Seeing your newborn after delivery for the first time is an important moment in any mother's life. It is also vital to immediately take steps to assess the new baby's health. Here are some things to expect after delivery.


A Guide to Premature Baby Feeding and Baby NutritionHis Birthday Suit

Another myth created on TV is that babies are born looking like they just crawled out of a diaper commercial. Labor is hard, and your beautiful baby will most likely wear the effects of it for a time.

Newborns come into the world with a wail and a covering of fluid and a white, cheesy substance. Your baby will probably be blue or plum in color at first, with a slightly flattened nose, a cone-shaped head and wrinkly skin. C-section babies look a bit less travel-beaten, since they've been spared the long, narrow squeeze down the birth canal. In any event, for many mothers the sight of their minute-old baby on their chest will be the most beautiful thing they've ever seen.

Where'd He Go?

Soon after your baby is born, a nurse or doctor will whisk him away to examine his baby health including his features and vital signs in a series of tests called Apgars.

Your baby's heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflex response, and color are each given a score between 0 and 2. The scores are then totaled. Ninety percent of newborns score between 8 and 10 (out of 10) by five minutes old.

Alive and Kicking

For your baby, his first few days in the hospital will be much like his first few weeks after he gets home. Sleep (between 12 and 20 hours a day for the first three weeks). Wake up every 2-3 hours to eat. Pose for some photos. Cry. Meet the family. Do a little kicking.

These first movements are common baby reflexes, in response to things that stimulate him. They are also exercising his tiny muscles for more coordinated movements later on.