Congratulations! Your baby is finally here! Let us unfold what the first 24 hours with your newborn baby will look like.
Birth of your child is an extremely joyous and emotional occasion. From the moment they are born, you’ll learn to bond with the little one and care for them. The first 24 hours of your baby are crucial and important, as doctors check for his/her health conditions, weight, the Apgar score and the ballad score. Taking care of a newborn is not easy - be it the mother or the father. Even though the medical procedures vary across hospitals, this timeline will give you a brief idea about how the first 24 hours of the baby will unfold.
First few seconds after birth
A couple of seconds after birth, you should hear your little one’s first cry. This is to ensure that there is no blockage in the respiratory tract. Following this, the nurses will clear the amniotic fluid and mucus from your baby’s mouth and nostrils to check if both the nostrils are fully functional. Post this, your baby would start breathing on their own.
First 5 and 10 Minutes
Typically, after your little starts to breathe on their own, the doctor cuts or lets your partner cut the umbilical cord. Post this, your doctor will evaluate the baby for the Apgar score. Apgar score is based on the baby’s heart rate, color, reflexes response, and breathing. This is determined at 1 minute and 5 minutes post-delivery. This test score ranges from a scale of 1 to 10, but anything above 7 is considered completely normal. If your baby’s apgar score is below 7, there is nothing to worry about. Babies with low apgar count will still grow up to be healthy and happy.
First one hour with the little one
The first 24 hours of the baby begins with the baby being given antibiotic eye creams to avoid any infections and vitamin K shots in thighs to prevent any blood clot. Then the baby is wrapped, covered in sheets, and diapered. You can start breastfeeding if you are comfortable and up for it. This is an amazing time to start bonding for the three of you.
2-3 hours post-birth
Now that your baby is done with the initial round of testing, you and your little one could spend time in your hospital’s recovery room. You can also feed the baby if the little one is up and you are comfortable. Sometime now, the nurse examines your baby to make sure she’s adjusting to her life outside the womb. The nurse would also check the baby for pulse, abdomen, make sure her genitals are formed properly, and verify the baby has a full set of fingers and toes.
The nurse also records the ballad score, in which the baby’s head circumference, chest circumference, and length are measured to confirm her gestational age. If your baby is premature, she would be kept at the NICU. Where they could monitor the heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate could be monitored closely every 30 minutes.
Hours 4 to 22
In this period, you’ll experience many of your baby’s firsts like, first bath, diaper change after your baby’s first poo. You would also learn how to nurse your baby, hold and swaddle the baby. You’ll also learn how to care for umbilical-cord stumps. If you have opted for breastfeeding, you’d be feeding the munchkin every 2-3 hours in the first 24 hours of the baby. The baby might fall asleep halfway through nursing and be asleep for almost around 6 hours. The best way to rest is to get some sleep while the little one is asleep. Your nurse might ask you to keep feeding to avoid any pain in your breasts. Your baby will have a pediatrician’s visit to ensure the baby is doing alright and healthy.
During this time, you might have your friends and family visiting you and the little one. This is a joyous occasion for everybody. But make sure to ask them to wash their hands or use a sanitizer before holding the baby. Be sure to not wake the baby-up or cause any noise around the baby.
23rd and 24th hour
During this period, your pediatrician will formally evaluate the baby. This could be your little one’s first physical examination, during this, the doctor will look for malformation, signs of infections, jaundice, monitor breathing and feeding. Your doctor would generally encourage you to feed as frequently as possible to check for the baby’s bowel movements. In addition to all the routine check-ups, your baby would be evaluated for various potential infections and disorders, including sickle cell anaemia. By this time, your baby would know that you’re the mother by your voice and heartbeat. Remember, the baby can hear your voice and recognize it from the womb.
If you have a vaginal delivery, you would be discharged from the hospital within 48 hours, if both of you are healthy and alright. If you have a c-section, you’d be staying in the hospital for about a week. Make sure to get essentials to the hospital beforehand to avoid unnecessary trips to home by your partner.
Post this, you would be getting doctors visiting you on rounds to monitor and make sure you and your little one is alright. Can you believe that your baby’s first day is officially over now? This day would be etched in your memory forever. The happiness of holding your baby for the first time surpasses everything you were worried about. You now have plenty of time to put all your plans into action.