What to anticipate during your baby’s first minutes

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It feels magical to finally be able to hold your baby after they are born. What occurs during your baby’s first minutes of life after birth rests on your labor and birthing story, and how easily your baby adjusts to the new environment.

Normal Vaginal Birth

Right away after birth, babies normally breathe and cry.

If there’s no problem with your baby’s breathing, doctors will place him naked on your chest or belly for skin to skin contact to keep him warm and help steady the rate of his heart and breathing. This will also aide in your breastfeeding later.

During the skin to skin contact, the midwife or nurses will dry your baby and cover the two of you with a warm blanket.

Vacuum/Forceps birth

Babies who were distressed during labor might have difficulty breathing when they come out. If your baby experiences this, he will be taken to a special area where he will be kept warm and will be given back to you once he is breathing normally.

Elective C-section birth

Right after your baby is born, he will be taken to a special warming area for drying and assessment. Once the doctors have made sure that your baby is breathing properly, they will wrap him in warm swaddles and give him back to you.

In case you need more treatment, your husband can provide the cuddling that your baby needs.

Emergency C-section birth

Most babies who were born via emergency c-section need help with breathing. They baby will be taken to the special warming area for drying and assessment of other medical treatment he needs.

Once your baby’s health becomes stable, he will be wrapped in swaddling blankets and given to you for cuddling if you’re still conscious while on the operating table.

If your baby is having difficulty breathing on his own, he will be taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Cord-cutting

Immediately after your baby is born, the doctors clamp and cut his umbilical cord. But there’s no need to worry as this will not be painful for your baby.

Your baby’s appearance and behavior

Initially after birth, your baby will appear bluish or purplish. But once he starts breathing normally, his body color turns pinkish. His feet and hands might stay bluish for the next 24 hours because it will take time for his blood to circulate on those parts.

Some babies gaze wide-eyed at their surroundings, while others fall asleep.

Whenever you think your baby is ready to be breastfed, latch him on.

Apgar Score

Your baby’s Apgar score measures the rate of your baby’s heart and breathing. It also includes the rate of his muscle tone, the way he responds to stimuli, and the color of his skin.

Medical assistance

If your baby has difficulty breathing or low heart rate, he needs to be taken to the warming station and be given a special mask and breathing device.

If your baby’s condition is more serious, he will be taken to the NICU.

Assessments

Your baby will be weighed and physically assessed. His first pee and poop will also be recorded. With your permission, your baby will be given vaccines for Vitamin K to prevent bleeding disorder, and/or Hepatitis B immunization.