The First 24 Hours After Birth

The first 24 hours after your baby arrives can be an exhilarating and joyful time, but also exhausting - and a roller-coaster of emotions.

Here is what to expect:

How You Will Feel

Post delivery, you will be extremely tired - pushing out your bundle of joy is no easy job!

If you have had a C-section, you will probably still be receiving some intravenous fluids to help you along, and will still be quite sedated from the anaesthetic drugs.

Depending on whether you have opted to receive pain medication or go natural', you might still experience some pain, be it in the perineum in a vaginal delivery, or in the surgical site in the case of a C-section.

If you have delivered in a medical facility, your obstetrician will be on hand to assess you and write up any medication you might need.

Most Moms are encouraged to breastfeed immediately post delivery, even while the nurse and/or physician are still busy completing management of the third stage of labour.

Very few Moms are lucky enough to get the milk flowing from the start. It usually takes a while, so don't panic  just keep at it, and relax!

It is important to continue to latch baby onto the breast, and a good support system (midwife, doula, physician) is key in this process.

It is important that you do not stress about the milk, as it is important to note that anxiety can have a negative effect on milk production.

Your Baby

You little one might look very wrinkly and puffy when you first meet him or her.

The first 24 hours are pretty much spent sleeping and feeding.

Don't be disheartened if feeding does not flow immediately, as it is not something which switches on automatically.

There are a number of normal newborn skin characteristics that you don't have to worry about:

  • A slight dusky appearance from the colour of the meconium  although this is something which should be assessed by a paediatrician to make sure there are no other signs of meconium presence.
  • Red flushing on the entire body. Tiny pustules or pimples' on the nose and other parts of the face.
  • Areas of skin peeling.
  • Extremely swollen or puffy eyes, limbs and genitals.
  • Brown spots or pigmentation from the meconium.
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