The First Moments After Birth

After the baby is born, most doctors, including myself, hold it in our lap momentarily, to allow baby blood in the placenta to pass by gravity through the umbilical cord back into the baby, and to wipe the baby as clean as possible with gauze squares. We feel this is a substitute for the animal mother's licking her baby. This probably has nothing to do with cleanliness but serves as a dermal reflex. It is amazing how many babies void or empty their bladders upon this stimulation. It has been reported in animals that if babies are deprived of this licking at birth, the kidneys do not function. Down through the ages, to be wet upon by a newborn was considered a blessing. We are delighted to know the kidneys work and indeed consider it a blessing.

Should the baby be extra "juicy," or have extra fluid in the lungs, the doctor may hold it upside down for a moment to help drain the fluid. However, in unmedicated births this is seldom necessary.

After these few minutes, the doctor will hand the baby directly to the mother to breast-feed. If the umbilical cord is too short for the baby to reach the breast, the mother and father may caress the baby while it lies crosswise on the mother's lower abdomen and the doctor clamps and cuts the cord.

Then the mother puts the baby to her breast, skin to skin, mother skin touching baby skin, and the attending nurse puts a warm baby blanket over the baby and the mother's hands. The mother should always leave her hands directly on the baby, gently massaging it under the covers, never through them!

During the few moments while the doctor is holding the baby low many things are happening. Your doctor will use a rubber bulb syringe to suck the mucus and salt water out of your baby's nose and mouth— he hasn't learned to spit or blow his nose as yet; you can teach him that later. The doctor will also be tilting the baby's head backward to let gravity assist in draining the nose, sinuses, and mouth. He will take gauze squares and be wiping the baby clean—or cleaner—during this time. Internally, miracles are happening. Valves are automatically closing in the umbilicus to prevent baby blood from running back in the cord. Valves are closing in the baby's heart, valves that remained open during the intrauterine life to direct blood through the cord and placenta to pick up oxygen and nourishment from the mother via the placental surface. Other valves that remained closed are now opening for the time, allowing the blood that used to go to the placenta for oxygen to circulate now through the baby's lungs, which now contain air for the first time. Isn't it a miracle that these parts know how to do these th things at the proper time?


What happens medically and biologically in the first moments after a baby is born.

Folksonomies: pregnancy childbirth

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 Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Bradley , Hathaway , Hathaway , Hathaway (2008-05-20), Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, Bantam, Retrieved on 2011-05-21
Folksonomies: pregnancy childbirth


14 JUN 2011

 Labor Memes

Memes about dealing with labor.
Folksonomies: pregnancy labor
Folksonomies: pregnancy labor