Welcome to the National Newborn Care Week 2023! As parents, it’s natural to have fears and concerns about the well-being of our little ones. And these fears are valid – according to UNICEF, 45% of deaths in children under the age of five occur in newborns. While some of these deaths may be due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), there are also preventable causes that contribute to these statistics. That’s why this year’s newborn care week is more important than ever. It serves as a reminder that every newborn deserves safety, quality, and nurturing care as their birthright. So, as we mark this week, let’s take a moment to reflect on our own practices and see if we are doing enough for our precious little ones. Keep reading to learn more about the essentials of newborn care and how we can all do our part in ensuring a healthy start for our babies.
How do I know if I am doing enough for my newborn?
It’s natural to have concerns and doubts about whether you are doing enough for your newborn. As a parent, you want to provide the best care and ensure their well-being. Well, we’re here to reassure you that you are likely doing enough for your little one. The fact that you are seeking information and reading this blog post shows that you are already taking steps in the right direction.
When it comes to newborn care, there are a few essential tasks that are considered enough to meet their needs.
First and foremost, nappy changes are a crucial part of their care routine. Keeping your baby clean and dry is essential for their comfort and hygiene.
Secondly, feeding your newborn on demand, whether it’s through breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, is vital for their growth and nourishment. It’s important to listen to your baby’s cues and feed them whenever they are hungry.
In addition to these tasks, ensuring that your newborn has physical contact is also crucial. Physical contact, such as holding your baby, using a sling, or gently rocking them, promotes bonding and a sense of security. It also helps regulate their body temperature and reduces stress. So don’t hesitate to snuggle up with your little one whenever you can.
But remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. So it’s always a good idea to consult with your paediatrician. As one client shared, “I wish new Mums had reality explained to them.” Checking with your paediatrician will help ensure that you are fully aware of the newborn essentials and have the necessary support when needed. You can also visit our paediatrician clinic in Prabha Devi to meet with our paediatrician who loves kids and has been caring for them for more than a decade.
So take a deep breath, trust your instincts, and remember that you are doing a great job. Your love and care are already providing a strong foundation for your newborn’s healthy development.
What are newborn care essentials?
High-quality universal newborn healthcare is the right of every newborn everywhere. From the moment they take their first breath, babies have the right to be protected from injury and infection, to breathe normally, to be warm, and to be fed. This means that all newborns should have access to essential newborn care, which is critical care for all babies in the first days after birth.
Essential newborn care is needed both in the health facility and at home. It involves a combination of medical interventions, nurturing care, and supportive practices that ensure the well-being of newborns.
Let’s take a look at the components of essential newborn care:
- Immediate and thorough drying: As soon as your baby is born, they should be dried gently with a clean, warm towel. This helps to keep them warm and stimulates their circulation.
- Skin-to-skin contact: Placing your naked baby on your bare chest immediately after birth promotes bonding, regulates their body temperature, and helps them latch onto the breast for breastfeeding.
- Early initiation of breastfeeding: Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for newborns. It provides essential nutrients and antibodies that protect against infections. Encouraging your baby to breastfeed within the first hour of birth is crucial for their health and well-being.
- Exclusive breastfeeding: In the first six months of life, babies should be exclusively breastfed. This means no other liquids or foods should be given, not even water. Breast milk is easily digestible and provides all the nutrients your baby needs for healthy growth.
- Clean and safe cord care: Proper care of the umbilical cord is essential to prevent infections. Keep the cord clean and dry, and avoid applying any substances like powders or creams.
- Immunisations: Ensure that your baby receives all recommended vaccines on time. Vaccines protect against common childhood diseases and are essential for their overall health and development.
- Newborn screening: Shortly after birth, your baby may undergo screening tests to check for certain medical conditions. These tests can help identify potential health issues early on, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.
Remember, these components of essential newborn care are just a starting point. Every baby is unique and may require additional care and support. Trust your instincts, seek guidance from healthcare professionals, and ensure that your precious little one receives the best possible care. After all, their health and well-being are in your hands.
Signs that Your Newborn is Getting Adequate Care
As a parent, it’s natural to have concerns about whether you are providing adequate care for your newborn. After all, their well-being is your top priority. But how do you know if you’re doing enough? Here are some signs that your newborn is getting the care they need:
- Contentment: A well-cared-for newborn is generally content and satisfied. They will exhibit signs of being comfortable and calm, such as relaxed facial expressions, peaceful sleep, and regular feeding patterns.
- Healthy Weight Gain: Adequate nutrition is crucial for your baby’s growth and development. If your newborn is steadily gaining weight within the recommended range, it indicates that they are receiving sufficient nourishment.
- Active and Alert: A newborn who is receiving proper care will be active and alert during wakeful periods. They will show curiosity, responsiveness, and interest in their surroundings.
- Regular Sleep Patterns: While newborns do sleep for most of the day, they also have periods of wakefulness. If your baby is establishing regular sleep patterns, with predictable nap times and wake times, it is a positive indication of their well-being.
- Healthy Skin and Appearance: A well-cared-for newborn will have soft, supple skin and a healthy complexion. They will also have clear eyes, good muscle tone, and appropriate hair growth.
We can’t stress this enough – every baby is unique. If your baby is displaying these indicators, it’s a positive indication that you are providing good care. However, if you notice any other concerning signs, it’s best to seek advice from a neonatologist who can offer guidance and support. So keep an eye out for these cues and trust your instincts.
Professional Support for Newborn Care: When and Why to Seek It
Navigating the world of newborn care can be overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. That’s where professional support comes in. Seeking professional support for newborn care is important to ensure that you are providing the best possible care for your little one. Whether it’s guidance from a neonatologist, a paediatrician, or a lactation consultant, these professionals have the expertise and knowledge to answer your questions and address your concerns.
Professional support can be beneficial in several situations. For instance, if you’re having difficulty with breastfeeding, a lactation consultant can provide guidance on latching techniques and help troubleshoot any issues. If your baby is experiencing health concerns or if you’re unsure about certain newborn essentials, consulting with a paediatrician or neonatologist can provide reassurance and necessary medical advice.
Remember, seeking professional support doesn’t mean that you’re not doing a good job as a parent. It’s about seeking additional guidance to ensure that you’re providing the best care possible for your newborn. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals when you have questions or concerns. Their expertise and support can make a significant difference in your journey as a parent, giving you the confidence and knowledge to navigate the challenges of newborn care.
Celebrating Newborn Care Week
Let’s come together and celebrate the importance of newborn care during National Newborn Care Week 2023! This week is all about highlighting the newborn essentials and ensuring that every baby receives the safety, quality, and nurturing care they deserve. It’s a time to recognise the efforts of parents and caregivers in providing the best possible care for their little ones. So, let’s take a moment to appreciate the dedication and love that goes into newborn care and continue to prioritise the well-being of our precious newborns.