safe motherhood



When your baby is born, you may feel anything from exhilaration and pride to exhaustion and overwhelming relief. Some parents fall in love with their babies at first sight. However, for some, becoming attached to their babies is a process that takes several days or even months. Don't worry if you feel nothing when your baby is born. You have been through a massive emotional and physical experience. You are probably very tired and will need to recover. There is lots of time for love to grow in the months ahead.

Decide in advance whether you want:

• To touch and pick up your baby as soon as she is born
• Or to have her handed to you either without being wrapped or after she has been wiped and wrapped in a towel.

You may prefer to:

• Discover your baby's sex for yourself
• Or let your midwife tell you.

If you have not had any drugs such as pethidine during labour, your baby will be extremely alert in the first hour after her birth. She will be eager to make eye contact with you. It's lovely if you can hold her skin to skin. Talk gently to her. Put her to the breast if you are going to feed her yourself and let her nuzzle there.

While you are still in the delivery room, your midwife will:

• Check your baby carefully to make sure she is fit and well
• Measure the circumference of her head, and her length
• Weigh her
• Give her some vitamin K if you have agreed to this
• Perhaps give her a bath.

'After the midwife had finished all her bits and pieces, she left me and Rudy with the baby on our own for half an hour. That was the most magical time of my life. We were together as a family for the first time. Lara was very calm, and seemed to be weighing us up!'