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 - 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 Next?

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 other 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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