What Happens Right After the Baby is Born?
Ideally, right after baby is born he or she will be placed immediately on mom’s skin for skin-to-skin contact. The cord will not be clamped and mom and dad will bask in the beauty of their newborn. Of course, there are scenarios where this would not be possible but I’m speaking of a non-emergent birth. This is completely possible even in the case of a c-section, although the next best thing would be for dad to be skin-to-skin with baby if mom isn’t able.
Continuing on in our ideal scenario, the magic hour after birth is honored and, once it is established mom and baby are well, mom, dad and baby are left alone to get acquainted as it were and baby can initiate breastfeeding via the breast crawl and/or mom can encourage baby to breastfeed.
After at least an hour has passed, the care provider(s) could weigh the baby. Bathing can be delayed as long as mom and dad are comfortable with. (We choose to delay 2 or 3 days, can’t remember exactly which it was.) The vernix that is covering the baby is extremely beneficial and so the longer it can stay on baby’s skin, the better.
Some procedures you will be asked about: Vitamin K shot, PKU test, Hep B Shot, Eye Ointment, Circumcision. Research the pros and cons for yourself to decide what the best decision is for your baby keeping in mind that just because it is what is “always done” doesn’t mean it is right for your baby.
There are some things that may catch you off guard about your newborn. Your baby may have a cone-shaped head if born vaginally, milia (tiny white bumps on the face), red splotches on her or his skin, stork bites (patches of deep-pink skin on the face and neck), a mongolian spot (bluish-green or gray birthmark on the lower back or bottom), genital swelling and/or vaginal discharge or blood spotting if you have a baby girl. These are all common newborn characteristics and nothing to be alarmed about.
One thing I had heard about but, for some reason, didn’t expect to deal with was newborn acne. It looks like a yucky rash, but it is completely normal and will go away on its own.
Enjoy your precious baby and protect that sacred newborn period. Do your homework and be prepared and let your healthcare providers know your wishes.
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