First 24 Hours With Your Baby
Created by Faraz Mohammad Khan Updated on May 22, 2018
While you probably would have planned your post delivery hospital stay meticulously, what you might not have realized that your newborn baby will be twice as busy as you. Within just few minutes of being born, your baby will be measured, cleaned, swaddled, etc. Procedures differ from hospital to hospital and with the type of delivery you had, but below is an outline of how the first 24 hours with your babu will look like
First 5 minutes
When your baby is born, the doctor will clean her mouth and nose of mucus and amniotic fluid and your baby should begin to breathe on their own. During this time, the doctor will proceed to clamp and cut the umbilical cord. One major observation made just after birth is the Apgar score. It access your baby's adjustment to life outside the womb. This includes measuring heart rate, color, reflex response, muscle tone and breathing. The tests are performed one minute and then at five minute intervals post delivery and scores are given in the scale of 0 to 10. Most babies score 8 to 9 but should your baby score lower, the cause will be addressed and the test will continue till the issue is resolved. Not to worry, most infants with low scores at birth go on to be healthy happy babies.
Hour 1 to 3
While you are still in the delivery room, your baby will receive a vitamin K shot in the thigh to prevent clotting problems. If you gave a normal vaginal birth, your newborn baby will be put on your chest for skin to skin contact. Doing this
- reduces baby crying
- helps start and sustain breastfeeding
- help maintain baby's body temperature
Your baby needs your skin contact to feel secure and warm. In case you have a c section, you can still have skin to skin contact provided you are comfortable, alert and aren't experiencing complications. Otherwise you can ask the midwife to make sure your baby has skin to skin contact with you as early as possible.
After skin to skin contact and first breastfeed, your baby will be weighed. Your baby's lenght and head circumference will be measured.
Hour 4 to 22
You will probably spend time caring for your newborn and learning on the way. You will help the nurse clean your baby, change his diaper once he has passed his first bowel movement called meconium. If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you will be nursing him every two hours or so. Don't stress if your baby takes small amounts of feed, their tummy is the size of a marble.
Your baby will probably sleep soon after their first feed and might be out for 6 hours or so. Infact, they will probably sleep for more than half of their first day in the world.
Hour 23 to 24
Your baby might be formally evaluated by a pediatrician. The doctor will assess risk factors for infection, check for malformations, and ensure your baby is feeding and breathing well. They will be checked for jaundice.
In case of a routine vaginal delivery, you will spend 24 to 48 hours at the hospital before you head home. In case of a c setion, you will generally be there for 4 to 5 days.
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