Anyway, last night I went to my second breast feeding class, and I learned some really interesting things that I wanted to share. And don't worry, I'm not about to tell you all about boobies. :)
So obviously I've never had a baby, and have never had a baby/ been pregnant in the US. But I'm finding there are some really cool things about having a baby in New Zealand (more specifically, giving birth in NZ). Basically I assumed a lot of what happens after you give birth goes something like what you see on TV... baby gets cleaned, weighed, measured, examined, and given back to momma all cute in a blanket and little hat. Then they bond, have visitors maybe, and sometimes the baby sleeps in the room with mom, sometimes she goes to the nursery. Well, not so here. This is what I learned is going to happen after baby is born (assuming a regular delivery and a healthy baby)...
- Baby is born and placed immediately on mother's belly. Midwife then places a warm towel on top of baby, and mom/dad dry her off and clean her up a bit.
- While mom is delivering the placenta and/or getting any stitches (yuck), baby stays right where she is on mom's tummy. This is also where she'll be when the umbilical cord is cut. Mom should preferably be having skin-to-skin contact with baby (i.e. they aren't separated by layers of clothes or blankets/towels).
- For the first hour of baby's life, she is with mom. In this time she will breast feed for the first time.
- After the first feed, the midwife will weigh and measure baby right next to mom.
- They will most likely NOT bathe the baby for the first 24 hours, maybe even 48 hours.
- Baby stays with the mom at all times (never taken out of the room unless medically necessary)
- The hospital totally discourages giving baby any artificial teats (bottles or pacifiers). So unless medically necessary, baby will never be given any sort of supplementary feeding.
- Some point after baby has eaten, mom can take a shower and get cleaned up. It is recommended NOT to use soap/body wash so that mom can retain her smell that baby is accustomed to.
- While mom is showering, it's recommended that dad get some skin-to-skin time with baby (who will likely sleep for the next 6 hours)
- They really encourage limiting visitors the first day so mom can recover/sleep while baby sleeps, since the next 2 days are going to be quite exhausting.