Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baby’s head during delivery - benefits of skin to skin contact after birth

Baby head during birth: During the second stage, the baby’s head moves down until it can be seen.
When the head is visible, the midwife will ask you to stop pushing, and to pant or puff a couple of quick short breaths, blowing out through your mouth. This is so that your baby’s head can be born slowly and gently, giving the skin and muscles of the perineum (the area between your vagina and back passage) time to stretch without tearing.
The skin of the perineum usually stretches well, but it may tear. Sometimes to avoid a tear or to speed up the delivery, the midwife or doctor will inject local anesthetic and cut an episiotomy. Afterwards, the cut or tear is stitched up again and heals.
Once your baby’s head is born, most of the hard work is over. With one more gentle push the body is born quite quickly and easily.
You can have your baby lifted straight onto you before the cord is cut by your midwife or birthing partner.
Your baby may be born covered with some of the white, greasy vernix, which acts as a protection in the uterus.
Baby skin to skin contact after birth  
Skin-to-skin contact really helps bonding, so it is a good idea to have your baby lifted onto you before the cord is cut so that you can feel and be close to each other straight away.
The cord is clamped and cut, the baby is dried to prevent them from becoming cold, and you will be able to hold and cuddle your baby.
Your baby may be quite messy, with some of your blood and perhaps some of the vernix on their skin. If you prefer, you can ask the midwife to wipe your baby and wrap him or her in a blanket before your cuddle.
Sometimes mucus has to be cleared out of a baby’s nose and mouth. Some babies need additional help to establish breathing and may be taken to the resuscitor in the room to be given oxygen. Your baby will not be kept away from you any longer than necessary.

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