Finally coming close to the day to meet your little one after months of anticipating? Giving birth is definitely one of the most daunting and fascinating experiences in life, especially when you are a first-time mom. Like most new parents, you might not have a clear idea on what happens right after your baby comes out from your body. While you may be expecting to drift off with your baby right away, the both of you will have quite a busy schedule from here.
Wondering how your baby is going to look like and what will happen to your baby after birth? Read on to find out.
What Your Newborn Looks Like
Babies look like wet, fragile little creatures when they are first born. In detail, here is what you can expect your little bundle of joy to look like during your first meet.
Your newborn’s skin may appear purple or red at first, and they are likely to have amniotic fluid, blood, and vernix all over them. The amniotic fluid and vernix often appear like a yellowish white substance, and they are important in helping your baby to smell and taste after birth. As your babies are covered in them when they are in your womb, these substances give your baby a sense of familiarity and security during arrival. Followed by your baby’s first few breaths, the skin will gradually turn pink within a minute.
Apart from skin colour, some babies may be born with soft, fine hair covered all over them. These hair are called lanugo and they grow while your baby is still in the womb. Lanugo usually falls off on their own after one to two weeks. Furthermore, it is also common for newborns to have rashes, tiny white spots, or patches on skin. These conditions would normally improve gradually in a few days or weeks. If you are concerned about your baby’s skin condition, be sure to seek advice from your doctor.
If you give birth viginally, your baby’s head is likely to appear slightly pointed—which is commonly referred to as conehead. Conehead is a result of your baby making a tight squeeze when passing through the pelvic bones and birth canal. Conehead is a normal and temporary condition. Your shape of your baby’s head will return to a rounded look within a few days or weeks. Meanwhile, c-section babies tend to have round heads from birth since they don’t go through the same squeeze.
- Arms and Legs
While the skin colour of your baby’s face and body may turn pinkish after their first breath,the hands and feet may still appear slightly bluish for a few more hours. Your baby’s arms and legs may also appear scrunched up since your baby has been curling up in the womb for a quite a while. As your baby grows, the limbs will gradually straighten out. Your baby would also have very thin nails on their fingers and toes, which needs to be trimmed as they grow longer.
You May Also Read this : How to Care for Yourself after Giving Birth
How Your Newborn Will Be Handled In The Delivery Room
Immediately after birth, your baby will undergo multiple tests and examinations. This is to determine the overall health of your baby and whether any additional medical care is required. Different hospitals may have slightly different procedures, but there are some general ones you can expect.
- Cutting of the Umbilical Cord
The very first procedure your baby will experience is clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord. This step usually wouldn’t be rushed in order to let the baby get more blood flow from the placenta, which helps to avoid iron deficiency and anaemia. After cutting, the remaining cord stump will slowly dry and fall off after one to two weeks. Before that happens, be sure to keep the surrounding area clean and dry.
- Basic Clean Up
As your baby will be covered in wet substance during arrival, the nurses will gently do a light clean up for your baby. Next, the fluid in your baby’s mouth and nose will be cleared to facilitate normal breathing. This will be carefully done with suction.
- Skin-To-Skin Contact
This is not exactly a test, but it’s an important step to foster bonding, help start and sustain breastfeeding, minimize the baby’s crying, and stabilize the baby’s breathing and heart rate. Due to its importance, skin-to-skin contact is encouraged to be done as soon as possible after birth.
- Apgar Test
An Apgar score is one of the main assessments conducted soon after birth to decide whether your baby needs any extra medical attention. It tests your baby’s Appearance (skin colour), Pulse (heart rate), Grimace response (newborn’s reflexes), Activity (muscle tone), and Respiration (breathing capability).
- Weighing and Measuring
Furthermore, your medical provider will come in to weigh your newborn and measure the baby’s height and head circumference.
- Eye Drops and Injections
Your baby will be given antibiotic eye drops to prevent any possible infections. Vitamin K injection will also be given to help your baby in blood clotting.
- ID Band
Before your baby is swaddled and brought to the nursery, both you and your baby will be given an ID band to wear for identification purposes.
So, What’s Next?
If you and your baby’s condition are stable, both of you will be discharged from the hospital in a few days. Your stay at the hospital is usually 1 to 2 days if you give birth naturally, and 3 to 4 days if you go through a c-sec.
To ensure you and your baby settle comfortably once you reach home, get an experienced and well-trained confinement nanny from PEM! Aside from getting the best confinement and baby care, your nanny will be glad to share important baby care tips and what postnatal essentials to prepare too.
Best of luck mama-to-be! Wishing you and your little one a smooth delivery!