Are you aware of the newborn baby precautions? Now, suddenly, the child is independent. From its mother’s womb, where it lived an aquatic existence without pulmonary respiration (fetal lungs do not function), it passes into the free atmosphere. One can imagine what an overwhelming change this is to the child, and how important it is to protect it from any additional shock in the course of delivery and in the next few days.
Newborn baby precautions
Clear the blood and mucus
Immediately after birth, the physician attends to the baby. He clears any remaining blood or mucus from the mouth and throat with a suction tube. Shortly after birth sometimes during it, the baby begins to breathe and utters its first cry. With some, this occurs spontaneously, with others, a slap on the feet or a back massage may be needed to start respiration and crying.
Cut the umbilical cord
The doctor then pinches, ties, and cuts the umbilical cord three inches from the abdomen. A clamp is applied to the stump; it will remain there until the stump itself dries and drops off, usually within a week or two of birth. In a first general evaluation, the physician will determine whether the infant needs resuscitation techniques to help him breathe and encourage circulation.
Apgar Scoring System
He checks the heart rate, respiration, color, muscle tone, and reflexes. He may relate these findings to a standard scale known as the Apgar Scoring System, a set of standards rating the infant from I to 10. Most infants are in excellent condition, with Apgar Scores of 7 to 10. A low score at one minute of life may indicate the immediate need for resuscitation techniques; at 5 minutes it Yields some idea of the infant’s general health and survivability.
Shift to nursery room
The blood and mucus are removed from the infant’s body. But a cheesy white substance, the vernix caseosa, that covers him, is left. This coating is absorbed completely by the baby’s skin within 24 hours. To prevent gonorrheal eye infections which might be picked up in passing through the mother’s genital area, attendants place silver nitrate, penicillin, or tetracycline in the infant’s eyes right after birth. Identification tags matching the mothers are attached to the wrist and ankle of each child before he leaves the delivery room, to avoid any possible mix-up in the nursery.
Check the weight
The baby is weighed and measured. The usual weight is between 6 and 7 pounds for a firstborn, but statistically, weight varies with race and socioeconomic status of the mother. The length normally ranges around 20 inches. The doctor then proceeds to a minute examination of the child for congenital defects. Many of these can be corrected on the spot. He checks heart rate and size, the expanding lungs and respiratory rate; he examines the fingers and toes, the skull and spinal column for any abnormalities.
A final word on the subject of the newborn. At the moment of birth, it is nothing of beauty. The head is pressed out of shape by its passage down the birth canal, the face is swollen and smeared with blood, the nose is flattened. But fortunately, within a few days, all of this changes for the better.