Baby's First Hours

What's Happening to Baby

  • After birth, hospital staff dries baby and checks the baby's overall condition.
  • Baby gets an identification bracelet, security sensor and the first bath.
  • During every shift we check baby's vital signs, perform a head-to-toe examination, check on feedings and change diapers.

Tips for Baby's Health

  • Baby will be given antibiotic ointment for the eyes and an injection of vitamin K (essential for blood clotting). Your doctor may also order a first dose of hepatitis B vaccine to prevent a serious liver disease. Read more about these medications given after birth
  • Newborn screening tests use a few drops of blood from baby's heel to identify disorders that—if not detected and treated—can result in severe illness or mental retardation. If screening tests conflict with your religious beliefs or practices, please let us know.
  • Your physician will order a hearing screen for your baby at normal speech levels. Further testing can be arranged if needed.

How Valley Medical Center Can Help

  • Our hospital staff are trained and eager to help with any baby or mom care questions you have.
  • We hold a baby care and feeding class in The Birth Center every morning at 9:30 am for all moms and family members.
  • We encourage you to consider the benefits of breastfeeding. We help during baby's first 2 years through parent support groups and outpatient lactation consultants.
  • At Valley Medical Center, we test newborns' hearing.
  • If your baby is premature or has special needs, our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides special monitoring, treatment, technology (including breathing support), and staff. Valley doctors and nurse practitioners who specialize in newborn care are available around the clock.
  • Make sure you enroll your newborn for health insurance coverage. Many insurers have application deadlines. See Helpful Tips for Adding Your Newborn to Insurance Coverage flyer.
  • To file a record of your baby's birth, Valley Medical Center will give you a Birth Information Worksheet, which is submitted to the Washington State Vital Statistics office.
  • We'll also provide a birth certificate request form (King County issues birth certificates).
  • We want things to go well for you at home. Please see tips for preventing SIDS.