Chapter 13: The birth of the placenta – stage 3 of labor
What to do for the baby
When the baby is born, even before you cut the cord, dry him, put him on his
mother’s belly, and cover him with a blanket. The mother’s body will keep the
baby warm, and the smell of the mother’s milk will encourage him to suck. Be
gentle with a new baby.
Note: In many medical centers, doctors or nurses take the baby away
from the mother to check his health. This is easier for the doctors and
nurses, but it is not best for the baby. The baby should not be taken
from the mother unless there is an emergency.
Keep the baby warmand dry
As you move the baby to the mother’s belly, dry his whole body with a clean cloth
or towel. Babies become cold easily and this can make them weak or sick. This is
why skin to skin contact between the baby and mother is so important. Cover the
baby with a clean, dry cloth. Be sure to cover his head and keep him away
If the weather is hot, do not wrap the baby in heavy blankets or cloths.
Too much heat can cause the baby to get dehydrated. A baby needs only
one more layer of clothes than an adult does.
Wait a day before bathing a newborn baby so he does not get cold. Being cold
can lead to illness.
Check the baby’s health
Some babies are alert and strong when they are born.
Other babies start slow, but as the first few minutes pass,
they breathe and move better, get stronger, and
become less blue.
To see how healthy the baby is, watch her:
• muscle tone
All of these things can be checked while the
baby is breastfeeding.
A Book for Midwives (2010)