When you're a first-time parent, you have lots of questions. It can sometimes be a confusing and overwhelming time, especially in the first few days. ValleyCare Medical Foundation Pediatricians Christi Klimisch, MD and Yatin Shah, MD offer this brief overview of what to expect in the moments and days after birth.
This is your baby's first "test." It's performed immediately after birth to evaluate baby's overall responsiveness, heart rate, breathing, color, tone and reflexes. The results lets the doctors and nurses know if your baby needs extra help transitioning to the outside world.
First Procedures After Birth
Right after birth, a few initial procedures are performed, which include: clearing nasal passages with a suction bulb; measuring weight, head circumference and length; and administering eye ointment to prevent possible infection from bacteria in the birth canal.
While mom rests, the baby is given his or her first bath in the room.
Within the first hour after birth, the baby will get his or her first feeding. How you choose to feed your newborn is one of the most important initial decisions you will make. Moms are encouraged to try breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six month of life, as it provides ideal nutrition and is sufficient to support optimal growth and development. There are also numerous benefits to both mom and baby.
A vitamin K injection is administered and is necessary for normal blood clotting. A Hepatitis B vaccine is also recommended.
Your baby will undergo the Newborn Screening Test for metabolic, endocrine, hemoglobin and genetic diseases. Your baby will also have a hearing screen performed. This is a simple, painless procedure to detect hearing loss. Both of these screening tests are done to help detect problems early for the most successful treatment and outcomes.
If you have a boy, you will want to plan ahead of time whether or not to have your son circumcised. You should discuss the procedure with your pediatrician in advance. If the parents choose circumcision, most doctors recommend that it take place within the first few weeks after birth.