CDH UK - The CDH support charity

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What happens after baby is born?

When baby arrives you may notice that he or she may not cry and that they are blue in skin colour (Cyanotic), do not be alarmed by this, even babies without CDH may not cry or have a bluish colouring (Cyanosis). Some Doctors prefer for babies not to cry, so that they are not using their underdeveloped lungs, which reduces the risk of damage to them. Likewise do not be surprised if they cry, this is also normal.

As soon as baby is delivered, you can expect a lot of activity in the delivery room. The priority is for the Doctors to attend to the baby immediately and usually this involves intubating baby, which is inserting a flexible tube into the baby’s trachea (airway) via baby’s mouth, the insertion of an NG tube (naso-gastric tube) into baby’s stomach, to release any air, and administering medication to keep baby still and sedated.

This is all carried out to enable artificial ventilation (life support). This will be carried out as quickly as possible in order to stabilise baby. In addition to this baby’s apgar score will be taken and recorded, this is a series of observations undertaken at the birth to establish the condition of baby and is carried out on all newborns. It is usually carried out at 1 minute after birth and 7 minutes after birth and offers useful information to the Doctors.

Sometimes baby may require resuscitation immediately after birth if they are not breathing at all.

You will probably be unable to hold your baby after birth, but once he or she is stabilised in the delivery room you may be offered a quick glance before they take baby to NICU. It may then be a few hours before you can see your baby, because he or she has to be put onto the chosen ventilation equipment and will have to undergo a stabilisation period, x-rays, blood tests and other monitoring procedures.

Also, if you have encountered a difficult birth or had a C-section it may not be possible for you to be up and about until the Doctor’s are satisfied that you are well enough. This can be distressing, but be assured that this is in both your interest and baby’s interest and as soon as it is possible you will be allowed to see baby.