Your baby has entered the world and may not look like you imagined. Baby’s looks will change day to day, and after a few weeks, look more like the baby you had pictured in your dreams.
Here’s how we may care for your baby after birth.
- Apgar evaluation - a quick way to see if baby needs extra care immediately after birth. Your nurse can let you know if further care is needed. These five signs are evaluated:
- Heart rate
- Activity and muscle tone
- Skin color
- Eye care
- Antibiotic ointment is used in the eyes as a preventative measure for certain eye infections. This is usually done within the first two hours after birth.
- Vitamin K shot
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all newborns receive a shot of vitamin K in the thigh. Newborns usually have low levels of vitamin K and this vitamin is necessary for blood clotting. Ask your nurse how soon this injection will be given.
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that all newborns receive their first HepB shot before leaving the hospital. This immunization will be given to your baby in the opposite thigh they receive their vitamin K shot in. You will be given an immunization record with the date the baby received it, to continue recording when your child receives their vaccinations.
- Weight and measurements
- We will weigh your baby soon after birth, and measure length, chest circumference, and head circumference. Your baby will be weighed and measured at each of the pediatric check-ups.
- First feeding
- If you are breastfeeding, we will help you get the baby latched on to your breast within the first hour of life. If formula feeding, we will provide you with ready to feed bottles of infant formula.
- First bath
- Your baby will be given a sponge bath using a gentle baby soap, which you can take home with you and use later. Your nursing staff will demonstrate baby’s bath and encourage you to help with their care.