Before the arrival of a baby and in the days after birth, it is normal for new parents to have many questions. Will they take after Mom or Dad? Will they be an introvert or an extrovert? What will be their inclinations, tastes, and temperament? 

The arrival of a baby is an extraordinary moment, which should be approached in a conscious and informed way, but without being diverted by the often false information shared by others.

Every child is different, and a specialist is the only one who can help parents with the right personalized advice.

What are the steps to be prepared for the first days after the birth of a new child? This article will give you the answer. 

What happens after childbirth

Even though there are slight differences between natural and c-section delivery, the first key steps are generally the same: 

  • Skin to skin. The skin-to-skin contact between mother and newborn occurs within the first two hours after delivery. It is a crucial step as it establishes the mother-infant relationship. At the same time, with clinical-obstetric observation, the infant’s vital parameters are monitored, from temperature sensing to heart rate.  
  • First test. In the first days of life, during observation and hospital stay, tests are performed to monitor the red retinal reflex, hearing, and bilirubin. At about 48 hours of life, heel sampling is performed to assess neonatal metabolic screening, which can detect the presence of numerous diseases. Length, weight, and head circumference are also checked. At this stage, checks are daily and extend throughout the stay, about 2-3 days. In addition, assisted ventilation is provided for term and preterm infants who need it.
  • Rooming-in. Rooming-in consists of the h24 baby’s presence in the room with their mother. This strengthens the mother-infant bond and encourages maternal breastfeeding. When mothers need to rest, the babies are taken to the nursery area, where midwives and nurses will care for them. 
  • Further follow-up. At 4 to 5 days after discharge, the neonatologist performs another assessment of the baby’s weight and answers parents’ concerns, trying to help and support them to help make the return home as smooth as possible. 

Homecoming tips

The arrival of a baby at home is an event of significant change, which must be approached with serenity. Parenting is learned by listening to your child’s needs. An important thing to do is respect the times and rhythms of both mother and baby, particularly about breastfeeding, which should be adjusted according to the baby’s requests.

The same applies to sleep. There are some precautions to pay attention to: the room’s temperature should remain stable around 20-21°C (68-69°F). The infant should not be covered excessively, and the parents should be sure they lie on the stomach (prone position). At this early stage, it is important for the new mother to have her own space and to be free from unnecessary concerns: the father’s cooperation is essential in all actions that involve caring for the newborn, from diaper changing to bathing and following the directions provided at the hospital. 

In any case, mom and dad must remember that the new balances, both with each other and with the baby, are established day by day thanks to continuous interactions with each other, with patience and serenity.