Yay! The baby is here! Now the real fun can begin. Well, that is after all the phone calls are made and mom transfers to the post-delivery room at the hospital and she gets a chance to ogle her baby... Come to think about it, the list of things mom has to do immediately after birth is pretty lengthy and one can bet that a lot of new moms have never even considered this list of things.
With setting up the nursery and making sure the car seat is secure and learning how to properly fasten a diaper—wait which way is the back again?—there is a lot to do!
Ready to mentally prep that mom brain and add about 20 more items to that to-do list? Well, look no further. We've compiled a list of 20 things that mom has to do in the hospital immediately after birth, give or take an hour, most of the things on this list are rather unexpected for the first time mom, so don't be too upset if there is not a pre-made footnote already on the birth plan. (There is already a birth plan, right?)
So mom to be, get ready to be awed and feel just that much more sure about what's about to go down post-baby. Enjoy!
20 The Afterbirth
Yes, mom you are truly lucky, you don't get to give birth just once, but immediately after the birth of your baby you get to have what is called the after birth. So yes you are technically delivering twice. So once your baby is out, mom has to push out the sack that was providing all his or her nutrients. Not to worry though, Healthline says that delivering the placenta really isn't that bad. It's pretty soft, there are no bones or muscles so that part of the delivery is relatively seamless. The only thing is that failure to properly deliver the placenta could cause some really serious side effects for mom.
19 Have You Thought About Cord Plasma?
Have you considered storing your little one's cord plasma in a blood bank? You need to make the decision immediately after birth, so if you haven't thought about it, now may be a good time. Not to mention that you have to research different plasma banks and reserve a location where you can pick up for your little one's fresh DNA.
According to WebMD, saving cord plasma can be pretty advantageous down the road since the stem cells inside the cord "can treat cancer, [different] diseases like anemia, and some immune system disorders." And the process is painless for mother and baby.
18 Ice, Kegel, Repeat
There is bound to be a bit of swelling, even if you delivered via C-section. The best thing to do after birth is to ice it, tone it, and repeat as often as you need to and as soon after delivering the baby as you are ready. If there is anything you remember, it should be ice, Kegel, repeat.
Kegel exercises really help to tone things and the sooner and more often mom starts the more bladder control she will have and the sooner she will feel like herself. The ice is just great for cooling things down. Since a human just took an exit, things are bound to be a bit sore.
17 What's Your Take On Bathing Baby Right After Birth?
Want your little one to soak up that vernix, or do you want to hold him or her and get that gunk off? Immediately after birth, you need to decide. Women have all sorts of reasons for wanting to delay bathing their baby. Having that special bonding time is probably first on the list, but it has become such a common practice for many doctors to take the baby, bathe them, and then return them to the mother later. Announcing whether or not mom wants to bathe the baby is something that should be announced pretty immediately after birth. There's no time to waste.
16 Circumcise or Nah?
If you have a baby boy you may need to decide pretty quickly after you deliver whether or not you want your little boy circumcised. While it's a common tradition in some cultures to circumcise, others choose not to for a few different reasons. But regardless of your decision, it's one mom will surely have to make not too long after birth. Some nurses can schedule it later, but if mom is hoping for a same day leave from the hospital, it's better to let doctors and hospital staff know what's what immediately after the birth of a little boy.
15 Hold On! Stop That Placenta!
You may want to keep your placenta, if that's the case, you should tell your doctor immediately after birth. Even delaying an ask for several minutes could be too late in certain cases since most hospitals treat the placenta as biohazardous waste and dispose of it relatively quickly after the afterbirth.
According to Healthline, keeping the placenta can have some huge benefits, like warding off postpartum depression to increasing breast milk supply. Some moms choose to write their wishes for their placenta in the birth plan, while others let nurses know on the spot. In any case, it may be helpful to make sure your partner is on the same page so he or she can make sure you get what you want.
14 Moving Around After Baby Is Beneficial, But Will You Feel Like It?
You may not be feeling particularly up to it right after giving birth. In fact, most mothers just want to sleep. But yes, it does help to get things moving, as early as one hour after giving birth. Who knew? Don't overdo it though. Although it can be hard, try to listen to your body to know when it is time to rest, even though your body hasn't been yours in a while the indicators will still be there. Even if mom delivered via C-section, quick trips to and from the hospital bed to the bathroom will really help speed along with healing. Careful of overusing those abs though!
13 Check For Clots
Immediately after birth, mom will undergo an inspection from doctors and nurses to make sure everything is normal in her uterus and birth canal, then she will undergo another check, and then another and then another... One of the things the hospital staff is checking for is clots. After birth some clotting is common but if you or your doctors notice any clots that are particularly on the larger side, those can be extremely harmful. That being said, you and doctors need to be diligent at keeping an eye out.
According to the MSD Manual, these clots can migrate and produce serious complications, so if you're feeling a bit off, let someone know.
12 Do You Have The Strength To Hold The Baby?
Some may think this is obvious, but have you given birth? Do you realize how tired you will be? Chances are after all that pushing or anesthesia, you will probably just want to sleep, and rightfully so. But immediately after birth, you will have to hold and occupy a squirming little baby.
According to Verywellfamily.com, a newborn is most alert one hour after mom first gives birth to them. That means that for an entire hour after pushing and doing some pretty impressive work, you now get to occupy a little baby. This is a nice bonding time for mom and her newborn so take it all in. Enjoy.
11 Don't Push It (Literally)
After all that pushing you may have the urge to go to the bathroom, just don't strain or push too hard. We know, it can feel like bricks, just as the expression goes. If things get a little too painful, feel free to ask the hospital staff for a laxative but try not to delay going, that will only make things worse for mom, later. So go when you have to go, just don't strain and be kind to yourself (like we mentioned before). Listen to your body, mom; you will know what to do. It may take a few tries but things will eventually feel back to normal.
10 When Is It Too Early To Cut The Cord?
Some hospitals will ask if mom wants to delay cord clamping so that baby can get all the good liquids from the placenta post birth. Others won't and that's something mom has to speak up about immediately after birth. The window of time available for mom to speak up about her wish to clamp or not clamp is really important, so if necessary, let someone else know on your birthing team what your wishes are so that they are properly carried through. Delaying cord cutting is shown to have advantages especially for premature babies, however, the jury is still out on how much it actually benefits full-term babies.
9 (Necessary) Shots
Vitamin K and Hepatitis B shots are usually given to your little one at birth. Mom needs to either refuse or request these shots be administered immediately following the birth of her little one. These shots are one of those routine procedures that happen in almost every hospital right after delivery. The reason? About 9,000 of the 18,000 children annually infected with a disease that's easily dealt with when these shots are given, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. But there are concerns that the risks of a serious reaction to the shot may actually outweigh its advantages. That said, you can request that your child does not get the vaccine right after birth.
8 Take A Relaxing Shower! (No Baths Though)
After birth, mothers are encouraged to shower unless they deliver by C-section, at which point they could wait several hours, but regardless of what method you delivered, you have to hold off on bath time. I know! Nothing sounds better than the idea of a relaxing bath after all that work. No luck, however, mom. Baths are strictly prohibited until otherwise okayed by the doctor. Instead, try a nice steamy shower, it may be a pain to stand but that warm water will be a nice soothing way to help mom feel like herself again. It's a nice way to get cleaned up too after all that work.
Birthing a baby can be sweaty work. Mom needs to rehydrate immediately after giving birth to help her heal. Health blog Mind Body Green encourages mom to drink half her birth pounds in ounces of water. This is a decent rule of thumb since again, mom will lose a pretty hefty amount of fluids when she delivers the baby. Don't be shy about asking for lots of water or even fruit juices, keeping mom's sugar levels up is just as important and is an essential part of hydration. And hey, if you're feeling up to it why not celebrate, it's a cause of celebration and you've shied away from any bubbly for nine months. Enjoy.
6 To Breastfeed Or Not To Breastfeed — That Is The Question
It may come as a surprise that mom should try breastfeeding immediately after birth, but that's the case, in some hospitals mom can even delay bathing the baby in order to try to practice skin to skin and help baby latch on. For moms who wish to formula feed, skin to skin is still something that happens pretty soon after birth and it can help promote maternal bonding. But babies typically eat a bit later since their bellies are still a bit full of amniotic fluid. So mom, if you're into breastfeeding, moms are encouraged to give it a try immediately following birth. In fact, some moms even ask to delay bathing the baby so they can try to bond and breastfeed first. Pretty cool, right?
5 Be The Mom And Take Charge
Don't allow others to push you into making slapdash decisions about your baby or his or her care. Immediately after your little one is born you transform into not only his or her mom, but you become their voice and advocate, too. We know it's a big responsibility, but luckily for you, you have the rest of his or her life to get it just right, but the job starts immediately after you give birth. So, not sure about that treatment plan? You would rather them sleep in the room with you? You're the mom now. Say something.
4 See A Nurse Or Midwife
If you give birth at a birthing center, a midwife should stay for a while directly following the birth and then come back to check on you and your baby. If in a hospital, a nurse should make rounds and come to see you and check on how you're feeling almost every hour on the hour for the duration of your hospital stay. That may sound like a lot of attention, and it is, but that's a good thing. Catching any signs that something is not just right can really be a saver for both mom and baby. So embrace the attention and enjoy that sweet baby smell.
3 Deal With Contractions, AGAIN!
Yes, after you deliver you will notice that your body contracts, again, this is mom's uterus going back down to size. This is probably the least welcoming entry on this list. Sorry to say this mom, but you will have contractions again immediately after birth for the afterbirth (and daily) for up to several weeks after you deliver.
Depending on if mom breastfeeds or not depends on the intensity of her contractions. Some moms say that they barely felt any contractions at all. But now that the baby's out, moms body has to work overtime getting back to normal. Luckily mom will have some pain meds to help.
2 What's In A Name?
If mom hasn't already, she'll need to come up with a name for her little one shortly after birth as she'll be required to fill out the birth certificate. It may seem like a ton of pressure, choosing a name that someone will have for the rest of his or her life. And it kind of is, but trust us, filling out the birth certificate paperwork before you leave the hospital can really save everyone (especially mom) a ton of trouble. You see, when the birth paperwork is filled out at the hospital, it's also filed from the hospital directly so there is no need to mail it, wait for a response or anything.
1 Device Pairing
Immediately after birth, your newborn will be equipped with a tracking device that mom will have to scan in to match her own wrist band that she received when she first checked into the hospital. Only one-hour-old and you and your newborn will already be twinning! This form of device pairing is a security measure that keeps you and your baby safe and ensures that no one can leave with your baby except you. There are numbers encoded onto your wrist band and that will let everyone know that he or she is yours. Pretty cool huh? In some hospitals even walking too close to the door with the babies device without the mom will force a hospital shutdown. Careful.
References: Healthline, WebMD, Healthline