Congratulations! You’ve just had a baby. Now what? Here are 11 things that usually happen in hospital in the first hour following birth.
The first hour after giving birth can be a bit of a haze. You may feel beyond exhausted or your body may be on an adrenalin high. You may be able to walk; you may still be numb if you had pain relief.
It will all depend on you, bub and the hospital’s routine. With my first born I was on top of the world after giving birth and felt like I could do no wrong.
However, with my second I was an uncontrollable mess, vomiting in a bucket as she breastfed and trying to stop my body from shaking to keep her steady in my arms.
The first hour of your baby’s life
So while there really isn’t any way to predict exactly what will happen, here are a few things that most likely will occur after giving birth in hospital.
1. Your baby will be placed on your chest
In most hospitals, unless bub requires medical attention, it’s standard practice for bub to be placed on your chest right away. This helps regulate bub’s body temperature and also ensures that you are the first person to enjoy this powerful bonding moment.
2. Your baby will require a feed
In some instances, bub may be placed at the breast almost as soon as you give birth to help establish a healthy breastfeeding relationship. But, again, this isn’t always the case. Your baby may undergo his tests and such before being wrapped and brought to you for his first feed.
3. Baby’s umbilical cord will be cut
The nursing staff may ask your partner is he would like to do the honours.
4. Often your baby will be taken away
Sometimes this is straight away if the baby requires immediate medical attention. Sometimes it’s after the first snuggle. But, at some point within the first hour, bub is going to need to be measured, weighed and tested.
5. Your baby will undergo the APGAR Test
Naw…baby’s first test. The APGAR test is performed at one to five minutes after birth and rates bub on muscle tone, skin colour, heart rate, reflexes and breathing. The score is from one to ten, with ten being the best score. Most babies (98 per cent) will have an APGAR score of 7 or more.
6. Your baby will be offered a Vitamin K shot
In newborns, vitamin K injections can prevent a now rare, but potentially fatal, bleeding disorder called ‘vitamin K deficiency bleeding’ (VKDB), also known as ‘haemorrhagic disease of the newborn’ (HDN). It is up to the parents whether or not to give bub the shot, but in Australia it is recommended to do so.
7. Then you have the wonderful task of birthing the placenta
Because giving birth isn’t enough. You also need to push out the afterbirth, which isn’t nearly as painful but it does involve a few more contractions. In some instances the doctor may give you medication to help push things along.
8. You may also need to be stitched up
All you need to do for this is spread your legs and let the nurse do his or her thing. And try not to blush.
9. You will require a bit of a clean-up
Expect a fair bit of blood and wetness on the bedsheets, floor and all over your legs. You may want to head for a quick shower or wipe down while the nurses clean up the bedding.
10. Bub will require a bit of a clean-up
Standard practice is to let mum and dad give bub the first bath and this is often not during the first hour. But you can expect your little one to require a nappy, possibly some clothes and to be swaddled. Sometimes the midwife will do this or sometimes you will. It really depends on how you are feeling.
11. You will realise what has just happened. And probably cry
Or let out a massive sign of relief. And high five your partner. Because you just had a baby.
And that’s a pretty big win in our books!
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