Soon after they are born, your baby can be placed next to you and breastfed. Between when they are born and the first few weeks of life, your baby requires a lot of care to thrive.
In most cases, your baby is cleaned and bathed within the first hour by the midwife. Then the baby can be placed next to you and can drink from your breasts.
After an hour, your baby is checked and weighed.
- The midwife checks the baby’s respiration, skin color, muscle tension, heartbeat, and reaction to stimuli. She also administers vitamin K to the baby.
- The baby is dressed or wrapped in a blanket.
- You or your partner can then hold the baby again. After a cesarean section (surgical delivery), the baby stays with your partner.
- You have something to eat and drink. If the checks are all right, you can have a shower. If your baby was delivered to the hospital without any medical complications, you may go home a few hours after delivery.
- If you have had a cesarean section, you remain in the hospital for three days to two weeks, where they will care for you and your baby. In many hospitals, your partner can also stay there at night.
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Before you go home, the midwife or healthcare provider will teach you how to care for your baby.
You will usually be cared for by a family member or other caregiver at home during the first week. They help you care for the baby and check the mother’s health. You can speak with or visit the healthcare centre within this time if there are problems.
- For up to five days after birth, your baby may lose weight. This is normal.
- In the first week, the baby's hearing is tested, and the baby may be tested for rare metabolic diseases. The healthcare provider carries out the hearing test and takes some blood.
Care for the mother
- After birth, the family member or caregiver is responsible for the mother. During this time, they support you.
- Shortly after delivery, you see your midwife or healthcare provider for a final check-up.
- If you had surgery, you may need nursing care for a while.
Care for the baby
The care for your baby is handled by the healthcare centre where you delivered.
- Your baby will begin to get its vaccinations from the week of birth. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about this.
- You can get the vaccinations for free at the public healthcare centre.