Congratulations, are you expecting ? and wondering what to expect when you have your newborn baby in hospital? Your in the right place!
A newborn baby is such a bundle of joy. A blessing which is understated.
It can be daunting thinking what will happen when your baby is nearly at it’s due date.
How will things go, will the baby be OK?
If you haven’t already, learn tips on how to cope with labour here
You have probably been busy planning your labour that you’ve not really given thought to what actually happens AFTER the baby is born. Is that it?
Baby comes out and then what?
In this post we will discuss what happens after your labour.
So finally, your baby has been delivered, congratulations. Wishing you lovelies expecting a smooth and easy labour. Amen!hmm, now what? What happens to the baby? What happens to me?
What happens to my newborn baby in hospital just born?
Lets get one thing out of the way first – “the hard part is over” yes!
The rest to follow up is a less painful process. It’s time for the bonding and healing process.
When your baby is born, he/she will most likely cry. The first cry’s are so reassuring. It’s a sign showing that your baby is fine. He is doing good, hes breathing.
Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t cry straight away. The nurses will check if he’s breathing OK before handing him over to you to hold.
If you’ve had a vaginal delivery and you and your baby are in good condition, he will be placed directly onto your abdomen/tummy area for some skin to skin.
Newborn delivery – Skin to skin
The newborn will be covered with a warm towel or blanket on top to keep warm.
Skin-to-skin contact will also help keep him warm and let the two of you start bonding. It can be a little slippery as they have just come out of your womb- however, nothing you can’t handle. You will be too much in aw with your little bundle to think about the sloppy stuff!
When I had mine I just couldn’t believe that they were inside me and now there out. It’s such a miracle feeling. There tiny faces, tiny hands, tiny toes. So cute!
If you’ve had to have immediate medical care after your delivery, you may not be able to hold your baby straight away. But don’t worry if you can’t hold him right away, you’ll get plenty of time for bonding later.
Cut the cord. Your doctor or midwife will clamp the umbilical cord in two places and then cut – or have your partner cut it – between the two clamps. This is a nice way to get daddy to feel apart of the delivery.
Assess your baby’s health. An Apgar assessment will be done to evaluate your newborn’s heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflex response, and color.
Your baby will also get it’s height and weight measured.
I love finding out the weight of my babies. As I’ve always carried small, I still hope I’ll born a fat chunky baby. It’s never the case ha!
Any thing above 5-6ibs is considered good.
Make sure the newborn stays warm. Newborn babies don’t have the ability to control their temperature well, so it’s very important that they be kept warm and dry. This is the perfect time to get all those cuddles in.
At this stage, if you need any stitching’s, you will get them done soon after birth. Your baby can still be bonding on you whilst you get stitched up. This is only the case for first or second degree tears. Third and forth degree tears are done under supervision in theatre rooms as they require anesthetics and are more severe.
With a C-section, care for the newborn after birth is crucial. Most C-sections today are done with a regional anesthesia such as an epidural or spinal, where only part of the body is numbed for surgery. Only in rare cases will you need general anesthesia for delivery, which means you are not awake for the birth. In many hospitals, if you and your newborn are doing well, they are swaddled in a warm blanket and placed on your upper chest for a bit — or they can be brought to your partner, who will likely be sitting near your head. Your partner can hold your baby while you’re being stitched up, and you can touch and talk to them while you’re still in the operating room. Many hospitals require babies born by C-section to be watched in the nursery for a short time. All the usual procedures such as weighing and medicines are done there. Usually, your baby can be brought to you while you are in the recovery area after surgery.
I suffered a third degree tear with my first born. Read here on how you can avoid it!
Newborn care – Breastfeeding?
You can start to breastfeed as soon as the baby is born. Babies have an innate ability to begin nursing immediately after they are born, so it’s the best time to latch them on. It is recommended that healthy, full-term baby’s be placed and remain in direct skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately after delivery until the first hour of birth is accomplished. A baby will often turn to the familiar sound of the mother’s voice. A baby’s focus of vision is best at about 8 to 12 inches–just the distance from the baby cradled in a mother’s arms to her face.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always go to plan. Your baby could suddenly latch on like a pro or simply refuse. It’s nothing to worry about. This is normal.
There’s no need to panic if your newborn seems to have trouble finding or staying on your nipple right after birth. Remember – it’s a new learning curve for your baby. Keep trying hourly and they should soon learn.
Don’t be shy about asking for help either. You will most likely still be in the birth room when you attempt breastfeeding your newborn. Get as much advice as you can. The Nurses are there to help. Later, when you get to the recovery room unit, there will be a lactation consultant for one-on-one coaching or group breastfeeding support. If you’re uncertain about anything, ask for help. You will have quite a bit of pain in the first few days and will need help with the baby.
Newborn care immediately after birth – Problems at birth?
Things tend to circulate faster if any health problems related to fetal circulation are noticed during or after baby’s birth. The doctor will cut the cord, and your baby will be taken to a radiant warmer to prevent heat loss. The warmer allows baby to be left naked without getting cold so that the medical team can do whatever is necessary. As the baby takes its first breath, air moves into the lungs. Before birth, the lungs are not used to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, and need less blood supply.
Sometimes further care can lead the baby to be taken to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). As much as it’s easy to say don’t worry, no mother wants to see their baby being rushed around. Try and stay calm if this happens, the nurses know what they are doing, and once the baby is settled, he will be given special care in the special area of the hospital designated for newborns in need of intensive medical care. The baby will then be brought back to you for more cuddles.
Newborn ID bands?
Once your baby is born, a nurse will after the above procedures, put matching ID bands on you and your newborn. These bands are checked and matched every time you and your baby are separated or reunited.
Newborn aftercare – Medications?
Depending on what country you have your baby, certain rules in relation to medications are different. UK will have different policies (only some) to USA hospitals and vice versa.
It also depends on how the health checks come back for your baby.
My first born was born with an infection, so me and him were on antibiotic’s for a week. It wasn’t nice but it all depends on what comes through the tests. My second child was absolutely fine (Thank you lord!) and we was discharged same day.
What else to expect?
Weight and measurements are taken. Your baby will be weighed, and his length and head circumference will be measured.
Vitamin K shot is given to prevent blood clots in the baby. The nurses will tell or ask you before giving any sort of shots.
Hepatitis B vaccine is given before being discharged from the hospital.
Newborn baby care after birth – Bathing?
The nurses will advise to wait at least 12 hours before baby can have it’s first bath. This is just so the baby’s body temperature can normalize.
There are benefits of having a delayed bath, this is why the nurses recommend waiting.
It promotes breastfeeding. The amniotic fluid that remains on your newborn may provide breastfeeding cues for her. How cool is that!
A little off topic, but leave me a comment if you’ve watched the Disneys movie Frozen? It proves that water DOES have memory.
Keeps your baby warm and helps regulate their temperature.
Protects your baby’s skin. The waxy, whitish vernix that coats your baby protects and moisturizes it’s skin.
You can ofcourse ask the nurses if you prefer to bath your baby straight away. Hospitals have bathing areas for newborns.
Newborn baby aftercare – Nursery or Rooming in?
Different hospitals have different policies. If you have a healthy baby and both you and baby are doing well, rooming in is preferred. A nursery is mostly avoided now unless required for medical reasons, whereas arrangements for rooming in are readily available.
Your baby can stay in a bassinet by your bedside for the duration of your stay in the hospital.
Rooming in benefits for you and your newborn:
- Makes breastfeeding easier.You don’t have to travel across the hospital hallway to the nursery just to feed your child.
- You can practice caring for your newborn alone whilst still having nurses around you available to help you.
- You and baby can sleep in peace, unless it’s a sharing ward.
Why and when is a hospital nursery used:
- Constantly monitored by nurses
- You had a c-section or other medical complication and need some extra help
- Want to spend some time alone with your other children or need recovery time
Newborn baby aftercare – Medical tests?
- Blood test: Also known as the heel prick test. Your baby’s heel is pricked and a few drops of blood are taken to test for metabolic, genetic, and endocrine problems. This is done between day 3-7. In the UK a midwife visits your home for usually the first week to see how your coping. She will do the test at home.
- Pulse oximetry (pulse ox): The amount of oxygen in your baby’s blood is measured using painless sensors on the hands and feet to check for the possibility of a congenital heart defect.
- Hearing tests: Your newborn’s hearing will be checked before you leave the hospital.
Newborn – Discharging from hospital?
Following you have a natural vaginal delivery and everything is fine, you’re likely to be discharged within 24 to 48 hours. If you have a C-Section, you’ll probably be in hospital for up to 5 days.
Newborn aftercare – Midwife home visits?
A midwife will be assigned to come see you on day 3, day 5, and day 10 after the birth, at your home. They will check the baby for any unexpected weight loss, jaundice, or obvious signs that the baby is healthy – you may see the doctor more often in the first few weeks if you feel you are concerned. One of the first checks that the midwife will perform is the Apgar test, which is a part of the health assessments of the new baby. Depending on the hospital policy and the condition of the baby, other necessary procedures may be done in the delivery room or in the nursery nurse over the next few minutes and hours.
Some babies do tend to lose weight in the first 7 days after birth. This is normal.
My first born lost a little bit of weight during the first week, however my second baby gained daily. Every baby is different so don’t be worried if a certain baby is developing differently to yours.
Have you had a similar experience with your newborn aftercare? Leave me a comment below.
The main key is health and to have a healthy baby. I wish you and all your newborn babies a happy healthy life.