“A new baby is like the beginning of all things- wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.”Eda J LeShan
The first few hours of a newborn are inarguably the most critical. This time will determine the success of the infant’s transition from the mother’s womb to the outside world. Therefore, newbie parents, doctors, and other medical staff must ensure that everything goes well and the child is safe.
In fact, the first hour after birth (regardless of natural birth or C-section) is observed as the Golden Hour. According to doctors, this time is essential as it assists in breastfeeding and stabilizes them for external uterine life.
That’s not all; the proceeding hours are also vital for the health and well-being of a child. So, you must prepare for the same using the following tips.
What Newborn Looks Like
If you think a newly born baby looks bouncy and incredibly adorable, as shown in series, movies, and product advertisements, you are mistaken. In reality, infants are wet and tiny. They require immediate warmth to prevent loss of body heat after drying up. That’s why early skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby is recommended.
Additionally, a newborn’s head is large and slightly pointy compared to its body. Their skin is also sensitive; thereby, it is essential to keep them protected.
Health Assessment And Vaccinations
Infants must undergo numerous health screenings to determine their health status and response. Typically, the screenings evaluate the heart rate, breathing, activity, muscle tone, colour, and reflex irritability.
These tests are pretty easy and provide an Apgar Score. Simply put, each category is scored between 0-2. If the score is between 7-10, your child is healthy. On the other hand, if the overall score is low, your child needs oxygen and monitoring.
Furthermore, within the first 24 hours, babies need vitamin K injection, hepatitis B vaccine, IPV, RV, Diphtheria, and other vaccinations.
In some scenarios, this score is low due to medical negligence by doctors and nurses. They have to monitor the fetus’s heart rate during the birthing process using special equipment. Any recklessness during this process can lead to a drop in heart rate and oxygen level, causing birth injury and affecting the child’s development.
So, if you suspect birth injury or negligence on the part of healthcare, you must get in touch with a qualified birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can assist in investigating the situation and provide the best legal advice for your case. If the injury is severe, they can further help you get the appropriate financial compensation.
Physical Examinations During And After Labor
Aside from regular health assessments, healthcare professionals will conduct physical examinations to check the baby’s health. These tests might be conducted minutes after the birth in the delivery room or after a few hours in your room- varying according to the hospital’s policy.
Even so, the common procedures include the following:
- Measure height, weight, head circumference, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature.
- Eye care
- Cord care
This information is recorded for medical purposes and to create an ID bracelet for the baby. The ID tag is checked every time the baby enters or leaves the delivery room.
Breastfeeding For The First Time
Breastfeeding within the first few hours is crucial for the baby, as it provides nourishment from colostrum. It protects the baby from illnesses in the first few months and boosts its immune system.
First-time mothers might be unable to produce enough milk as they begin nursing. However, the quantity will improve after a day or two. Similarly, the colostrum is watery & thin for some mothers while yellowish & thick for others.
Also, know that initially, you have to feed infants every 2 or 3 hours. So, it would be best to consult a breastfeeding specialist to prepare for the same.
Reaction To New Environment
Finally, newborns are quite alert about their new environment. They spend a handful of time studying the faces around them, especially their parents. They also respond to the voices around them and use their sense of smell and touch to identify the parents.
Though their vision is blurry, they can see things 8 to 15 inches away, recognizing you. Moreover, they tend to get sleepy pretty quickly, so you must wake them up every 2-3 hours to feed them.
Welcoming a new life to this world is an incredible yet overwhelming experience. When you hold your little one in your arms for the first time, everything will instantly become magical and euphoric. However, it is also when infants need the utmost care and attention for good health and well-being. So, make sure to follow the tips discussed in this article.
DISCLOSURE – This is a collaborative post.