dehydration


Babies can quickly become dehydrated. They can either not get enough fluid or lose too much fluid.

Signs your baby is dehydrated include:

  • Decreased urination
  • Difficult to wake and sleepy
  • Dark and strong-smelling urine
  • Weak cry
  • Increased thirst
  • Absence of tears
  • Dry skin, mouth and tongue
  • Faster heart beat
  • Sunken eyes
  • Greyish skin
  • Sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on your baby's head

If your baby is showing signs of dehydration, call your health care provider or visit the emergency department.

Healthy Babies Healthy Children

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have modified some of our services. If you have questions about the health of your child, please contact your health care provider or Health 811. To make a referral to the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, please call 519-575-4400 ext. 5170 or email

Healthy Babies Healthy Children is a free, voluntary program for pregnant moms and families with young children up to the age of six.

If you are eligible, you may receive home visits from a Public Health Nurse and Family Visitor. The home visits will help you learn about:

  • Having a healthy pregnancy and birth
  • Connecting with your baby
  • How children grow and develop
  • Being a parent
  • Breastfeeding, food and healthy eating
  • Taking care of yourself and your family
  • Other services available to you and your child in the community

How do I know if I'm eligible?

If you are interested in the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program, call 519-575-4400 and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse.

Breastfeeding Buddies

The Breastfeeding Buddies program offers one-to-one match support via text, phone, and email. Our team of trained, diverse volunteers:

  • Speak 17 different languages
  • Come from many diverse backgrounds
  • Have lived experience with overcoming breastfeeding challenges, and accessing community resources in Waterloo Region

Additional resources

Contact Us