Do they have to take the baby after it is born to another room to be washed?

Kale - posted on 05/22/2012 ( 162 moms have responded )

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After a baby is born do they have to take it to another room to be washed and clothed or can I request them to do it in the room with me?

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It really just depends on the hospital I believe. Some have facilities to do so right in the room and others don't. My particular hospital only took my son from the room twice, once to give him a good bathing about 3-4 hours after he was born (they washed him after delivery just to clean him up) and then again to circumsise him. They didn't even have a nursery if I had wanted them to take him. You should visit/tour the hospital and ask these questions so you know ahead of time. Things can get a little hectic during and after delivery.

Jennifer - posted on 05/23/2012

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Don't go by what anyone here says as every place is different and their rules are different. Go to the hospital where you plan to birth and ask them that question. They will be best able to tell you what is doable in YOUR situation. If you don't like the answer the hospital gives, see if you can pick a different hospital for the birth.

Jennie - posted on 05/29/2012

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LAURA I LOVE YOU!!!! A woman that thinks just like me, In England I just point blank refused n e thing I was not happy with Vit k, drugs, sweeps, internals, induction, flat on back etc & it was my right to do so as it was my body, my baby & our birthing experience which I was not going to let doctors ruin like they did for my first baby. I know my body better than any doctor and I proved that with my last baby, I defied all the odds by having him naturally due to so many complications but I knew I had to give him the best birth possible! I am pregnant again & due to have my baby in Virginia, I am already being told what doctors will and won't allow.......they can kiss my british arse I will have a c/section, I have achieved 2 natural VBAC's since my UNNECESSARY c/section! I do not understand why sooooo many American women believe that they need all of this unnecessary intervention, birthing is as natural as making love but yet now woman are made to believe it is a long term condition that needs fixing! I am amazed that I have only come across 2 American ladies (1 of them is u Laura) that actually know that all this birthing b******t is usually not necessary. For a country that likes to sue, it's simple u tell ur dr 'NO I DONT WANT THAT' & politely tell them that if they go against ur wishes u will see them in court!

Cyndel - posted on 05/28/2012

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Sherri, you must have a great hospital and birth team. Most around here aren't very up to date and a few doctors still do routine episotomies, and most ob's have a 1 in 4 c section rate, as well as refuse to allow pushing in any position but on your back legs in the air, they think waiting to clamp and cut the cord is stupid and causes jaundice, it goes on and on and on. The nurses actually physically forced my best friend from hands and knees the only position that offered any comfort from the back labor onto her back when she pushed, and then used vacuum on her tearing her in a star pattern when she is positive she would have pushed baby out just fine if left alone in the hands and knees position...I so wish I had been allowed in the room (2 helpers only, her mom and husband, both of whom have a doctor=god complex) I would have told them to back off!

The only way to have an intervention free labor and delivery is to drag a chair into the bathroom and shove it under the door handle and not come out until the baby is there.

This is a huge reason I birthed in a stand alone birth center...I want a home birth because my labors are so quick that I literally barely made it onto the bed before birthing babies head Barely 3 1/2 hours, the center was an hours drive away. It is extremely stressful to me trying to get to the birth center before baby comes.

I birthed my first in a center because hubby was to scared of home birth first time around, second time was because we live in an apartment with paper thin walls and I wasn't interested in having the police called on us for my screaming (I've heard stories) I'm a rather vocal pusher.

But to have any but a main stream birth you have to leave the hospital or have a very pushy, educated, and vocal birth partner.

Grace - posted on 05/27/2012

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I love doctors and nurses and even hospitals but the plain fact is there is no NO medical reson to wash the baby after birth in fact some research said you shouldn't. the hospital I had my two kids at respected the fact I didn't want my baby washed I did it my self later in the room with my hubby and I just washed their hair to get the goo out. Look it up on the net educate your self

162 Comments

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Sarah - posted on 10/12/2012

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nope. And, more importantly, they CANNOT if you tell them not to. They can't do anything you don't consent unless you aren't of sound mind to consent.

Angelica - posted on 10/09/2012

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Its the mothers right to have the baby in her sight at all times. i dont have children yet but im hoping to some day and im keeping my child with me at al times.

Emma - posted on 06/26/2012

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Depends on hospital. Mine had everything in my room. Ran test, bathed her and did her bracelets right there soon after I nursed her, which was moments after birth.

Alaina - posted on 06/24/2012

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My son was washed in the same room as I was. Maybe it was just my hospital. I would ask...

Chrissy - posted on 06/22/2012

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In the hospital I delivered in (Vermont), the room she was washed in, was right next to the warmers and they let me help, watch, take pictures, whatever while they washed her head and washed her down and changed her bedding and diaper and wrapped her back up. Me and my daughter did skin to skin the whole time so that was really the only time she wasn't unwrapped and wrapped on my chest. But if they needed to do anything like temperature or her bath I was there. I requested that. Yeah, was a big bad Mama Bear, and still am, haha... I've let go some...

Becky - posted on 06/22/2012

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In our hospitals here, they wait at least 12 hours before bathing the babies, but it seems the routine practice is for the nurse to take them to the nursery and give them the bath. With our first, I went along, because it was like 6 am and my husband wasn't there, with our second, he went along. With our 3rd, we had a midwife-assisted hospital birth, so everything was different. Long skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, no pitocin afterwards to help deliver the placenta, and I took the baby into the bath tub with me for a few minutes. Just washed him with water, no soap. He didn't have another bath until his cord fell off. Oh, maybe one sponge bath because he had a diaper explosion. :) We did the Vit. K, but no eye ointment, and the midwife did the PKU I think at 3 days post partum. It was really a perfect birth. The only thing I would've liked different is that he had to have 3 good blood sugar tests because I had GD. We could have declined, but I didn't feel like it was worth the risk to him.
I agree though, if you don't want baby taken out of the room, just say no!

Karen - posted on 06/21/2012

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They usually clean him up in the same room as you. The next day (if you stay) they will show you how to give him a bath.

Samantha - posted on 06/21/2012

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they only usually do that if the mother has hepititus or hiv or something that she baby could catch from her blood n they take the baby off to have a bath. otherwise its usually in the room.

Bryndís - posted on 06/16/2012

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In Iceland, where I live, they don't even wash the newborns anymore :) The fat on the newborns skin is too good to spill :) Mom gets her baby on her chest and gets all the time she needs. The cord gets cut and the baby gets dried with a towel while laying on the mothers chest :) You should have a saying in how you want this to be, it's your birth, your child, your life.

Danelle - posted on 06/12/2012

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everyone I know seems tohave a slightly different story of what their experience is. my oldest daughter they were a little concerned about because I had a very long difficult labor, it was also a slow night in labor and delivery so the entire nicu staff was in the delivery room, and when she was born they didn't immediately plop her on my chest. my baby was fine, a few minutes later they handed her to me after doing their 'tests' at a station right beside my bed (they didn't take her out of the room) and wrapping her in a blanket. I was so exhausted, not to mention I had to deliver the placenta and get a few stitches so I didn't feel at all left out. my youngest daughter was immediately handed to me, naked and goopy, then they took her to the same kind of station, next to my bed, to do their 'tests', wipe her off and wrap in a blanket, and handed her back to me. Neither of my daughters were given an actual bath - with water - until a few hours later when we had been moved up to our recovery room. My oldest daughter - the nurse simply started bathing her without asking my permission, I believe I was using the restroom and came out to find her giving the baby a bath. I was very bothered by this. But when my 2nd daughter was born, the nurse in recovery asked me if I wanted to bathe her and I actually was so tired I thought maybe it would be better to let the nurse do it. But unless the baby has a medical condition they are not able to treat in the room, it's unlikely they will take the baby anywhere that you are not. Babies usually have to go to a nursery for some vaccines and testing sometime in their first 2 days of life but they should offer to let you or the baby's father accompany them, and it doesn't take long at all. You really should ask for a tour of the hospital and ask all these questions there because hospitals have different procedures, after a tour you will feel much more confident about what to expect.

Jennie - posted on 06/12/2012

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In so many of these posts the hospital staff r bathing ur babies, why do so few mums give their new baby their 1st bath? I couldn't imagine not giving my new little one their 1st couple of baths! It seems a little strange to me but maybe that's just cos England does things differently!

User - posted on 06/12/2012

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You should actually NOT have your child washed immediately following birth. You should wait a few days. The vernix covering your baby is a protective coating that helps ward off germs and helps the skin adjust to life in the air. I would recommend, strongly, that you not wash your baby immediately.

Megan - posted on 06/10/2012

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Some hospitals give you the choice to have the baby bathed in the room with you

Amie - posted on 06/07/2012

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My baby stayed in my room to be washed. They just wiped him down right after birth and wrapped him in a blanket and gave him to me since he was healthy. They even gave him his first bath later in my room. The nurse asked me if I wanted the bath done in my room, so I said yes. The only time he ever left my room was briefly because I chose to have him circumsized and even for that my husband could have gone with him, or I could have but my husband was not at the hospital at that time. He went to have that done and then they brought him right back to my room.
Just let them know what you prefer. Unless there are health issues with your baby, you can request for the baby to stay in your room at all times.

Allie - posted on 06/06/2012

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They don't have to take your baby anywhere. When I had my girls, they came out, they got wiped off and handed to me. Later on that day, I did the washing off in one of those little pink wash tubs. I don't think they can do any better of a job then you can anyway, AND you have to learn to wash your child sometime, why not it be during their first bath.

Erinna - posted on 05/31/2012

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I have read that the vernix on the baby's skin is good for it. And shouldn't be washed off for several days unless necessary. At the hospital where my son was born, they let you bath baby on day three or when you go home whichever suits you. That way the midwife can teach new mothers how to safely bath a newborn. All hospitals should be able to wipe and clothe baby in your room. Good luck

Jennie - posted on 05/30/2012

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Oh Cyndel u r sooo lucky, short labors is something I don't do!! They range from 12 hr labour to end in crash c/section, to 22 hrs! But my last 2 were VBAC's, 1 of them on gas n air alone, (& he was back to back) a completely natural one this time I think.... Well we will see! X x x

Carrie - posted on 05/30/2012

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I would think that if you make your wishes very clear to your Doctor, & whomever is going to be there with you that you should be able to keep your baby with you. Just keep in mind, you are about to learn how to live exhausted, for a long time. You may want to consider letting them give you a small break. The hospital where I delivered my 10 year old would leave him with me as long as I liked. I was very ill (I had hemmoraged after delivering), & had surgery to tie my tubes while I was there so there were times that I needed to sleep & sent him to the nusery. I was a single mom when he was an infant, so I did not have 24 hour help once I was going home,

Jennie - posted on 05/29/2012

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Thank u Laura, we have found a hospital with midwives but have yet to meet any of them, If I don't get the answers I am looking for I will either go back to England (altho it will b chaos with 3 other children in tow) or I will free birth this little one at home! I have confidence in my body & my husband is an amazing birthing partner, I already have the birth pool so we would be good to go if the need arises. Here's hoping for a forward thinking dr who believes birth is a natural process!!

Cyndel - posted on 05/29/2012

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I didn't have a choice but to move during hard labor, I went into transition the moment I got out of the car at the maternity center, I leaned against the brick wall gently pushing enough to help with the overwhelming pushy feeling, and slowly made my way inside and to the closest birthing room, and got on the bed just as he crowned. lol, my labors are fast, 7 hrs 40min with my first and 3 hrs 35min with my second.

Stifler's - posted on 05/29/2012

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I did because I needed to poo well thought I did. So ended up refusing to leave the toilet and standing up to give birth, from the toilet.

Merry - posted on 05/29/2012

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Yeah I can't move either once in in hard labor. I was kneeling in the tub with Fierna and I could barely shift my hips to let her check me. Moving while laboring is so incredibly hard! So I stayed in one position for the whole labor and pushing

Merry - posted on 05/29/2012

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Oh and Jennie hill, good luck! I hope you can find a midwife in Virginia! Or look into a birthing center/homebirth.seriously rare to find vbac supportive drs here. Though I'm not in Virginia so it could be different!

Merry - posted on 05/29/2012

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I only mentioned it because I think you said you had two episiotomies. I assume had you birthed vertically you wouldn't have needed to be cut.
And you didn't do epidurals right? Wouldn't that hurt like an expletive to be cut down there during birth?!?!?!?

Brooke - posted on 05/29/2012

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I know that hospitals in Ca, the babies don't leave your sight unless you request that the baby be taken to the nursery. With both my kids, everything was done in the same room with me and they were never out of my sight.

Jennie - posted on 05/29/2012

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It's also much easier to give the perineum a little episiotomy while ur patient is flat on her back laboring, she is also less likely to argue as she is in the perfect position opposed to being on her knees & having to move to get cut! But it's all about choice but informed choice, if a woman wants to labour on her back, get an episiotomy etc then go for it just let it b your choice knowing all the facts....... The real facts not the manufactured ones that scare a women into submission!!

Lisa - posted on 05/29/2012

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You can request for them to do it right there. I did with my daugter and they were glad to do it. she never left my sight for the first 6hrs after birth.

And it was for less than an hr and they brougt her she never left again. :-)

Mhairi - posted on 05/29/2012

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I'm not in america but if u insist the baby stays with u they can't argue, after all u r mommy, I know that here in Scotland unless the baby is premature the only time they take baby, not out of the room tho, is to give him/her a clean and dress them, with a lil check to make sure there definitely r 10 fingers and 10 toes lol. They can't do anything with ur baby unless u agree with it. Hope this helps :)

Danielle - posted on 05/29/2012

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My daughter was cleaned off in the room. The hospital had no nursery so she was in my room from the tme she was born until I left the next day!

Cyndel - posted on 05/29/2012

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That makes you one of the rare few Sherri, I'm glad that you found the position that works so well for you! But it was forced on women starting when one of the english kings became interested in birth so watched his wife give birth behind a screen, was dissatisfied that he couldn't see anything so forced her to lie on her back legs splayed with the next birth so he had a clear view.
and the steadily rising trend of male doctors who started attending births began to use the same position. and women agreed when they were told that is how their queen birthed.
But we now know better, though some women do naturally prefer laying down.

just wanted to give a little history

Cyndel - posted on 05/29/2012

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Yuck Laura, That sucks.
I learned from others experiences in the hospital...most were fine with how their birth went but I also knew more then a dozen women who birthed at home and knew their stories and that helped me know what I wanted long before I had to actually make the decision.

Merry - posted on 05/29/2012

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The reasons I didn't want to birth in the hospital are mostly issues with my specific obgyn as well as with hospital policy. Most of the issues were conflicts about, continuous monitoring, antibiotics for gb strep even if I tested neg since I was positive the first time, wanting to check my cervix, all the extra risks of infections, instant cord clamping, taking my baby if it had meconium, forced pushing on my back, not allowing Eric to be in the labor room' not allowing Eric to stay in the recovery room, having to argue about eye ointment, vit k shot, hep b shot, delaying PKU a few days, them waking me to do vitals.

I think that's about it.



Sherri, the reason I refuse to birth on my back is because this is the worst position to push in! It makesyourpelvis narrower, and makes you have to push the baby. Literally UP to get out. It makes rips and tears mch more common! So many women who tear on their backs could have avoided that if they'd gotten in a squatting position. This is why I am adament about women learning the facts and refusing drs encouraging women into this unnatural and unhelpful position.

Tina - posted on 05/29/2012

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@ Cyndel no I couldn't rest either. Your hospital sounds awsome. They have a bath in our hospital but you have to sign a form saying you'll get out to birth the baby which is fair enough. There are some good one. But there are just some that aren't and don't have compassion.

Cyndel - posted on 05/28/2012

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Sooo happy there are hospitals out there like that!!! I pray that if I ever have to deliver at a hospital it will be somewhere like yours!
But they just aren't like that around here. so the only other options are home or birth center.

Cyndel - posted on 05/28/2012

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Tina so sorry to hear that, I can't rest unless baby is at least in the room with me if not in my bed.
I know another mom who had to threaten the hospital with kidnapping charges before they would stop coming and taking the baby whenever fancy struck, which was whenever baby wasn't feeding. They actually came and took baby out of her room while she was sleeping without telling her, that was the final straw.
When she woke up to find the baby gone she went looking when no one answered her call, and was told to go back to bed that baby was calm and would be brought to her when he was hungry, she said that if her baby wasn't brought to her room immediately that she was calling her husband who was at home with their older children to call their lawyer to press charges of kidnapping etc. The nurses brought the baby and he wasn't removed from the room again without her express permission, though the nurses were total a$$es after that, thank goodness she was home less the 10 hours later. But this was about 12 years ago, but I've heard a few similar tales that happened more recently.

Tina - posted on 05/28/2012

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I suppose it just depends on your experience in hospital I was suppose to stay in hospital 5 days after having my daughter via c section they don't normally let you out before then but I asked my doctor to let me out early. Their policy just didn't work for me. I wanted to be home with my older son i missed him and he missed me. I felt like I was going crazy in hospital. The staff were very pushy. To the point when I had my son. When I finally got a chance to just hold my son no visitors or anything both of us were finally relaxed he was just looking at me I held him and talked to him a midwife came in said no mum has to sleep ripped him from me put him in a carrier. Took him away he was screaming. There isn't any policy about sleeping arrangements child stays in your room even while you're sleeping the midwife was just grumpy and being spiteful. I realise hospitals have policies for a reason but sometimes staff are just pushy and crawl and you should have every right to speak up and say no I am the mother I will do things my way.

Merry - posted on 05/28/2012

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I have no issues with the bassinets thing either. I was still sore and healing after Eric and didn't even want to carry him round anywhere. Much easier to push the cart.

Yes, I have a strong need to be the sole decider in how my babies are cared for. I lived with a controlling conniving and emotionally abusive father and he 'owned' me til I was 18. I do not take lightly others acting like they can make me do things. Especially with my babies. They are the only thing in this world that's 100% mine along with my husband and if the hospital was going to dictate every thing about my stay I simply wouldn't go there.

Homebirths are really wonderful I think. They empower mom to birth her child herself and not be a bystander to the birth. No one delivered my daughter but me. My midwife assisted. I love that wording. They say," I attended a birth today" not "I delivered a baby today."

Cyndel - posted on 05/28/2012

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What Sherri just posted is why I refuse to have my children in hospitals without absolute necessity. I guess I just hate anyone trying to control how I care for my children.
The walking in the hospital halls with the baby in a bassinet is actually a part of the security measures taken by the hospital to ensure baby isn't kidnapped. That doesn't bother me.
It is the other stuff that can undermine first time parents confidence in their ability to parent and care for their child by not letting them from the get go.

Merry - posted on 05/28/2012

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So what would have happened had you dressed your baby? Would they confiscate the baby? Give you a fine? kick you out?
No, they can no dictate what yourbaby can or can not wear. They may prefer babies wear the hospital stuff but even so, the nurses can't tell you that you can't dress them yourself.
Policy means nothing if it's not a health or safety issue.
They prefer moms wear hospital gowns too but you don't have to!
They prefer all laboring moms have an IV or at least a line in and locked but you don't have to either.

Bonnie - posted on 05/28/2012

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Where I live, the hospital here wipes the baby down really well with towels and then the first night, a nurse will bring a baby tub into the room for the first bath.

Merry - posted on 05/28/2012

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This just keeps bugging me.

We should really watch the way we think of this, because phrases like this one, "We were allowed to dress our baby ourselves." are just really sad! The hospital isn't guardian of your baby. They don't have custody, they can't exceed your rights unless it's a life or death situation.

We should try to word it like this more, "I didn't allow the hospital to wash our son after he was born."

The baby is yours. Not the hospitals. The hospital works for you, they aren't in charge of you.

They're there to help you, and keep you well, but not to dictate stuff like how you care for your baby.

Cyndel - posted on 05/28/2012

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I do it myself, I take the baby into the bath with me, hubby is there to help, and when I'm ready he takes the baby in a towel and I get dressed and come dress the baby. But honestly Vernix is wonderful for their skin and protects it, baby's don't really need a bath for a few days.

Alicia - posted on 05/28/2012

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I didn't allow the hospital to wash our son after he was born to let the vernix be absorbed by the skin. The hospital was fine with my choice and just dried him very well with blankets. The vernix was soaked in around 2-3 days and its a GREAT moisturizer for the baby. No need to bathe after baby is born. Our hospital was WONDERFUL about our wishes to be with our baby 24-7. Even when he had to be in the NICU they didn't make us leave and were very cooperative.
Good Luck!

Jacob - posted on 05/28/2012

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no.. now days they don't usually bath the baby for a day or two
the mucus over the babies skin helps keep the babies skin etc
they like to keep the baby skin to skin on the mother as long as possible the first hours
good luck with your little one ;-)

Kimberley - posted on 05/27/2012

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We were allowed to dress our baby ourselves and give the first bath. It depends on the hospital. I would talk to your midwife and let her know you want to do it. Unless there is a problem with you or bubby then you should be allowed : ) These days, they usually arent bathed until a day or 2 after the birth

Katina - posted on 05/27/2012

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Yes they have to check all part of them and make sure they are ok for the first 24 hrs by the next morning u will have ur baby no? About that

Shelby - posted on 05/27/2012

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I had c-sections with the delivery of each of my children. They both got their first baths and dressed in the recovery room where I was.

Jennie - posted on 05/27/2012

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I had my babies in England & I took them home unbathed, we wanted to do it as a family. I am now having this baby in the states and there is no way they are taking my baby away to wash him/her, that is my job & I would prefer to do it in my home where I know it is super bug free & our other children can join in the 1st baby bath! Keep ur little one with u & enjoy every precious newborn moment cos it can't b got back! X x x

Samantha - posted on 05/27/2012

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I've had 3 kids in 2 hospitals - the first bathed him day 2 in my room (day 1 he was in icu) the other hospital let daddy wash them less than an hr after delivery in the delivery suite with me using a portable baby bath. Both hospitals had a nursery & could take baby if u needed a rest (your choice) I kept mine with me :-)

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