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Getting to know your newborn baby
 
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You and your new baby

Take your baby in your arms and hold him as soon as possible after birth so that you can start to bond. Your baby will begin to learn about you, and how much you love him, as he hears your voice, smells and feels your skin, and is cuddled and suckled by you.

You and your new baby
© Jupiter

You're likely to feel many new emotions when you see your newborn baby's tiny, vulnerable body and realize his complete dependence on you. The way you react and what you do in these first moments are probably the most important interactions there'll ever be between you and your child.

Research shows that parents who can cuddle and be with their babies immediately after delivery tend to be more sympathetic to their children's needs later. Parents whose babies are taken away at birth may feel alienated for a while, but if this does happen to you, don't worry - just start bonding with your baby as soon as you're able to.

Your first reaction

Your newborn baby's appearance may surprise you when you first see him. He'll have wrinkly skin and you may think he looks more like an old man than a baby. Some parents worry about how they feel when their baby actually arrives: he doesn't seem to be quite what they'd expected. Unless you've had a Caesarean, his head may be slightly squashed with some bruising and his eyelids may be puffy, because of the pressure of passing through the birth canal. He may look quite messy as he'll be coated in a greasy substance, possibly mixed with some of your blood, and he may have patches of body hair. His limbs may be a bluish colour, and his genitals will look huge. Don't be disappointed if you don't immediately feel love and tenderness when you first look at your baby. These feelings will develop as you get to know each other.

Posted 30.06.2010

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