A big welcome to your new arrival! You’ve waited a long time to meet your baby face to face.
Your baby may be covered in lanugo - soft hair all over their body. But, don’t worry this will disappear soon.
Don’t be surprised if your baby has blue eyes, as they are still developing. Your baby’s eye colour won’t be fully matured until they are a year old.
To begin with, your baby’s poo will be quite dark in colour, as they pass meconium, from the amniotic fluid he swallowed in your tummy.
Make sure your support your baby’s head as you hold them. With no strength in the neck muscles, the head will be very heavy, so they will need some help.
You may feel on top of the world one minute, and overwhelmed the next. Don’t worry, you’ll soon settle into a pattern and learn how to respond to your baby’s cries. Still nervous about looking after your baby? Soon you’ll be holding, bathing and nappy changing like a pro.
Breastfeeding your baby is especially beneficial in the first few days before you begin to produce milk. The first few days you’ll be giving them colostrum which has essential nutrients and antibodies, to help protect your baby from illness.
What to think about
Apgar tests will be carried out within the first 24 hours, to make sure your baby is adapting well to life outside the womb and is receiving any medical attention they need.
If you feel apprehensive about how you should feed your baby, speak to a breastfeeding counsellor or midwife, who will be happy to help.
Your baby is unlikely to sleep through the night just yet, but it’s never too early to establish a night-time routine such as a bath followed by a feed. As you get to know each other, you will begin to recognise their needs when they cry but it can be quite stressful until then. If you think you’re struggling to cope, make sure you talk to someone.