About two weeks after the birth of your baby a health nurse (helsesøster) will call to make a home appointment with you.  You don’t have to have one (this time we chose not to) but it is a good idea for first time mothers.

The health nurse visit is for you to discuss any concerns you might have about your recovery or your new baby.  You can discuss breast feeding techniques or problems and ask about general ‘Norwegianised’ things like how to dress the baby for the outdoors.  She might do some quick medical checks like feeling your womb or lumps in your breasts for mastitis etc.  She will also quickly check over your baby, looking at his bellybutton and eyes, and also show you what he can do such as grasping your fingers tight enough to be pulled up.  The health nurse may even show you how to massage your baby, especially if he is having trouble doing a ‘number 2’ and give you some play exercises to stimulate him.

The nurse will likely give you some exercise advice to make sure you strengthen your back again and to help you bring back your energy.  You will be given mothering paraphernalia, especially about why it is important to give your baby ‘Tran’ (fish oil from 2 months), and info about preventing SIDS/cot death.  You will likely get your next appointment date with your baby’s health card (helsekort) that will be his appointment/data record for such things as vaccinations, weight and height, for the next three years.

Your next appointment will likely be the six week standard check up for your baby at the health centre (usually where you had your prenatal checks).  The health nurse should also remind you to book an appointment for yourself with your doctor at six weeks for your standard postnatal health check.  However, before this you might have the opportunity to go to a general ‘mother’s group’ meeting with about four other new mothers and a health nurse, to ‘meet and greet’ and discuss ‘mothering’. 

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