Newborn Care Essentials - SPARSH Hospital

Published in : Women & Children | November 15, 2020 |

Newborn Care Week

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Care of the Newborn

Delivery of your newborn is probably the only event where you visit the hospital for a joyous occasion in your life. With nuclear families in vogue, parents need to be prepared to handle things with ease to care for their newborn. A baby’s birth is the time when all relatives and friends want to descend upon to look at the new arrival. It is for the best though, since the mother can be stress-free for a few weeks after delivery and relax, and can establish feeding properly and bond with her baby. Mothers, aunts and husbands form great support to new mothers during these times. When a baby is born, so is a mother. This Newborn Care Week, we address a few frequent concerns that most parents want answered.


Babies are required to be breastfed as early as possible or at least within an hour of birth. The first milk called colostrum is highly nutritious and provides immunity to the baby. Babies should not be given water, honey or any non-prescribed liquid or non-prescribed syrup as they do only harm. Mothers are encouraged to talk to the doctors, nurses or lactation consultants to learn the right technique of breastfeeding and should not hesitate to put forth any concerns to them. The best way to feed is on demand or every 2–3 hours for 20–30 minutes. Gently burp the baby after each and every feed.

General Care of the Baby

The baby can be bathed on the next day of birth, using mild or baby skin-friendly soap with lukewarm water, followed by non-scented baby moisturiser. Newborn babies are unable to regulate their body temperature, so do not overdress or underdress them. Keep the umbilical cord stump dry; it will fall off in a few days. Avoid powder on their face and kajal on their eyes.

Signs to Look Out for and When to Call Your Doctor

Most babies do very well. Babies are sent home after their first immunisation; newborn screening tests are done to check for any diseases and hearing tests are performed in hospitals as a routine. Jaundice or yellowish discoloration of eyes and skin is seen in earlier days and is quite normal in most cases. Do consult your doctor if you have concerns such as the baby being very yellow and sleepy. Small vomits after feeds are common; any large vomits or green vomit should not be ignored. If you notice bleeding from anywhere or in their poop, do consult your paediatrician. Girl babies can have vaginal discharge or bloody discharge due to the influence of maternal hormones and will eventually stop. If you notice the baby has fever, fits, lethargy, poor feeding or any other issues, do consult your doctor.

Diaper Rash

Many parents do complain of diaper rash. It is important to frequently change diapers every four hours or immediately after the baby poops. Diaper-free time is a must as it prevents rashes and infections.

Other Important Things to Do

Exclusively breastfeed for six months and consult the doctor if you get less breast milk. Weaning is done after six months under the guidance of your pediatrician. Try to make your surroundings child safe and child friendly to avoid untoward accidents.


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