By Stephanie Coffin
What goes on directly after I deliver my baby?
Right after you deliver the baby, the doctor will usually hand the baby directly to mom, to give her a chance to bond and breastfeed. Baby will experience a period of increased awareness and warms up with the skin to skin contact. The nurses will also immediately place identification bands on baby’s ankle and wrist. Baby will be weighed, cleaned up and placed under a warmer to regulate body temperature; they will be measured and they will do the footprints in the nursery as well as a heel stick to check the blood, Vitamin K injection, erythromycin eye ointment and a bath!
What will my baby look like after birth?
If you had a normal vaginal delivery, baby’s head will miss-shaped from the fontanelles or soft spots on their head. During vaginal delivery a vacuum extraction is used and can leave a swollen bruised mark on the baby’s head. The head will round out after birth, the mark from the vacuum will disappear quickly as well. Some babies can have generalized swelling under the scalp, puffy eyelids, breasts will appear swollen from mom’s hormones. Your baby will deliver with a cheesy-like coating called Vernix, that protected baby in-utero.
Baby may often have white bumps on their face called Milia, newborn rash that usually resolves itself, called Erythema toxicum, or bluish hands or feet due to a poor circulatory system. Other skin conditions that a baby can be born with is Mongolian spots, bluish-gray spots that are often found at the base of the spine or the buttox and usually go away in the first couple years of life; stork bite are dialated capillaries that are usually found on the nose, eyelids and the nape of the neck – it shows more when the baby is crying and usually goes away in the first couple years of the child’s life. Baby’s eyes will also often appear “crossed” due to immature muscles in the eyes.
If your baby postdates or goes longer than 40 weeks they may have skin that is dryer than other babies, or lanugo hair which is a fine, downy hair covering the baby’s back, shoulders and upper arms. The hair will rub off on bedding and clothing.
If your baby’s skin appears yellowish or golden or the whites of the eyes appear yellow it could indicate Jaundice, a potentially serious condition, let your pediatrician know immediately. If your baby has drainage from one or both eyes it can indicate a blocked tear duct and you should let your pediatrician know so the baby does not develop an infection.
What tests will my baby receive while in the hospital?
- Metabolic screen: Some states require this test by law, it tests for errors in the baby’s metabolism
- Hearing Screen – your baby will have a hearing test, the results are either pass or fail. The test may be repeated if your baby has any other risk factors .
- Upright Position Test – If you baby is born before 37 weeks, they will have to pass an upright position test in order to leave the hospital. It will see if the baby can tolerate being in an upright position.
- Transcutaneous bilirubin – tests baby for levels of Jaundice
If you had a normal birth your baby will be able to go home in 36-48 hours, during your hospital stay you will have constant assistance from nurses and family, once you go home you will adjust to your new addition. Remember all babies are different, and there is plenty of help from local resources if you need it. Don’t ever be afraid to admit you need help; having a baby is tough!
Bellies Babies and Beyond simplifies parenthood by providing comprehensive resources to expecting, new and seasoned parents. Navigate your pregnancy and the first years of your child’s life with trusted and nurturing advice. As your one-stop-shop we will guide you throughout the uneasy anticipation of expecting and raising your child. Owner, Stephanie Coffin, has 15+ years in the childcare industry as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s premier baby planner! You can follow Bellies Babies and Beyond on Twitter @Bellies Beyond and like them on Facebook.