What to Expect for Your Baby After Giving Birth in the Hospital

Having a baby is an exciting and memorable experience for any family. However, the hospital stay after the birth can be overwhelming and intimidating, especially for first-time parents. Here’s what to expect in the hospital after your baby is born, including routine labs and tests for your newborn.

Initial Evaluation: Shortly after your baby is born, a healthcare provider will evaluate your newborn’s breathing, heart rate, and color. They will also check for any physical abnormalities, such as a cleft lip or palate, and assess the baby’s muscle tone and reflexes. Your baby’s weight and length will also be measured.

Vital Signs: Throughout your hospital stay, your baby’s vital signs, such as temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate, will be monitored regularly.

Blood Tests: Your baby will have several blood tests done while in the hospital, including a newborn screening test, which checks for rare but serious conditions that may not be apparent at birth. Other blood tests may be done to check for jaundice, infections, or other health concerns.

Hearing Test: Your baby will also have a hearing test done before leaving the hospital to check for any hearing problems that may affect their development.

Vaccinations: Your baby may receive vaccinations before leaving the hospital, including the hepatitis B vaccine.

Feeding: Nurses will monitor your baby’s feeding, whether it’s breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and will provide guidance and support as needed. Generally speaking, you can expect your baby to eat every 2-3 hours can be more frequently if cluster feeding begins. At this age, your baby should not go any longer than 4 hours without feeding.

Bath: Your baby will have their first bath in the hospital, usually within the first 24 hours after birth. Nurses will show you how to properly care for your baby’s umbilical cord stump and demonstrate safe bathing techniques.

Discharge: Before you and your baby are discharged from the hospital, your baby’s healthcare provider will check to make sure your baby is healthy. You will also receive instructions on how to care for your baby at home, including feeding, diapering, and bathing. You may also receive follow-up appointments for your baby’s first pediatrician visit and additional newborn screenings.

In conclusion, the hospital stay after your baby is born can be a busy and sometimes overwhelming time. However, by knowing what to expect and being prepared, you can feel more confident and ready to care for your new bundle of joy!


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