When a baby is fully delivered, the mom often feels a wave of both physical and emotional release.
While she will probably be distinctly aware of what is happening in her body, it is likely that she is unsure of what her baby is experiencing. New babies are in a completely different environment and adapting to their new surroundings isn’t always easy. There are certain things that your baby is probably going through immediately after birth. Most of these experiences are completely normal, but can be alarming if you don’t understand what is happening.
What Your Baby Looks Like
Newborns are soft, pink and peaceful; at least, that’s the traditional picture that new moms envision. In reality, many newborns have a blue or purplish tinge to their skin as their lungs take in their first breaths and begin to transfer oxygen throughout their body. Newborns are also covered with a thick, white coating known as vernix. This should be rubbed off by your birth attendants, but some may still remain on your baby’s skin. Don’t worry about washing if off; it will soak into your baby’s skin.
Your baby’s cord is his lifeline to your own body while he was in your uterus. Once born, the cord is clamped and cut. This happens immediately after birth. Once the cord is cut, it begins the process of drying out and dropping off. It is normal for the cord to bleed slightly and ooze. Keep it protected from moisture as much as possible.
Newborn babies will begin to shiver if they aren’t covered and protected right after birth. Babies do not have the same ability to regulate their body temperature that adults do. Because of this, your baby should be quickly wrapped in a blanket, dressed and have their head covered. Close contact with the mom is also a good way to keep a baby warm.
As soon as your baby is born, he should have fully-developed suckling reflexes. Many moms begin breastfeeding before the placenta is fully delivered. If your baby is tired or not interested, the first feeding can be delayed. While both your body and your baby are designed to work in harmony, some new moms need a lactation professional to establish a healthy breastfeeding relationship.