Caring For Baby: 0-3 Days

In the first days after birth our midwives will guide you and your baby to bond, breastfeed and help you with parenting.

Baby’s first hours

In the first few hours following the birth of your baby, your baby will be placed on your chest to allow skin-to-skin contact. This encourages your baby to lick, nuzzle, smell you and prepare to breastfeed. If possible, your midwife will assist you to breastfeed within the first hour following birth. Skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding assists the uterus to contract, promotes the third stage of labour and reduces the risk of bleeding. After skin-to-skin time, baby should be dressed and wrapped. 
Babies are identified with an ankle band and a back tag that corresponds with your identification band and passport photo, which will be placed in the baby’s cot. Each time you and baby are separated you will be required to sign an identification check form on baby’s return. 
Baby is given an injection of Vitamin K with your consent at the time of birth. 

48-72 hours

Between 48 and 72 hours after your baby’s birth, a neonatal blood-screening test will be collected from your baby to screen for rare disorders. The midwife will take a small sample of blood from your baby’s heel for this routine screening. Information will be provided to you and your consent obtained prior to this test being carried out. Any questions you may have can be answered beforehand if needed.

You may wish to have your baby immunised against Hepatitis B. This is part of the government’s free immunisation schedule. 
Healthy Hearing Screening is provided by trained staff within the Unit. It is important that new mothers you feel comfortable communicating with baby. Your baby will be rooming-in with you unless your baby requires special care or your condition means you are unable to care for your baby. To achieve an understanding of the needs of your baby, we will provide interactive care activities for mothers including: 
• parenting – dressing baby and interacting with baby during awake periods
• changing nappies 
• bathing your baby.

More information

Maternity services
Visiting hours