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What happens straight after birth

What happens straight after birth

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Many pregnant women and their partners get so caught up in what will happen during labour and birth that they find themselves not knowing what to expect afterwards. If you’re wondering what will happen straight after your baby is born, here is our guide to after the birth.


As soon as your baby is born the first thing to happen will usually be cuddles. The midwife will hand the baby to the mother for skin-on-skin time, allowing you a chance to meet your new arrival. Your baby may be covered in blood and vernix from the birthing process, so if you prefer you can ask the midwife to give them a quick clean first.

Delivering the placenta

When your baby arrives they’ll still be attached to the placenta via the umbilical cord. There are drugs available that encourage the placenta to be delivered more quickly but these are optional. After your baby is born you will feel the urge to push again and this will deliver the placenta. The midwife will check it to make sure none of it is left inside the mother.

What happens straight after birth

Cutting the cord

The umbilical cord will then be clamped and cut. The father or birthing partner will have the option to do this or you can leave it to medical staff if you feel a little squeamish about it. Once the cord is cut your newborn will be checked over by the midwife and wrapped to keep her warm before she is handed back to you for more cuddles. If you’re in hospital then a band will be put around the baby’s ankle or wrist. This will have your name on it and minimises the already very small risk of babies getting mixed up.

Special needs

Sometimes babies need a little attention when they’re first born, for example to give them extra oxygen to help them start breathing on their own. If this is the case your midwife will keep you informed of what’s going on and your baby will be given to you as soon as possible.

Vitamin K injection

You should receive information about the Vitamin K injection before you reach full term in your pregnancy. The midwife will check with you and your partner whether you want to have it administered and if so, your baby will be given the injection. Vitamin K helps prevent a rare bleeding disorder in newborns and is available as an oral solution if you’d rather your baby didn’t get the injection.

Tears and cuts

During the birth you might have experienced tears and cuts as the baby made their way out. In the case of mild abrasions you probably won’t receive any stitches as these heal best when left alone. However, something more significant will need to be stitched up. Stitches are usually carried out in the labour suite by a midwife, who will inject a local anaesthetic to numb the area. You should still be able to hold your newborn while the stitches are done. However, sometimes surgery is needed and you may have to wait for an anaesthetist to become available. In this case, your baby will usually stay with the father or your birthing partner while you are treated.


Once all that is done and dusted, the proud parents will be left to relax, shower and enjoy getting to know their new arrival.








About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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