Newborn Care at Our Hospital

Newborn care in the delivery room

After months of waiting, your baby is born and you are eager to hold him or her in your arms for the first time. Before meeting your newborn, you can expect to see our doctors and nurses caring for your baby in the minutes after birth to make certain that he or she is healthy and stable. Learn more about getting ready for baby

Baby’s First Cry

Hearing your baby cry in the delivery room is a good sign. Crying helps him get rid of any excess fluid that may still be in his lungs, nose or mouth.

Connection to Mom

While in the womb, your baby received her nutrition and oxygen through the umbilical cord that connected you both. Now that she is born and breathing on her own, her blood supply is redirected to her lungs, allowing the medical staff to cut and clamp the umbilical cord.

Keeping Baby Warm

When a baby is born, he is wet from the fluid in the womb and can easily become cold. Nurses will dry his skin, and if you and baby are stable will immediately place the infant skin to skin on his mother and cover him with a blanket.  You and your baby are to bond together for at least an hour.  During that time we hope you two will initiate breastfeeding – the first step to a healthy life. 

Apgar Score

The Apgar score is designed to check your baby’s condition at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth. Your baby will be checked for five things (Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance and Respiration).

Vitamin K Shot

Your baby will receive a shot of vitamin K immediately after she is born. For a few days after birth, newborns are unable to make vitamin K, which is needed for blood clotting. The vitamin K shot protects your baby from developing a rare, serious bleeding problem that can affect newborns.

Eye Drops 

Your baby’s eyes will be treated with medicated drops or ointment. This protects her eyes from bacterial infections that can be contracted during delivery.

Newborn Screening Tests

Your baby’s heel will be pricked to obtain a few drops of blood after 24 hours of life. This blood sample will be used to screen for genetic and biochemical disorders. These birth defects may not be obvious at first in a baby. But, unless detected and treated early, they can cause physical problems, intellectual disabilities and, in some cases, death. Most babies receive a clean bill of health.

Hearing Tests

A newborn may also receive a hearing test. The test measures how the baby responds to sounds. A tiny soft earphone or a microphone is placed in the baby's ear. Without testing, hearing loss often is not diagnosed until a child is about 2 to 3 years old. By that time, the child has often developed speech and language problems. Early treatment helps to prevent these problems.


Your baby will be measured for weight, length and the size of his head to ensure that he is at a healthy range for the number of weeks of pregnancy.


Circumcision as needed. Learn more about Circumcision


Once your baby’s body temperature is stable, she will be given her first bath.

Footprints and Medical Bracelets

As part of your baby’s first medical record, his footprints will be taken and added to the record. Babies are usually given two identity bracelets (one on his foot, the other on his arm). You, too, will be given a matching bracelet.

Some Babies May Face Challenges after Birth

Babies that need special care may be placed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This is a part of the hospital where babies are cared for using advanced technology and specially trained health care professionals.

Breastfeeding Your Baby

In the delivery room you may breastfeed your baby.

Make an Appointment

(202) 865-3028