What To Expect After Childbirth: What Happens Right After Childbirth?

What To Expect After Childbirth

mother and newborn baby in hospitalAs the birth of your child rapidly approaches, you’ve most likely read several pregnancy books to learn about your baby's development and how it’s affecting your body. You’ve probably shopped for baby clothes, decorated the nursery, discussed birth plans as well as breastfeeding. But there’s one thing that usually flies under the radar when discussing all things pregnancy, and that’s what happens in the delivery room soon after birth.

Learn what you can expect in the delivery room so that you can have an informed discussion with your OB/GYN at your next appointment.

What Happens Immediately After the Baby is Born?

Most hospitals and birthing centers perform the following for the baby’s health immediately after birth:

  • Cleaning
  • Suctioning the nose and throat
  • Evaluating the health of the baby using the Apgar scale that checks heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, skin color, and response to stimuli
  • Obtaining footprints
  • Attaching identification bands to wrist and leg

Your OB/GYN will let you hold and bond with your baby for a few minutes, if your baby is showing signs of excellent health and does not need immediate care.

What Happens In the First Hour After Birth?

While baby is being well cared for, you will need to be cared for as well. Once the baby has exited from the womb, you will need to deliver the placenta - an organ that grows inside the uterus to deliver oxygen and nutrients to baby. Typically, a placenta is about a fifth of the size of the baby, so you may experience cramping until it’s delivered.

Afterwards, you’ll be given a shot of pitocin, which makes your uterus contract to reduce blood loss. A nurse may also massage your uterus, to assist with speeding up the contractions. Additionally, your OB/GYN will examine your vaginal area for signs of tearing. This is an optimal time for the baby to rest in a warmer unit, since newborns lose heat rapidly.

The last step during this first hour is to clean you up, give you a fresh gown and sanitary pad, and let you warm up under blankets.

The current practice - if all is well - is that you can hold the baby to enhance bonding for the first hour. With the doctors and nurses approval, you may put the baby to your breast to let them latch on to your nipples. The baby may not latch on at first as they may not be hungry yet.

What Happens Postpartum?

If you’re not in a LDR (labor, delivery, recovery) room at your hospital, you and your baby will go to a postpartum room for the rest of your hospital stay. Most hospitals may have a pullout bed for your partner or another form of support system, and a secure crib for the baby. You’ll also meet a lactation specialist to help you with breastfeeding. Moreover, you will have a chance to send your baby to the nursery, so you can have the chance to rest peacefully. Other necessities before you go home include:

  • Filling out a birth certificate
  • A pediatric exam for baby
  • A clean bill of health for you
  • Car seat inspection

Don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns about your pregnancy or upcoming birth with the doctors of Huey & Weprin OB/GYN. Contact us today for an appointment or call us at 937-771-5100.

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13 March 16, 2020

To our valued patients,

In an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19/Coronavirus, Kettering Medical Center has limited the number of support persons to be allowed on the Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby units of the hospital.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY only two support persons will be allowed per laboring patient for the entirety of their hospital stay. Kettering Medical Center will be screening ALL non-patient persons entering the hospital for symptoms associated with Covid-19/Coronavirus, including support persons for laboring patients. Any person with any grade fever, cough or respiratory symptoms WILL NOT be permitted to enter the facility. Their policy of no non-patient persons under the age of 14 in the facility remains in effect during this time as well.


We realize this is disappointing and upsetting news. We appreciate your understanding and patience while we work to keep patients and staff healthy during this global health crisis.

Please feel free to reach out to the office if you have any questions or concerns.


Huey & Weprin, OB/Gyn

Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.