After The Birth

After The Birth

After you have had your baby, you and your partner will be allowed time alone with him/her. The midwife will help you to breastfeed if you wish. Bottle fed babies may have their first feed on the ward. 

Pain Relief

Depending on your mode of delivery, you will be prescribed analgesia (pain relief) to help with any pain you may experience post the birth so you can look after yourself and your baby. At CUMH, we use a 'pain score'. 0 represents no pain whereas 10 represents very bad pain. The midwife/doctor will administer analgesia depending on your score. You will also be offered a prescription for analgesia on discharge home. 

Rooming In

We encourage rooming in. No matter how you choose to feed your baby we encourage you to stay with your baby 24 hours a day. All babies (even those born by Caesarean section) stay with their mothers unless they are separated for medical reasons, for example, if your baby is admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Rooming-in starts from the time mothers come to their room after birth or from when they are able to respond to their babies after a Caesarean sections. Rooming-in should start no later than one hour after normal vaginal deliveries and continue until you are discharged.

Protecting Your Baby
  • Supervise your baby at all times.
  • If the baby security tag or name bracelet falls off your baby’s ankle ask a midwife to replace it immediately.
  • Do not give your baby to any person who is not known to you. Always go with the baby.
  • Always ask why people, who you have not met before, are in your room, even if they are dressed in uniform and have hospital identification.
  • You and/or your partner should always be present whenever your baby is being examined.
  • It is not advisable to put a notice of your baby’s birth in the media.
  • We would ask that you DO NOT walk around the ward corridor with your baby in your arms but to place them in their cot (which has wheels). This is to ensure the baby's safety and so we can identify the baby as yours. 
  • Partners are asked NOT TO LIE on the patients’ bed, this is for infection control reasons. 
  • Always change your baby's nappy in their cot and not on the bed, this is for your baby's safety and infection control reasons. 

 When your baby is breastfeeding or in skin to skin contact with you:

  • Please ensure your baby’s nose is free and that he can breathe
  • Your baby should have easy regular breathing
  • Your baby should have a good colour


If at any time your baby
– Does not have easy, regular breathing
– Does not have a good colour


Sleeping with your baby in bed is not advisable.
  • To prevent your baby from falling out of bed, ensure:
  • Cotsides are secured and a rolled blanket placed between the cotside and the bed
  • Ensure the light is on to help you look at your baby
  • Place your baby back in the cot after the feed
  • Have your call bell nearby
  • Call the midwife if you need help
Baby Tagging Security System

In order to keep all babies safe, we have a computerised Baby Security system along with a strict Baby Security policy. When your baby is born, an electronic security tag is tied on to your baby’s ankle. This tag is picked up by the computerised security system, which is monitored at all times by the security officers and the midwifery staff. If a baby approaches a door the tag will activate and the door will automatically lock. If a baby with a tag goes through a door the next door will lock and an alarm will sound. All of this activity is carefully monitored. When the baby is going home, we will remove the security tag.

Vitamin K

We recommend that all babies born at Cork University Maternity Hospital receive Vitamin K, which is necessary for the clotting mechanism of the blood. 

Why does the baby need Vitamin K?

Babies are born with low levels of Vitamin K and are prone to a bleeding disorder that can be prevented by giving your baby Vitamin K. 

How is Vitamin K given?

With your consent, the midwife will give your baby an injection of Vitamin K 1mg (0.1ml) into the thigh. 

When is Vitamin K given?

Vitamin K will be given to your baby in the Birthing Suite immediately after birth. 

Are there any side effects?

While there are no reports of side effects from the Vitamin K, some babies will have a minor swelling for a short time around the injection area.

Baby’s Medical Tests and Examinations

Your baby will be checked by the midwife and the baby’s head circumference and weight will be recorded. If there are any concerns your baby will be immediately examined by the neonatal team.

Otherwise your baby will have a full medical examination, including a hip check, on day one or two of life.

Newborn Infant Oxygen Saturation Test

All infants born at CUMH will have the oxygen levels in their blood checked by pulse oximetry. The test helps detect some heart problems that may not otherwise be possible to detect during the newborn examination. The procedure will be performed by your midwife and involves attaching a small plastic probe to your infant’s foot. It takes about two minutes to perform and your baby will not feel anything.

Newborn Hearing Screening

Parents of all babies born at the hospital are offered a hearing test for their baby. One to two babies in every 1,000 are born with a hearing loss in one or both ears. Most babies born with a hearing loss are born into families with no history of hearing loss so it is important to test all babies. The Newborn Hearing Screening programme aims to identify moderate, severe or profound hearing impairment as soon as possible after birth to give babies a better ‘life chance’ of developing speech and language skills and of making the most of social and emotional interaction from an early age. The hearing test will usually be carried out while the baby is settled or sleeping at the mother’s bedside. Any baby who does not have a clear response from the test will be seen for a full audiological assessment at our Audiology Clinic (hearing clinic) in Cork University Hospital.

Newborn Bloodspot Screening Test (Heel Prick)

Soon after your baby is born you will be offered a Newborn Bloodspot Screening Test (or Heel Prick Test). This test is strongly recommended, but you may say no if you wish. This test helps us to find babies who may have rare but serious conditions. Early treatment of these conditions can prevent severe disability or even death.

In Ireland, all babies are screened for: phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, classical galactosaemia, homosystinuria, cystic fibrosis, and maple syrup urine disease.

The test is carried out four days after your baby is born. The public health nurse (PHN) or midwife will prick your baby’s heel using a special device to collect some drops of blood onto a special card. You can help by making sure your baby is warm and comfortable and by being ready to feed and/or cuddle your baby.

For babies at a higher risk of galactosaemia, a heel-prick sample will also be taken at birth for a special test (Beutler test). If your baby is at risk of galactosaemia, you may be advised not to breastfeed until the result of a normal test is back. If your baby’s tests are normal, we will not contact you directly. Occasionally, the public health nurse or midwife will contact you to take a second blood sample from your baby’s heel. This may be because there was not enough blood collected, or the test result was unclear. Usually the repeat results are normal. We will have the results of abnormal results within five working days. If your baby’s results are of concern we will contact you to arrange blood tests. Some babies may need to stay in hospital for a short time. If your baby does have one of specialist doctors, dieticians and nurses will advise you on how to manage your baby’s condition and will follow your baby’s progress long-term. The majority of babies with these conditions will grow up healthy and well once the treatment has started.

For further information please ask your midwife or PHN or visit

Length Of Stay

Your length of stay in hospital after birth is flexible but on average it is:

  • After first baby: 2 to 3 days
  • After subsequent babies: 1 to 3 days
  • After Caesarean Section: 4 days
Post Caesarean section wound care: