For parents, the first 24 hours of a child’s life can go by quickly and be a little daunting, so it is helpful to have a game plan for how they would like to spend that first day with their newborn.
As part of our series on breastfeeding, Carilion Clinic partnered with the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute to provide some insight into what milestones are important to consider for day one with baby.
- Skin-to-Skin Contact
In order to encourage early bonding and easier adjustment for your baby, it is important to consider skin-to-skin contact directly after birth. Requesting for your baby to be placed skin-to-skin also helps the child to learn to breastfeed and benefits the regulation of the baby’s temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and blood sugar levels.
You will want to continue to hold your baby skin-to-skin frequently during the first weeks.
- Baby’s First Bath
Babies are born with cream on their skin (called vernix) that is good for them. Your baby will be dried after birth, but you should delay the first bath until your baby is well adjusted to his or her new life with you.
Ask that you and your baby stay in the same room, day and night, for your entire hospital stay (unless medical procedure requires separation). This promotes less crying for your baby, more rest, infant weight gain and fast bonding and milk production.
This also allows parents to better recognize infant cues, therefore improving their confidence. It is also helpful to plan on having another adult also stay in your hospital room to assist.