Your child is born! The umbilical cord is cut (perhaps by the father?) and the baby is laid on your chest – an indescribable feeling of joy and happiness!
You will be amazed at how quickly your child begins searching for your breast. Your midwife will show you how to put your baby to your breast so that he/she can drink the valuable first milk (colostrum).
Share with your partner the feeling of elation that follows birth, take a rest and marvel at the tiny miracle you are holding in your arms.
The work is not quite over yet, however. With a couple more contractions (nothing compared to what you have already been through!), the afterbirth takes place. The afterbirth describes the expulsion of the placenta, which has detached from the uterine wall.
It is round and flat and is roughly the size of a small plate. In some cultures it is buried or even burned.
In case an episiotomy has been carried out, the incision is now stitched under local anaesthetic.
During this time, the midwife will carefully dab the baby (without removing any remaining vernix caseosa, which is a protective coating on your child’s skin) and conduct the first examination. All under the watchful eye of Dad!
Now the new family can spend around two hours undisturbed in the delivery ward area, where the doctor and midwife can still keep a bit of an eye on the mother and newborn baby. After that, you are moved to the maternity ward or you can go home if you had an outpatient birth.