What happens once my baby is born?

Once delivery of the infant is complete, your provider will cut the umbilical cord and get the baby's blood type. The team then checks your baby to make sure that he is breathing and moving well and they help wipe the baby off so that his body temperature does not drop, because babies can't regulate their temperature as well as we can yet.

The birthing team will then let you hold your baby - and encourage skin-to skin contact. A newborn will actually move toward the breast when placed on Mom's abdomen - a useful instinctive maneuver, as suckling by the infant stimulates Mom to release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract so the placenta can detach and be delivered. Most of the time you will receive a dose of oxytocin, either through your IV or as an intramuscular injection, to help restore uterine tone and decrease the amount of blood lost after delivery. (If you don't want to get oxytocin, you may be asked to stimulate your nipples, which also releases oxytocin.)

YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

More About this Book

YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

Can I get a cavity filled while pregnant? Will avoiding spicy foods make my kid a picky eater? Can I really increase my baby's IQ while she's in utero? Whether you're pregnant for the first time,...

Continue Learning about What Will Happen After Delivery & Pregnancy

How is the placenta delivered after the baby is born?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
The delivery team will help you deliver the placenta by applying pressure to your abdomen. They'll i...
More Answers
When will the provider cut the cord?
Boston Women's Health Book CollectiveBoston Women's Health Book Collective
After birth, your baby is still attached by the umbilical cord to the placenta inside you. There's n...
More Answers
What do newborns look like?
Ian Holzman, MDIan Holzman, MD
Newborns come in many shapes, sizes and colors! They can have a fair amount of hair or very little a...
More Answers
What are newborn screening tests?
Dr. Ian R. Holzman, MDDr. Ian R. Holzman, MD
Around the world, babies are tested for a wide variety of conditions that, if identified early, can ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.