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Baby’s Here! What’s Next?

Baby’s Here! What’s Next?

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Baby’s Here! What’s Next?

You have been waiting for your baby’s arrival and he is finally here. Here is a guide on what you can expect to happen at the hospital and later at home.

Baby — what he would go through

  • Your baby will have his weight, length and head circumference measured at birth.
  • His temperature, breathing rate and heart rate will also be noted.
  • Your baby will be given a vitamin K injection to prevent the possibility of bleeding.
  • A doctor will give your baby a thorough check-up within the first 24 hours.
  • Your baby will be given his first immunisations: Hepatitis B (first dose) and BCG.
  • He will also have a newborn hearing screening, usually by day one or day two.
  • It is recommended that newborns be sent for metabolic screening. Do check with your doctor regarding this test.

Mummy — what to expect and what to do

  • If you and your baby are well with no medical concerns, you are encouraged to place your baby on your chest within five minutes after delivery for at least an hour of skin-to-skin contact. Your baby’s suckling reflex is most intense in the first hour after birth. Guide him when he shows signs of readiness to feed.
  • You will be able to rest in the labour ward (or observation ward if you had a caesarean) before being transferred to your room.
  • If you and your baby’s condition permit, you can request to room-in 24 hours a day with your baby in your room to facilitate breastfeeding and promote bonding. Let your baby suckle on demand.
  • Make the most of your time in hospital to learn how to breastfeed properly. Do not be afraid to ask for help, especially in latching your baby onto your breast when you have easy access to the nurses and lactation consultants.
  • Check the timing for babycare workshops provided by the hospitals on breastfeeding and bathing your newborn. Attend these sessions with your husband so that he can learn to help with caring for the baby.
  • You will have bleeding (lochia) for a few weeks. This is normal. But if you seem to be bleeding excessively, alert the doctors or nurses.
  • If you have difficulty passing urine or having pain, get help.
  • You can usually go home 1-3 days after a normal delivery. If you had a caesarean, you may go home after 3-5 days.
  • You will see your doctor again 4-6 weeks later to check that the episiotomy wound has healed well and that you are coping well with motherhood. A Pap smear will also be conducted. Notify the clinic for a change of appointment if you are having your period. You may wish to discuss contraception with your doctor at this time.
  • At home, make sure that you eat healthy meals and get proper rest.
  • Provide a totally tobacco-free environment for your baby’s well-being. Opening windows and doors does not protect your baby from second-hand smoke as toxins from tobacco smoke (now known as third-hand smoke) settle on surfaces such as sofas, curtains, carpets as well as clothing and hair, and can take a long while to go away. These toxins may get into your baby’s body though contact while he plays or crawls or while he is being carried by a smoker.

This article was originally published on the website of the Health Promotion Board. Reproduced with permission.

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