mum hugging her newborn child

By Dr Janice TUNG, Associate Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

What's Happening to Your Baby?

Your baby's finally here! Baby's health will be assessed right after delivery. Many babies born by vaginal labour have a slightly misshapen head due to their soft skull pushing its way out so don't be alarmed if you see that. Babies can only see 2.5cm in front of them at birth, so be sure to talk to them as soon as possible after delivery and try skin-to-skin contact. This is where you hold your naked baby on your bare chest with your skin touching. Skin-to-skin helps to calm your baby, and strengthens the amazing bond between you and your baby.

Your baby may lose up to 10 percent of its birth weight during the first week of life, but don't be alarmed, this is normal.

Related: 5 Things You Should Plan Before Baby's Arrival

What's Happening to You?

Breastfeeding is not only good for your baby, it's great for you too. Early breastfeeding helps your womb contract faster and reduces blood loss after labour. It's also a great way to burn calories and helps get you back to your pre-birth weight. Benefits to your baby include sustaining them with vital vitamins and minerals to survive. It's easier to digest, helps stave off infections, and can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

If you're not able to get enough breast milk at this time, consider infant milk formula as an alternative. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

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Read these next:

  • Am I in Labour?
  • Birth Plan
  • What to Pack and What to Expect in the Delivery Suite