Newborn and PostpartumAll women, no matter who they are, go through the same general process after labor, as long as the birth was uneventful from a medical perspective. The cord is clamped and cut and baby is placed on your chest. After all too short a time, baby is whisked away to the warmer where Apgar tests and basic care is given. Your baby's nose and mouth are suctioned and he/she is given a shot of vitamin K. Ointment laced with an antibiotic is then smeared on his/her eyes to prevent infection. Footprints and fingerprints are done and baby is tagged so he's paired with mom until discharge. You, on the other hand, are not quite done yet.

Soon after baby is born, you will experience a few more contractions. Each contraction lasts about one minute and is milder than the labor contractions you just experienced. You will have to push to move the placenta out of the uterus and down the birth canal. Once the placenta is delivered, the doctor will tend to any repairs (stitches) and you'll be moved to recovery. Recovery typically lasts between one and two hours before you make the move to your hospital room for the night. Many women are discharged the day after giving birth, though some stay an additional day if needed.