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World Health Day 2022: Tips To Take Care Of New Born Babies For First Time Mothers

First time mothers need proper guidance to take care of their babies, here are various tips by expert to help you out.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Apr 07, 2022Updated at: Apr 07, 2022
World Health Day 2022: Tips To Take Care Of New Born Babies For First Time Mothers

A new life always brings joy and happiness into our lives, but along with it, brings responsibilities that can be overwhelming at times. A new-born baby is more vulnerable to various infections.  We at OnlyMyHealth understand the importance of your health as well as your new born’s health, therefore we are bringing awareness about various issues related to health through our “Healthy Living” campaign. In this we talk to different experts and doctors from various fields and bring best advice and knowledge about your health topics just a click away.  

What Does a Mother Go Through When She Becomes a mother for First Time? 

Intense Emotions, hormones and undefined happiness even after pain and struggles is what a new mother experiences when she sees her baby in her arms for the first time. No pain, no hormonal changes, and absolutely external factor take away that smile from her face. A mother shares her experience with OnlyMyhealth and tells us what struggles she went through.

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Ms. Radhika, now a mother of two children, explained that she did not have any idea like any other first-time women what is going to happen. She was confused and nervous as doctors helped her deliver the baby. In a few hours she realized she had to breastfeed the baby and had no clue how to do so.  The baby was not able to lock her lips on the nipples and she had to try hard breastfeed her child. Radhika told that anything was worth it, cracked nipples did not matter, all that mattered was if she could take care of her baby.  

In this article you would know about all sorts of problems and tips that you need to know as a first time mother.  

Risk Of Infections in New-Borns

We spoke to Dr. Deepak Ugra, Consultant Pediatrics, P D Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Khar to know about different problems faced by first times mothers and their solution. He said that Infections are passed on from the caretakers to the infant. These infections may be life threatening and are treated only in NICU for a duration of 14 to 21 days with IV antibiotics.  

Since, babies depend on their mothers for nutritional requirements. They need a constant source of energy and any feeding problem can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in them, which may have adverse effects on their health. Early identification and treatment of various disorders during this period is crucial to their long-term health. Hence, extra care should be provided to the infants in these early days.  

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In our country, the concept of joint families is still prevalent. The elders usually serve as a reliable source of information and helping hand to the new mothers. Some families also opt for trained nannies who become a strong support during this phase.  

However, while friends & family are always reliable, it is also important to read and be well-informed about new-born care, by referring to mediums that are reliable source of information. Indian Academy of Pediatrics has published guidelines for parents on various child health issues and is the most reliable source of information for parents. 

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Precautions to Keep in mind while taking care of a New-Born 

1. Breastfeeding in regular intervals, while keeping the new-born comfortably warm and ensuring good hygiene and cord care can improve babies' health significantly. 

2. A new-born has very little capacity for body temperature regulation and loses heat very fast, leading to hypothermic complications arising out of low body temperature.  Hence, the baby needs to be kept warm, while avoiding overheating, which may lead to fever and other severe disorders such as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

3. The ideal room temperature for new-born is 22-24 Degrees Celsius. Any direct contact to air in the form of fan, air conditioners or coolers should be avoided, as it may block the baby’s nose and make them very uncomfortable. Little infants shouldn’t be bathe until the umbilical cord falls off.  Timely dry bath using a sponge with lukewarm water is all that is needed. 

4. The diaper should be placed below the umbilical stump to ensure there is enough circulation air and the diaper dries out faster. The cord should be cleansed with a damp swab and soap to remove blood or any naturally found yellow-sticky fluid. It is advisable to clean the umbilical stump with spirit once a day.

Any discharges, pus, or redness/swelling of the surrounding skin should be immediately addressed and discussed with the pediatrician. Eventually when the stump falls off, leaving a belly button behind, the baby may experience some bleeding and murky discharge. This is normal and is a sign that the area is healing. However, it is important to continue cleaning the area on a regular basis. 

5. New-Borns babies sleep for most part of the day (16-18 hours). They get up only when hungry or need a change of nappy. Hence, aligning them in a proper position will ensure that they are well rested. Babies should sleep on their backs or on their sides, and it is best to avoid using talcum and kajal on their face.  

What to keep in mind while breastfeeding?  

It is recommended that mothers should begin breastfeeding within first hour of the baby being born. Breast milk has all essential nutrients - proteins, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates that a baby needs for optimal growth. Breast milk is also enriched with anti-infective properties that helps in preventing the baby from any infections.

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Mothers may take some time to get used to the breastfeeding routine. Breastfeeding should be done as and when needed, the frequency and length of each feed being best decided by the baby. It is important to feed the baby on a regular basis and patting them on the back for 4-5 minutes to ensure they burp  

Personal hygiene is very important for breastfeeding mothers. It is advised to clean the nipples, hands, and forearms before each feeding session. Holding the baby close, in a tummy-to-tummy position with skin-to-skin contact while breastfeeding is a great way to ensure the child’s comfort is prioritized.      

Young moms may experience soreness of the breasts when the baby begins to suck harder, however, extreme pain or discomfort may require consultation with the obstetrician. 

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When to contact a pediatrician? 

In usual cases, new-born babies with regular bowel movements will pass stools multiple times a day. The appearance may vary from being watery, green or yellow. They may also spit out milk or curd like milk, which is absolutely normal. Baby’s breathing may be heavy, fast or soundless. However, in any of the above-mentioned situations, if the baby is active, alert and is feeding well, there is no reason to worry. 

New mothers should look out for conditions in new-Borns that might require special attention and warrant prompt treatment. Any new-born baby who is not feeding for more than 4-6 hours at a stretch, not passing urine during that duration or sleeping during that period needs to be seen by a pediatrician immediately.

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