Your midwife will provide you with the care that you and your baby need immediately after the birth and for 4–6 weeks after baby is born.
Care after your baby is born
The care that you will receive immediately after your baby is born includes:
- a first check of your baby (usually a couple of hours after the birth)
- putting your naked baby on your belly or chest straight away (‘skin-to-skin contact’)
- helping you to start breastfeeding when your baby shows signs they are ready (usually about 30 minutes after the birth)
- care of the whenua/afterbirth (placenta)
- checking to see if the skin or muscle around your vagina tore during the birth, and stitching the area if needed.
Some babies will need specialist care in a newborn baby unit.
If you give birth in hospital you may want to stay for just the first few hours or for a couple of days – discuss this with your midwife or specialist doctor as part of your birth planning.
Once home, your midwife or a midwife working on behalf of your specialist doctor will visit you regularly (at least five visits at home). These health visits are to support you and your breastfeeding and to check that you and baby are well.