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What Happens After Delivery: All the Important Details

The first 4 hours can be scary, wonderful, and yes – gross! Here are some things to prepare for your moments as a new mom!


After Delivery

Immediately after you give birth, your baby will most likely be placed on your chest, cleaned and dried, and sometimes wrapped in a warm blanket. Usually the labor and delivery room is kept warm, so a blanket is not always necessary, but skin to skin contact is very important. Baby will then be given an injection of Vitamin K while he is on your chest and antibiotic ointment is placed in his eyes (he can see through this). Some babies will be encouraged to breast feed; this helps deliver the remaining placenta in your womb.



Delivering the Placenta

You just gave birth, but you still need to deliver your placenta, which usually takes place within 15-30 minutes after delivery. Breastfeeding your baby will help your uterus contract, which then helps deliver the placenta. Your abdomen may be massaged by one of your nurses to also ease your placenta out; once out you may lose a lot of blood. If you lose too much, nurses will be prepared with a shot to help control the bleeding.



Clean Up

Your doctor, midwife or nurse will then inspect your genital area for tears, lacerations, or your episiotomy if it was preformed. You will receive numbing medication prior to any medical care. If you receive an episiotomy, you will receive stitches; if you have a tear or cuts you will be cleaned with warm water and a sanitary pad will be placed under you. You are going to probably be very cold, thus a warm blanket and fresh clothing will generally be provided.



Time for Baby

After you are cleaned up and warm, baby will most likely be weighted and measured, if he hasn’t been already. His footprints and handprints will be taken; make sure to ask the nurse for copies right then so they can make additional prints for you. You and your partner will be able to spend the next couple of hours with baby before friends and relatives see him. After delivery, you will probably spend the first two hours in the delivery room. Doctors will continue to monitor baby and you. It is important to hold baby skin to skin, and your partner should too! Talk to baby, he already knows your voice. Give baby kisses and take this time to bond.


Moving from Delivery Room to Post-Delivery Room

After the first couple of hours, you will be moved to your post-delivery room where you will be for the next 24-72 hours, depending on how you and baby are doing. You will likely be wheeled there, as you will be too weak yet to walk. Your baby will be wheeled in a hospital basinet where baby will sleep when not in your arms. You will be provided with shirts for baby, diapers, wipes, and a pump if you need it. This is the time to rest. If you have friends and family coming, let them spend time with baby and let you rest if you want. There will be few moments to yourself for a while, so take advantage of it!


There are many more beautiful moments occurring soon, but a mother rarely forgets her first few moments as a mom. Don’t forget it is ok to ask for space and rest after your delivery – after all you just ran a marathon! That being said, you are not a terrible mother for keeping you baby in the nursery for the night. Remember, you need rest too! The painful part is done, now see How to Survive Your First 90 Days!



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