Put your nurse cap white on and let’s refresh ourselves with proper newborn care. The birth of a baby is certainly a miracle. Just imagine it came from inside a mother from a tiny clump of cells to a bawling baby boy or girl. Proper care must be taken to ensure the survival of the baby within the first 24 to 48 hours.
The First Cry
As the baby is delivered from the womb, amazing changes start to happen. The first cry signals the baby’s functioning lungs. Inside the womb, the lungs are not yet functioning and thus doesn’t a lot blood supply. The amazing process somehow times the baby’s birth so that the lungs are activated after delivery. Just imagine if the baby started breathing inside the womb. Depending on the hospital protocol, you can rest the baby for a while with the mother, or just allow the mother to see the baby before being wheeled to the newborn care station.
Dealing with the Cord
The umbilical cord is sealed with a cord clamp that’s near to the navel before it’s cut. There are a lot of literature out there that says to wait for the pulsations of the cord to stop before clamping and cutting. Others perform a milking technique to squeeze the blood into the baby. Everything depends on the protocol of the hospital you’re in.
The Importance of Warmth
Inside the womb, the baby is kept at a very nice and toasty body temperature of the mother. Once out of the womb, the differences in room temp and body temp might trigger shivering of the baby as he or she tries to maintain body temperature. The shivering requires a lot of oxygen and could put the baby into respiratory distress. Don’t underestimate warmth, it could mean a lot of difference in the survival of the baby. Always maintain warmth when transporting to the newborn care station, when cleaning off the baby or putting the baby on an infant weighing scale mechanical, INMED. Determine if the baby is small for gestational age (SGA) or full term.
Baby’s first Physical Check-up
Most nurses do their physical check-up of the baby while it’s on a weighing scale for convenience. The size of the head, body length and abdominal circumference are recorded for baseline statistics. Should there be abnormal increases or decreases will alert the Pediatric doctor of any problems. Other areas of the body are also checked. Using a digital thermometer, the anal temp is measured for a proper body temp reading as well as to check for anal imperforation. Eyes are not usually checked because they take some time developing but the ears can be checked with an Otoscope Pocket (LED), WELCH ALLYN 22880.
Cleaning Up and Rooming In
The baby will likely be covered in vernix caseosa. It’s a white, jelly-like substance that functions as lubricant to make childbirth easy. There will also be some blood, mucus and other secretions on the body of the baby. Proper newborn care must include the gentle cleaning of the baby and swaddling them and giving the baby to the mother for their first proper bonding and initiation of breastfeeding.
Dealing with Infant Jaundice
Unfortunately, there will be times when the baby has some problems that need to be taken cared of. The most common problem is infant jaundice. Sometimes the immature liver of the infant can’t handle the breakdown of fetal blood cells and their skin sometimes turns to yellow. An Infant Phototherapy Bilirubin, TRP100 might be needed to expose the baby to gentle UV light to facilitate the breakdown of bilirubin and turning the baby back to normal.
Be prepared for newborn care. Philippine Medical Supplies has all the equipment and medical supplies you need. Order online and get it delivered to your lying-in clinic or hospital.