5.4.2  Check the newborn

Most babies are alert and strong when they are born. Other babies start slow, but as the first few minutes pass, they breathe and move better, get stronger, and become less blue. Immediately after delivery, clear airways and stimulate the baby while drying. To see how healthy the baby is, watch for:

  • Breathing: babies should start to breathe normally within seconds after birth. Babies who cry after birth are usually breathing well. But many babies breathe well and do not cry at all.
  • Colour: the baby’s skin should be a normal colour – not pale or bluish.
  • Muscle tone: the baby should move his or her arms and legs vigorously.

All of these things should be checked simultaneously within the first minute after birth. You will learn about this in detail in Study Session 6 of this Module.

5.4.1  Clean childbirth and cord care

5.4.3  Warmth and bonding