Your baby will probably be a bluish-white colour at first and may be covered with the greasy fluid vernix caseosa, which protected her skin while it was immersed in the amniotic sac.

When is the cord cut?

At the appropriate time two clamps are applied to the cord, one a short distance from the navel, the other about an inch away. These prevent the cord from bleeding; the one closest to the baby being the most important.

What checks are made after the birth?

When your baby is born she will be checked straightaway to see if she is fit and healthy.

Will I be able to hold my baby straightaway?

If her breathing is normal there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t hold her immediately: she’ll drink in your smell and begin the bonding process straightaway.

How do I bond with my baby?

Your baby will be happiest next to your skin where he can feel your warmth and hear your heartbeat.

How should dad bond with his new baby?

Bonding isn’t confined to mothers It’s important that dads bond with newborns too ‘ through touch, smell and sound.

Is feeding linked to bonding?

A strong argument in favour of breastfeeding is that it can trigger mother love because one of the hormones that stimulates lactation is also, in part, responsible for the love you feel for your baby.

When does the milk come in?

Remember, your breasts don’t actually produce milk for the first three days.

I don’t have time for myself or my partner. What can I do?

Most of your waking and many of your sleeping hours will be devoted to looking after a new baby and this is a difficult thing to get used to.

Looking after my baby is so hard – am I doing something wrong?

No. It’s easy to underestimate exactly how much work and disruption is involved in looking after a new baby.

I’m feeling guilty about not keeping on top of things…

Guilt is a common feeling amongst all mothers, not just those with new babies.

My friend has offered to babysit. Should I take up the offer?

Caring for a new baby is exhausting and time-consuming but it is important that you make an effort to make time for yourself and for you and your partner.