What To Expect The first 24 hours after you have a baby.Below is EVERYTHING you can expect during the first 24 hours. I’ve got you covered. You’ve got this.
What Happens With Baby First
Once your babe is born he’ll be given to you. The skin on skin contact is very important and you should be the first to meet your baby. You’ll get to hold your baby for a while and even try breastfeeding if that’s your plan. I got to hold my second baby for an hour before handing him over. He latched on to the breast right away and he had no trouble at all.
After a while, they will take the baby and clean him, put ointment on his eyes, and give him Vitamin K drops. The ointment prevents eye infections and Vitamin K is important because it helps his blood clot. After these steps are taken they will put a hospital band on your babe and then take ink footprints of him.
What Happens With You First
While you’re holding your sweet babe the nurses will begin to massage your stomach to help your birth the Placenta. This is not fun and for me, it was pretty painful. It feels like a dull ache and more labor pains but the discomfort is numbed by the fact that you are finally holding onto your baby. Once the placenta is out they will go ahead and cut the umbilical cord if they haven’t already. In my case, they waited till I had birthed it but it all depends.
Your doctor or midwife will begin giving you stitches if your perineum has a tear after the placenta has been birthed. They will also monitor your blood pressure and your blood loss to make sure you’re ok and that everything is going according to plan.
You and your baby will stay in the birthing room for two to three hours post-birth and you’ll be able to eat and clean yourself up some. Then they’ll move you to the postnatal ward for a one to two-night stay. If you had a C-section you will stay for four nights.
They want you to stay so they can monitor your recovery and watch the baby as well to make sure he’s healthy and thriving.
So What Happens Next?
You make it to your recovery room and you’re wondering how things will go from here.
Well, first of all, you’ll get settled in and they’ll take the IV out of your arm if they haven’t already. They usually leave it in until now just in case there is an emergency or they feel the need to administer some medication to you. Speaking of medication, You’ll feel pretty beat up during this time so when they offer your pain meds, go right ahead and take them. You’ll need them.
They’ll want you to use the bathroom pretty quickly so they can make sure everything is functioning properly. If you had an epidural they’ll wheel you in the bathroom to pee on this stand-up wheelchair device. Or perhaps a regular wheelchair depending on where you go to have your baby. They often use the stand-up device because they want you to use your legs as quickly as possible after the epidural. It just promotes recovery and healing and it lets them know you’re alright.
It’s not fun to use the bathroom the first time. You’re likely numb and you can barely do it or you’re not and it burns like a mother. These are not fun moments but you have to get the job done.
As far as your uterus goes, you’ll be having cramps that can be as bad as labor pains. This is caused by your uterus shrinking up and the pain is worse when you breastfeed.
The breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract more, and that’s a good thing. It just doesn’t feel so great. If you’re torn down there it will swell up really bad like an open rose and it is super uncomfortable. Even if you don’t tear you will be really swollen. They’ll offer you these mesh underwear and pads along with ice packs to sit on to help keep you as clean and comfortable as possible. You will bleed heavily for the first 24 hours with some big clots.
What’s Next For Baby
Your baby will stay with you so you can bond and respond easily to their needs. You will begin your breastfeeding journey ( if you intend to do so ) at the hospital and you will practice a lot. When the baby isn’t nursing he will likely be sleeping.
Babies are very tired after birth, he will probably sleep most of those first few days, so get rest when you can.
While you are getting to know baby make sure you are skin to skin often. This releases hormones like oxytocin that are good for you both. It helps your baby thrive better too.
Your baby should be able to recognize that you’re his or her mother by the sound of your voice and heartbeat. It’s a familiar sound and it brings great comfort to your babe.
When he is awake he will hear you and likely try to turn his sweet little head towards you. When he nurses your colostrum will taste familiar like the amniotic fluid in the womb and this will also be comforting.