‘Meeting’ is a seriously understated multi-meaning word, you may have spent countless exhausting hours, supporting your partner, waiting to meet your new baby. The new mother may have had a long labour and be utterly wiped out. You may have even missed the birth entirely, but we’ll come to that later.
The funny thing is that the first person to see the baby out of the two of you may actually be YOU, at the receiving end so to speak in the Delivery Room. Be warned babies come out looking rather wrinkled, coated in ‘stuff’ and traces of blood and their faces can look a bit squashed … some can have a tinge of yellow on their skin and in their eyes due to jaundice which is not uncommon. If they need any treatment at all, the midwife and your Doctor will guide you. Babies on TV programmes are often portrayed as round, pink and clean but the reality really is like ‘One Born Every Minute’.
Immediately after the baby’s birth, the Health Care professionals will check your baby’s APGAR at one minute. They’ll be checking your baby’s reflexes, muscle tone, pulse, appearance and breathing. They’ll do this again at five minutes. You may see them using a tube with a bulb at the end or a suction machine to remove any excess fluid from the baby’s mouth and nose. They’ll then hand the baby to its mother for some skin-to-skin contact and for your baby to take some breastmilk. Not only does this help keep the baby warm but as a bonus helps steady a baby’s breathing, and according to UNICEF it can help by regulating the baby’s heart rate, stimulates digestion and an interest in feeding and even
‘enables the colonisation of the baby’s skin with the mother’s friendly bacteria
thus providing prevention against infection’. Studies have found that
early skin-to-skin contact also improves breastfeeding’.
You may be feeling what is your role at this moment when everything looks to be centred on the mother and baby. In reality, your role is vital. You are a supportive, known presence, you are an extra pair of ears and eyes taking in everything, listening carefully to instruction and advice given about breastfeeding. Mum may be exhausted and whilst she is listening carefully she is also trying to attach a baby to her breast for the first time.
Don’t feel frustrated if you feel like you are having to step back and get out of the way. This is not an indicator of your role with your child in future, it is merely about providing after birth care for mum and baby.
Your presence matters, your baby will sense you from the very beginning as part of their environment, voices are recognised from inside the womb.
Perhaps this is the perfect time to think about telling loved ones the good news. As well as a birth plan it’s a smart idea to have a photo and social media plan, agree beforehand whether you want a head and shoulder photo of mother and child or a breastfeeding one.
Access the next Daddy In Training Tip Sheet: How To Hold Your Baby For The First Time
Did you know that ‘Daddy in Training’ from Riverside Cares also offers you the opportunity to
learn with a professionally trained childcarer?
This 90-minute session is taught to small groups in your own home or office* Launch Price £100 for up to four attendees, £150 for up to 8 attendees, one-to-one session available p.o.a
*there may be a small additional charge for travel outside zone 2