After the birth, your baby will be examined by a paediatrician, your obstetrician or a midwife.
If your blood glucose levels have been stable during your pregnancy and the birth, and your baby has no problems, your baby will probably go with you to your hospital room.
If your baby is born very large, very small, prematurely or is having breathing problems or low blood glucose levels, they may need to be observed in a Special Care Nursery for a day or two.
Not all maternity hospitals are equipped with a high-level Special Care Nursery, so in some circumstances your baby may need to be transferred to another hospital.
Skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby will be encouraged at birth because it will help you to develop a close bond with your baby. It also allows your baby to suckle and will help to keep your baby’s temperature more stable. Ask your midwife about skin-to-skin contact if your baby is in the Special Care Nursery after the birth.
Your baby’s blood glucose level
Your baby will be tested for low blood glucose levels for at least the first 24 hours after birth. Blood glucose tests are done by heel prick at regular intervals until the baby’s blood glucose levels are in the normal range. This test is to check for low blood glucose levels, it is not a check to see if the baby has diabetes and does not mean that your baby will develop diabetes in the future.
If your baby’s blood glucose level is low (less than 2.0 - 2.5 mmol/L), your baby may need to have supplementary feeds or some glucose. Talk to your midwife about using your breast milk for supplementary feeding.