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Immediately after birth

Wherever and however you choose to give birth, we will offer you skin-to-skin contact with your new baby or babies.

Skin-to-skin contact is so important at the time of birth, because it:

  • keeps your baby warm
  • regulates your baby's breathing and heart rate
  • passes on your skin's 'friendly' bacteria, helping your baby fight infections
  • calms and relaxes both you and your baby
  • stimulates hormones that support breastfeeding.

For further information please visit 'Infant feeding'

Stem cell collections

Oxford University Hospitals does not support the collection of private umbilical cord blood / stem cell collections on any of its premises. For further explanation and details, please read the letter at the link below.

Umbilical cord blood collection (pdf, 102 KB)

Postnatal checks

We will weigh your baby, and carry out an initial 'top-to-toe' check. We do a more in-depth check when your baby is six to 72 hours old.

We also offer an injection of Vitamin K to your baby just after birth. Vitamin K is needed for the normal clotting of the blood. All babies are born with low levels of Vitamin K, and the injection helps to protect against Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB).

Vitamin K - Information for parents-to-be (pdf)

Going home

If you and your baby are well, and there were no issues during your labour, you may be able to go home shortly after the birth.

Sometimes you or your baby may need some further monitoring or you may choose to stay longer for support. Your midwife can discuss your plans to go home when your baby is born, and make a personalised plan with you.

In a few cases, families with babies born outside hospital may need to transfer to the John Radcliffe Hospital Women's Centre for monitoring.

If you are going home by car, you must have an approved baby's car seat with you: a car seat for a baby is a legal requirement.


What happens during labour and birth - NHS website