Your brand new baby right after birth

Even though you’ve had 40 weeks to get used to the idea, suddenly you have a tiny human being to look after – they’re completely dependent on you and unfortunately they can’t explain what’s happening or how they’re feeling. Here are a few points to help you understand what’s going on in their world.

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  • Check up – your baby will be thoroughly checked by your doctor or midwife and given an injection of Vitamin K (if you agree) to prevent any excess bleeding.
  • Temperature – your baby will be particularly sensitive to temperature. It’s important that they’re kept warm and dry.
  • Breastfeeding –your baby will most likely be put to the breast straight away.  Babies can feed virtually any time after birth, but don’t worry if he or she takes a while to get the hang of it. 
  • Touch – your baby will most likely enjoy being picked up and gently rocked. They are used to movement during the pregnancy, so recreating that sensation may be  comforting.
  • Smell and taste – new babies haven’t fully developed either of these yet. They’ll be able to distinguish your smell, and turn away from things they don’t like – that’s about it. They are born with a preference for the sweetish taste of your breast milk.
  • Hearing – soft rhythmic noises are good. These sounds might remind your baby of being safe in your womb and will seem comforting. Not surprisingly, loud sudden noises aren’t popular.
  • Sight – new babies don’t have fully developed vision yet. You might notice them shutting their eyes tightly against bright light to begin with – this is their blinking reflex. They can’t focus their eyes they way adults do yet, they’ll be able to see things around 18 -30 centimetres from the best. That’s usually about how far away your face is from theirs when you’re holding them.

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