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Your Baby Is Here! Now What? A Guide to the First Few Minutes of Your Baby's Life

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A lot happens to your newborn in their first few minutes of life!

Remember that all the activities mentioned in this article are explained by experts at Baby Box University!

Every hospital and birthing center has their own policies and recommendations, so make sure to check. And if you aren't comfortable with any of the steps - or want to skip one - discuss this with your caregivers and include it in your birth plan now, so your preferences aren't accidentally skipped over in the rush of delivery.

You can expect the following things to happen at most hospitals and birthing centers after your baby makes her appearance:

1. The umbilical cord is cut (and cord blood is banked, if you opted to do so).

2. Her nose and mouth will be suctioned, as necessary.

3. Your baby is wiped off and given to you for some skin-to-skin bonding time.

4. Your caregiver will observe your baby and give her an Apgar score, assessing her health and well-being.

5. You can initiate breastfeeding, if you choose to do so.

6. After some time spent together bonding, your baby will be taken away from you briefly to be bathed and dressed. During this time, you will be both be given ID bracelets, and your baby will have her footprint taken.

7. Your baby will be weighed and measured and receive her first pediatric exam.

8. Your baby will be given a vitamin K injection (to promote clotting) and antibiotic ointment for her eyes (unless you've declined either of these).

9. Your baby will be given a hepatitis B vaccine (unless you've opted to wait).

10. Your baby will receive undergo several tests and assessments, including a heel stick blood test to look for PKU, and a hearing test. 

11. When your baby is all clean and ready, she will be brought back to you for more breastfeeding and bonding, and she'll stay with you in your room if you've opted to have her do so.

12. During your hospital stay, you will be asked to fill out forms for your baby's new birth certificate and social security card.

Keep in mind that all these steps may vary slightly from place to place and from practitioner to practitioner. Also, in the event that you or your baby have any labor or delivery complications, or other health problems, some of these steps may change.


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