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Labor and Delivery - Right After the Birth

You may feel excited, tired, and amazed all at the same time after delivery. You may feel a great sense of calm, peace, and relief as you hold, look at, and talk to your baby.

Breast-feeding

During the first hour after the birth, you can also expect to start breast-feeding, if you plan to breast-feed.

If you breast-feed, don't be surprised if you and your baby have some trouble doing it at first. Breast-feeding is a learned technique, so you will get better at it with practice. You may have a breast-feeding specialist (lactation consultant) in the hospital to help you get started.

For information about getting a good start with breast-feeding and preventing problems, see:

actionset.gif Breast-Feeding: Planning Ahead.

Your first hours of recovery

You may have shaking chills right after delivery. This is a common reaction in the hours after delivery. A warm blanket may help you feel more comfortable.

During the first hours after the birth, your health professional or a nurse will:

  • Massage your uterus by rubbing your lower abdomen about every 15 minutes. Later, you will be taught to massage your own uterus. This helps it tighten (contract) and stop bleeding.
  • Check your bladder to make sure it isn't full. A full bladder puts pressure on your uterus, which interferes with contractions. You will be asked to try to urinate, which may be hard because of pain and swelling. If you can't urinate, a tube (catheter) can be used to empty your bladder.
  • Check your blood pressure frequently.
  • Repair the area between your vagina and anus (perineum) if it tore or if you had an incision (episiotomy).
  • Remove the small tube in your back if you had epidural anesthesia. If you plan to have a tubal ligation surgery to prevent future pregnancy, the catheter will be left in.

You may also have:

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 15, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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