The moment of birth is marked by a psychological and a physical component. On the one hand, from a psychological point of view, birth is a traumatic experience. The baby comes to a hostile environment from a safe environment. The newborn has to breathe on his own for the first time, he feels cold, the doctors manipulate him, etc. On the other hand, from a physical point of view there are a series of threats that can seriously affect the baby’s health. Both spheres have to be taken into account during the first hours of the baby’s life and to satisfy them there are a series of points to take into account. We will see them below.
BABY CARE IN THE FIRST HOURS OF LIFE
The newborn needs a series of care during the first hours of life. One of the main ones is the umbilical cord cure . After 3 minutes after birth, the umbilical cord is cut. A piece of it is attached to the baby. After a period that goes from 8 to 15 days it will fall by itself. And once it has fallen, it will heal in a period that goes from 3 to 5 days. From the first hours of life until it is completely healed, you have to dedicate yourself to curing it daily. The cure of the umbilical cord is important, since this prevents possible infections.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF THE UMBILICAL CORD EVERY DAY
Eye care should not be forgotten either . Since an eye infection may have occurred during childbirth, this should be done from the moment of birth.
MOTHER AND BABY: CONTACT IN THE FIRST HOURS
Although a few decades ago the custom was to separate the newborn from the mother, the truth is that today that has changed considerably. If there are no complications during delivery that have required a cesarean section, sedated the mother, or endanger the health or life of the newborn, it is recommended that the newborn comes into contact with the mother from the moment of delivery. birth, as this will bring important benefits to both him and the mother. Among these benefits we can highlight that it will be of great help to overcome the stress produced by childbirth. Likewise, skin-to-skin contact with the mother will also help improve the newborn’s breathing, relax him and provide security.
At this precise moment in which the first contact with the mother is established, it is when it is necessary to take the opportunity to initiate breastfeeding . This will help it to be maintained in the future. In addition to immunizing the newborn and providing the first nutrients.
Considering the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, we recommend that you discuss it with your midwife. Let him know that before your baby is taken for testing, you want to come into physical contact with him. Although this practice is becoming more and more prevalent in hospitals, it is important that you make sure in advance.
TESTS AFTER THE BABY IS BORN
To avoid future complications, the newborn must be given a series of tests that indicate its health status. From a medical point of view this is essential. These tests are performed during the first hours of extrauterine life. Your pediatrician or midwife will begin by giving you the Apgar test . In this test parameters such as skin color, muscle tone, respiration or reflexes are measured.
THE APGAR TEST IS A TEST PERFORMED ON THE NEWBORN
During the first hours of the newborn’s life, the hearing test is also performed . This time is considered the best when it comes to detecting hearing problems.
Finally, before leaving the hospital, the pediatrician will perform a thorough examination in which he will check the physical condition of the baby.
COMPLICATIONS TO CONSIDER IN THE FIRST HOURS OF THE BABY’S LIFE
The possible complications that can affect the health of the newborn vary depending on some factors. For example, when it comes to a premature baby, the intestine can become inflamed. This is necrotizing enterocolitis. This can be complicated, even perforating the intestine of the newborn. If this happens, the newborn will have to undergo surgery.
Another type of complications that should not be ignored are possible genetic problems. Some of them are visible to the naked eye. This is the case with polydactyly (more fingers or toes than normal). Others require a more thorough physical exam, such as some types of blindness. And others need an analysis of the blood sample taken from the heel. This is the case with cholesterol and diabetes.
Another series of complications can arise from certain innate defects in the newborn’s metabolism or from certain congenital anomalies
THE FIRST BREAST FEED
The contact with the breast of the mother is advisable to occur after the moment of childbirth because, as mentioned above, this is beneficial ahead of breastfeeding the baby. And it is that it favors the maintenance of lactation over time and since breast milk is the most suitable food for the newborn, it is important that it does not stop prematurely.
It is also important to keep in mind that the breast milk will provide significant protection against possible infection from the first moment of his birth. For its part, it will provide the newborn with all the nutrients it needs for the correct balance of its metabolism. Among other things, it will prevent blood glucose levels from falling beyond the recommended threshold.
The midwife will inform you about this before and after delivery. She will inform and advise you on everything related to breastfeeding, from the benefits of breast milk to how to breastfeed your baby.
BOTTOM LINE: YOUR BABY’S FIRST HOURS
The way we care for newborns during their first hours of extrauterine life has changed considerably. Nowadays, direct contact with the mother is encouraged from the moment of birth, leaving most of the tests for after this contact. For its part, the way of seeing breastfeeding has also undergone certain changes.