The first 24 hours
Some mums enjoy their time in hospital while others find it stressful and can’t wait to get home. By the time you go home, however, you will have been shown the basics of baby care, including bathing, feeding and keeping your baby safe.
Most maternity units now recommend that babies stay with their mums 24 hours a day in hospital, called ‘rooming in’. This helps with feeding and bonding. It also reduces the risk of infection.
Giving birth can be an exhausting experience, so you may not want visits from anyone but those closest to you. Don’t be afraid to say you’re not up to lots of visitors – partners and grandparents can be helpful in suggesting people don’t come to visit until later.
Screening in the first 24 hours
When your baby is born the midwife will begin a series of screening tests which will include checking of:
- the palate
- hips for signs of dislocation
- cardiovascular system
- femoral pulses.
Your baby’s birthweight, head circumference and length will also be recorded
Within the first ten days
You’ll usually be visited several times at home during the first ten days. Some new parents need to be seen more than others and additional support will be provided for babies who have additional needs or who needed treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit.
You can help your hospital by answering a questionnaire that a health professional may give you. The information you provide will help them continually improve the care that they give to mums in labour. You can choose whether or not you take part and all the information will be kept strictly confidential.
Your midwife will record your baby’s weight during the first ten days of her life and also carry out a newborn bloodspot test. She will record the feeding method you have chosen for your baby and answer any questions you may have.