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What to expect after your baby’s birth

Immediately after birth, while your midwives are concentrating on the 3rd stage of labour, your baby will be passed straight to you and dried for skin-to-skin.

Skin-to-skin time helps to soothe and calm your baby, helps with bonding and attachment and is important for their brain development.

Skin-to-skin contact also helps to regulate body temperature and supports early interaction and communication with your baby. Your partner can also experience the positive effects of skin-to-skin, helping to kick start the bonding and attachment process. Skin-to-skin time helps prevent allergies in later life and aids in the development of your baby’s immune system.

Read more about skin-to-skin contact.

After delivery, your midwife will assess your baby using the APGAR score. This is an assessment of your baby’s health at one minute, five minutes and ten minutes after birth.

Physical checks

Your midwife will perform a complete physical check of your baby. Your baby will be weighed, their temperature will be checked and vitamin K will be offered.

In newborns, vitamin K can prevent a rare, but potentially fatal, bleeding disorder called vitamin K deficiency bleeding. Babies can be given one injection in hospital after they are born, or you could choose oral vitamin K drops which are given in three doses; one dose at birth, a second dose between day 4 and day 7 and the third dose on day 28.

The hospital will inform your community midwife of your discharge and it is important that your address and phone number are documented correctly before you leave. For information on registering your baby’s birth, click here.

Useful links

Page last reviewed: 28-07-2021

Next review due: 28-07-2024