Getting to know your baby

After your baby is born, the most important thing is for you to spend quiet time together as a family.

Ideally, you will have the chance to spend some quiet moments with your baby, cuddling and enjoying skin-to-skin contact. This won’t always be possible of course. Some mums and babies will need medical attention after the birth, which must take priority. Immediately after your baby is born the midwife or doctor will examine you and your baby to make sure you are both well.

Your baby

  • Skin-to-skin contact is encouraged for the first hour after the birth to promote breastfeeding, bonding and to keep your baby warm. You can do this after a caesarean birth as well, so long as everything is well.  
  • You may notice that your baby has some swelling or bruising, or that their eyes look a little puffy. Babies who have been born with the help of forceps or vacuum suction may have an odd shaped head from the birth. This is normal and temporary. 
  • Soon after birth, your baby will have their first breastfeed.
  • The umbilical cord is clamped and cut. These days it has become something of a ritual for partners or support people to cut the cord.This won’t hurt your baby. Eventually the dried piece of cord turns black, dries up and falls off five to seven days later. 
  • Their Apgar score is recorded. 
  • Their weight is recorded. 
  • Vitamin K and Hepatitis B injections are given with your permission

The Apgar score

The midwife or doctor will assess your baby’s Apgar score. This is an assessment of your baby’s overall condition, including how they look, their breathing, heart rate, and colour. The Apgar score is taken at one minute and then five minutes after the birth and is a good measure of how well your baby has made the transition from the womb (intrauterine) and into the world (extrauterine). 


The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.