First care for your newborn

First care for your newborn
As soon as a newborn baby arrives, the doctor or the nurse in charge should offer a number of services such as clearing the mucus and any other material around the baby’s nose, mouth and the throat. This can be done using a suction bulb. This allows the baby to relax and breathe freely. The nurse should then place two clamps side by side on the umbilical cord before cutting them. The baby should be dried and laid on its mother’s abdomen. After the cord has been cut, the clamp on the stump should be removed within 24 hours. However, the stump must be kept dry and clean.  An alcohol solution must be applied on the stump daily until it falls off in one or two weeks.

The doctor should examine the newborn baby to identify any sign of distress or abnormality. The doctor should record the newborn overall condition. They should declare whether the newborn baby requires extra help in blood circulation or breathing. If the child is stable and can breastfeed, the nurse should obtain the babies length and weight.

The newborn baby should be wrapped in a light weight cloth and their head covered so as to reduce loss of body heat. The nurse should put a few drops of antibiotics such as silver nitrate, tetracycline and erythromycin in the baby’s eye to prevent infection. The baby may have come into contact with bacteria during delivery. The mother and the father should then be encouraged to hold the baby to give them a chance to bond with the baby.  In particular, the mother should be allowed to breast feed the child within 30 minutes after giving birth. Breastfeeding is important since it stimulates oxytocin, the hormone that helps the womb to heal faster and trigger the production of milk. The doctor should give vitamin K injection to the baby to prevent bleeding.

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