4th Stage Labour
The fourth stage is the first two or three hours after birth.
What is happening?
- Your body is recovering from the hard work of labour and birth.
- Your baby may breastfeed or nuzzle your breast. For information on how to start breastfeeding, click here.
- You have lost blood during the birth and you may be very tired.
- Your body may begin to shake.
- You may have difficulty peeing due to swelling.
What might you be feeling?
- Tremors and chills.
- Discomfort from after pains, episiotomy or tears, and hemorrhoids.
- Dizzy or faint if you try to get up.
What can you and your support person do?
- Ask for more warm blankets as you need them.
- Place an ice pack (wrapped in a towel) between your legs to decrease swelling in you perineal area.
- Drink fluids and have a light meal if you are hungry.
- Have help before you get up.
- Continue breastfeeding and cuddling your baby.
- Keep your baby skin‑to‑skin until your baby finishes the first feeding and then for as long as you wish. Skin‑to‑skin is the best way to help your baby learn to breastfeed and keep your baby warm, calm, and stable. Partners can use skin‑to‑skin contact to help keep baby warm if you need to get up.