Immediately after delivery
After the birth of your baby, the baby is placed on your abdomen or under a warmer. The nurse or provider will assess the baby and assign Apgar scores at one and five minutes of age. The Apgar score assesses the baby's condition.
This is your baby. Let the care team know when you are ready to hold him or her. Some mothers want to hold their baby as soon as possible, and some prefer to wait until the provider has finished with delivery of the placenta and any stitching that may be needed. Feel free to continue to take pictures of your new baby.
Following the delivery of your baby, identification bands will be placed on the baby and mom. These bands have a matching number that will be used to make sure you have the correct baby. A band also will be available for dad or another family member to wear. The identification bands will be checked each time you and your baby are brought together after separation. You're asked to partner with your care team in providing the safest care possible for you and your family. If a care team member forgets to check the identification bands, you should remind him or her to do so.
Baby vital signs, including temperature, pulse and respiratory rate, will be checked shortly after birth and every one to four hours for the first 24 hours. Babies are then weighed, and their length, head and chest are measured. Two medications are encouraged for all babies: a vitamin K injection is given into the thigh muscle to aid in blood clotting and an antibiotic eye ointment is placed in the baby's eyes to prevent eye infections. When the baby has a stable temperature, you can give baby a bath. This may be delayed until your postpartum time. A blood sugar screen may need to be performed after birth to screen baby for certain health conditions. This involves a small poke to obtain a blood droplet from the baby's heel.
Your baby's provider will generally see your baby the morning after your delivery, unless your delivering provider is also your baby's provider or your baby has needs that require immediate medical attention.
Mothers who choose to breastfeed are encouraged to nurse as soon as possible after birth. Mothers who choose to bottle-feed their babies will be assisted with the first feeding.
The official birth certificate paperwork will be initiated after you have delivered.
Nurses will continue to check your baby's vital signs, well-being and feeding patterns throughout your stay. You should share any concerns or questions with your nurse or members of your health care team. Your baby will have recommended screenings before discharge. If you choose to have your baby boy circumcised, this is usually performed on the first or second day. Circumcision care instructions will be provided.