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Monday, October 17, 2011


If you've given birth in a birthing room or alternative birth center, you probably won't be moved right away. But if you delivered in a conventional delivery room, you'll be taken to a recovery area where you can be watched for problems such as excessive bleeding. Your baby may be taken to the nursery at that time, or he may receive his first physical examination by your side.

This exam will measure his vital signs: temperature, respiration, and pulse rate. The pediatrician or nurse will check his color, activity level, and breathing pattern. If he didn't receive his vitamin K and eye drops earlier, they will be administered now. And once he's warm, he'll be given his first bath and the stump of his cord may be painted with a blue antibacterial dye or other medication to prevent infection, Then he'll be wrapped in a blanket and, if you wish returned to you.

After all this activity during first couple of hours, your baby will probably fall into a deep sleep, giving you time to rest and think back over the exciting things that have happened since labor began. If you have your baby with you, you may stare at him on wonder that you could possibly have produced such a miracle. Such emotions may wipe away your physical exhaustion temporarily, but don't fool yourself. You need to relax, sleep, and gather your strength.

You may have a very big job ahead of you - you're parent now!

Do you plan to breastfeed your baby? If so, ask ahead of time about the hospital's policies on nursing in the delivery area. Most hospital today encourage immediate breastfeeding following routine delivery unless the baby's Apgar scores are low or he's breathing very rapidly, in which case nursing would be delayed temporarily.

Breastfeeding right away benefits the mother by causing the uterus to contract, thus reducing the amount of uterine bleeding. (The same hormone that stimulates milk production triggers the routine contraction.)

The first hour or so after birth is a good time to begin breastfeeding, because your baby is very alert and eager. When put to the breast he will first lick it. Then, with a little help, he'll grasp the nipple and suck vigorously for several minutes. If you wait until later, he may be sleepier and have more difficult holding the nipple effectively.

Breast milk does not begin flowing for three to five days after delivery, but your baby does receive colostrum, a thin, yellowish fluid that contains protien and antibodies to protect him from infection. Colostrum doesn't provide as many as calories or as much fluid as breastmilk, but it it still an important source of nutrition and immunity


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