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The first hours with your baby: a magical encounter!

 

The baby has arrived: this is the best day of my life! The 10 hours of labour have already been forgotten. The first touch, the first feed and the first bath ... I am experiencing new, strong emotions. I am discovering our little miracle - surely the world's most beautiful baby!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

After spending nine months in its mother's womb, your baby will be projected into a new world that will feel completely strange. Its first cries should not be disturbing to you - they are a vital reflex. It is up to you to accompany your baby on this journey of discovery ...

A very emotional first encounter

Once the birth is over, the midwife will place the baby on your abdomen. "Congratulations! It's a magnificent baby girl or boy" The first cries, the first looks, the first communication ... this wave of emotions will be remembered forever by the new parents! Nestled close to the warmth of your chest, your baby will discover your smell, recognise your voice and that of its father, hear your heartbeat and feel your caresses. In short, it will find its initial bearings, as will you.

A few minutes after the birth, it is time to cut the umbilical cord. This task is most often entrusted to the father. It is mainly a symbolic gesture but it is not obligatory! The procedure causes no pain to either the mother or the baby; there is thus no reason to be anxious.

The first feed may even take place before the placenta has been expelled. Your baby will naturally search for your breast (the rooting reflex) and try to suck on it (suckling reflex). You can help your baby by guiding him towards your nipple. The midwife will help you find the best position for both you and your baby, as well as the best way to handle this first feed.

The first examination

After its birth, your baby will be carefully examined to check its general good health. The medical staff will verify the baby's heartbeat, muscle tone, reflexes, temperature, weight and size (your baby's length will be measured), along with its cranial perimeter. Everything will be checked down to the last detail! An antibiotic lotion will be applied to the eyes and the baby will be given vitamin K drops (to counteract viral haemorrhagic disease in newborns). A very fine tube will be inserted into the baby's nose and throat to clear the respiratory passages: this may look drastic, but it is painless. The baby will already have been put through the famous "Apgar test" to verify its general vitality.

Once these various tasks have been accomplished, it is time for the first bath. This may be handled by the father, with the help of a paediatric nurse - a very emotional moment for him! Your baby will then be warmly dressed and returned to your room.

The little family is then reunited. Make the best of these first moments of calm, before all the visits start!

 

Opinion

Paul, father of Emma, 3 years

"When I saw my baby the first time, she was a shiny, crumpled-up little thing, bawling for all she was worth. She looking me straight in the eyes and that really threw me! I had shivers down my spine with the emotion of it all and my throat was completely constricted. And yes, I did find her magnificent."

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