The first medical checkup

In the first 12 hours a pediatrician will give your baby a checkup. In addition to a head-to-toe examination, there will be checks made on skin color, temperature, and muscle tone, and on reflexes, such as sucking and grasping.

Heart and lungs are checked to ensure they sound normal.

Head shape and fontanelles (soft areas between the skull bones) are examined.

Hands and feet are checked for reflexes, and fingers and toes are counted.

Mouth and palate—the separate sections should have fused together.

Hips are rotated and the legs are bent upward to check for signs of dislocation.

Spine is checked to ensure it is straight and free from abnormalities.

After a cesarean

Your recovery

Although you’ve had major surgery, you’ll be encouraged to get up to get your circulation going. After an epidural, this will be as soon as you’ve regained the feeling in your legs. After a general anesthetic, you’ll be encouraged to get up when you no longer feel sleepy, usually within an hour. You won’t be able to shower yet, but your nurse or midwife can give you a bed bath to help you freshen up.

You’ll probably feel very tired and sore, so ask for help with positioning your baby at the breast, and take pain medication when you need it.

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