Babies are born either by caesarean section or by vaginal delivery, which is sometimes assisted with forceps around baby's head or a suction cup ('ventouse' delivery) on baby's head.
At the birth of a premature baby, a team from the neonatal unit will be ready to place the baby onto a heated bed ('Resuscitaire') which is equipped with oxygen and suction. There they will dry and warm the baby, and (depending on the baby's age) may need to implement measures to help the baby breathe.
Babies born under 30 weeks gestational age are routinely intubated (a breathing tube is passed into their airway) so that we can administer a liquid called surfactant which helps babies to breathe. Surfactant is naturally produced by babies, but they may not make enough of it when they are born early.
Likewise, if a baby born at term requires assistance with breathing, a paediatrician and nurse from the neonatal unit will attend immediately. The baby may respond well with some oxygen, or may need to be admitted to the neonatal for further observation or treatment.