This meeting baby checklist is for everyone who is pregnant and who will have a newborn baby.
Whether you are feeling great or if your birth is more complicated you can adapt this checklist to suit your needs.
Do you understand what is happening?
Immediately after birth, the placenta needs to be delivered, your perineum will be checked and you might need stitches. If you aren’t sure what is going on, you can ask your midwife.
Cuddle your baby
You can cuddle and have skin-to-skin with your baby for as long as you want to. Just make sure you are both warm. If you need any stitches, you may prefer someone else to cuddle your baby until that procedure is finished and you are more comfortable.
If you are unable to cuddle your baby straight away, ask if your partner can provide cuddles or find out when cuddles or any contact can happen.
What do you need?
Support, reassurance, help to be comfortable, food, a drink?
Can you sit in a comfortable position?
Use cushions and pillows to get you as comfortable as possible for resting and feeding
Do you need to eat?
You might feel ravenous – give your body the fuel it needs. If you have had a caesarean you may need to wait to eat but ask your midwife so you know when you can eat something.
Feeding your baby
If you want to breastfeed, you can offer a feed quite soon after birth although your baby may want to suckle, stare at you and snooze. If you want to formula feed, your baby will still be happy on your chest, being close to you. You can ask your midwife about when to offer a feed and to get a bottle ready if you are bottle-feeding.
Use your breathing
If you are sore or feeling overwhelmed, use your breathing to keep you calm and to ease any discomfort.
Can you rest?
When all the initial after-birth care and checks are complete, try to rest and settle. Either cuddling or feeding your baby or you may be ready for some sleep. You could be staying in the birth room or you may need to move to the postnatal ward – ask your midwife so you know what to expect.
Get help and reassurance if you need it
This can be with your new baby – handling, feeding, changing, settling and for yourself as you may feel uncomfortable or you could have a catheter or a cannula in place.
Anything you are unsure about, talk to your midwife.
If you partner is going home
Hopefully you can be settled on the postnatal ward before this happens. Make sure you have things to hand for the night – a drink, some snacks, your phone – and that your slippers and dressing down are ready for you to use.
Of course you could be going home the same day – ask questions so you know what to expect and to find out when you can go home.
It can seem like this is a lot to remember but it’s really just about being guided by your instincts, saying what you need and asking questions. And you’ve got this meeting baby checklist to help you.
Meeting Baby Checklist: you can download the checklist so you can use it to give you and your partner prompts.
Copyright: Janine Smith
antenatal & postnatal specialist | working with parents since 2002
Always seek medical support if you are concerned about yourself or your baby. Even if it is just a feeling that something isn’t right.