After giving birth, most queens will immediately open the sacs over the kittens' faces so that they can take their first breath. If this is your queen's first litter and she is struggling, or if she does not do this straight away, you should tear open the sacs for her with your nails.
Then place each kitten near the queen's mouth so that she can stimulate the kittens' breathing by licking them. If any of the kittens appear to be in distress, you should dry them and keep them warm.
You should consult your veterinarian if the kitten does not nurse. Most queens will chew off the umbilical cord and then eat the placenta. Give her 15 minutes or so to perform this chore. If she still has not cut the cord by this time, then you can do so by tying a piece of string around the umbilical cord about 1 inch or 2.5cm from the kitten's stomach.
Then, using sterilized scissors cut the cord on the outside of the string, farthest from the kitten's stomach. Or, using your fingernails, clamp the cord tightly, and using a scissor motion, cut back and forth, until the cord has been severed.
Then with sterilized scissors, cut the cord, again about one inch or 2.5cm from the kitten's abdomen. The queen will generally eat the placenta and excess umbilical cord. She has an instinctive fear that predators will be attracted by them and will harm the newborn kittens.
Even the completely domesticated queen has these instincts, passed down to her through generations of ancestors who lived in the wild. The queen will them wash her kittens, and at this stage you may want to weigh the newborn kittens.
The queen will nurse her kittens until they are about three weeks of age. At this time they will start eating semi solid and solid foods, but may still nurse occasionally for several weeks. Closely inspect the newborn kittens to check that they are properly formed. Be very careful not to cause them any unnecessary harm or anxiety.