It's over. The birth is over. Your baby is lying in your arms and you're probably counting his or her fingers and toes, examining your precious bundle from head to toe. Congratulations, you're now a mother.
A new little person
You may be feeling grateful, elated, happy, empty, shocked, confused, tired - or all of the above.
Bonding with baby
Exactly how women feel after giving birth varies. Bonding with your baby can take a few days, sometimes weeks, or happen instantaneously. All scenarios are quite okay.
Your baby might be looking at you curiously. He or she already recognizes your voice, but this is the first time you’ve seen each other. Your baby's vision isn’t very good yet, but luckily enough, lying there in your arms, he or she can see as far as your face.
Try breastfeeding straight away
Straight after being born, many babies are alert, as their adrenaline has been flowing throughout the birth. They’ll probably be only too happy to try breastfeeding. But if the birth was long and tiring, your baby will probably sleep from exhaustion. They may need to recuperate first.
Baby from top to toe
Ten fingers and ten toes. For some strange reason, we count them. We carefully open those tiny little clenched hands and count. And wonder how anyone can be this small.
If you look at their head, you’ll notice it’s slightly cone-shaped – that’s what happens when you make your way down a tight passage. Don’t worry, it will round out. The skin will be a little red and blotchy and there might be a few spots on baby’s face; they’ll clear up after a few days. There might be a little lanugo hair left on their shoulders and back, and a whitish greasy substance, like petroleum jelly, in the folds of skin. Do you see any bite marks from the stork? That’s a birthmark. It will fade over time. The hands may be a little greyish-blue because circulation is not at its best just yet.
Support baby’s head
Your little baby still has a lot of work to do, such as developing muscle strength. Right now, your baby can’t even carry the weight of his or her head. It’s far too big in relation to the size of its body. It’s important you support their head when you’re lifting or holding them.
Hold your baby close to you for as long as you like… You’re a mother now.