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After Delivery

After Delivery

Meeting your newborn baby for the first time is one-of-a-kind experience. You may be surprised by her interest in studying your face. Your baby has spent the last 9 months getting comfortable with your voice and smell but after delivery will be the first time she’ll lay eyes on you.

In the early hours after delivery healthcare professionals will monitor you and baby to ensure that you are both happy and healthy. Talk to your healthcare professional about the standard tests and procedures you can expect shortly after delivery.

Skin-to-skin contact

Most healthcare professionals, such as your doctor or midwife will place your baby on you shortly after birth to provide skin-to-skin contact. This is the first time you’ll get to hold your baby but she’ll already be very comfortable with you. Even though she is in a whole new world, your smell, heartbeat and voice will all be familiar to her. Talk quietly and softly to your baby, hold her close and have the lights dimmed so that it is easier for baby to open her eyes.

All about breastfeeding

Initiate skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible and try to breastfeed within the first 30 minutes afterdelivery. To make this easier, take advantage of hospital room-in policies. Often babies tell you they are ready to breastfeed by instinctively rooting and opening their mouths. It's much easier to establish a successful breastfeeding routine if you begin early in your baby's life, so consider ahead of time whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby. Because breast milk is best for baby, Canadian health experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of your baby’s life, with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years and beyond for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers.  The more you can nurse your baby on demand early on, the better your breastfeeding experience can be.

Learn more about the what to expect when breastfeeding.

Your hospital stay after birth is a great time to talk to nurses, other healthcare professionals, and to take advantage of other supports for breastfeeding that the hospital may offer.

Infant formula

If you choose to supplement breast milk with infant formula or decide to formula-feed exclusively, you can be confident that an iron-fortified infant formula is an excellent source of nourishment for your baby. In Canada, infant formula composition is regulated by the government, and is designed to meet the nutritional needs of healthy babies. Infant formulas contain the recommended percentages of fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals needed for baby's growth and development. 

Learn more about choosing infant formula.

Your hospital stay after birth

These days, hospital stays for routine deliveries are fairly short. You will most likely be in the hospital for about 24 to 48 hours following a vaginal delivery and up to 72 hours for a Caesarean delivery.  Compared to the week that your grandmother may have spent in the hospital after delivery, your hospital stay after birth may seem very short. Rest assured medical staff will make sure that your condition is stable and that your baby is progressing as expected before you go home. If you are breastfeeding, it's a good idea to meet with the lactation consultant and discuss how to reach her once you're at home.

Welcome to parenthood

Even though you have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of your little one for months now, it‘s completely normal to feel like you are completely unprepared for what comes next now that baby is in your arms. Keep the following in mind over the first few weeks as you adjust to life with baby.

  • Be prepared to feel unprepared
  • Learn to take things as they come, go with the flow
  • Be prepared to meet your baby’s needs, and don’t worry about “spoiling” your baby, your baby will not recognize aspects of “spoiling” for many months to come
  • Keep your calendar clear of everything but the essentials for the first few weeks
  • Rest while your baby rests, skip the housework
  • You’ll find that you get lots of parenting advice. Think about how you want to deal with the unhelpful, unsolicited advice that you get
  • Trust yourself and your instincts, you know what is best for your new and growing family
  • Accept all offers of help and don’t be afraid to ask
  • Keep a running list of jobs for others help with
  • Get out of the house when you feel confident to
  • Talk to other parents
  • Every baby is unique; resist comparing your baby to other babies
  • It is very normal that your other children will take time to get used to baby
  • It is also very normal to worry about everything
  • Don’t expect to feel happy all the time; parenting is a tough but rewarding job.  Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your feelings as you take on this new role
  • Savour every moment, even the not so great ones

If you don't find the information you're looking for, please feel free to contact us for additional support.