Labor is stressful enough as it is, but you should think about some key things after you’ve given birth. You can include these in your birth plan, but ensure you actually carry them out on the day. Here’s what you need to do immediately after labor.
Hold Your Baby
Skin-to-skin contact offers several benefits for your child, so ensure you hold your baby as soon as possible. You’re more likely to experience less breast pain and anxiety, as well as better suckling during the first breastfeeding session. Babies who receive this skin-to-skin contact are also 12 times less likely to cry while in the observation period.
The World Health Organization recommends this care regardless of weight, gestational age, or birth setting. You can ask your doctor to do your child’s APGAR assessment with your baby on your chest.
Decide To Keep or Discard Your Placenta
If you don’t specify what you want the hospital to do with your placenta, they will discard it. You may want to keep it, however, to turn it into capsules that help guard against postpartum depression and increase your supply of breast milk. Talk with your doctor about what needs to happen so you can take your placenta with you.
Tell the Doctor Whether To Bathe Your Newborn
Bathing your newborn is something hospitals will want to do. Before a bath, your baby will be covered in the vernix, a naturally occurring biofilm that moisturizes and protects the infant from infection. You may want to delay that first bath for 24 hours to allow your child’s skin to absorb the vernix.
Choose Whether To Keep Cord Blood
Umbilical cord blood has significant healing potential, so you may want to research the process of keeping the blood. Keeping cord blood is an investment for the future, and it’s remarkably quick and easy to do.
Now that you know what you need to do immediately after labor, take a breath and enjoy this time with your newborn. Congratulations— you deserve it!