As soon as you are born, your baby will have a series of medical exams to confirm that he is healthy. We tell you what they are, in addition to offering you a very useful guide to take care of you at home in your first days and months of life. Here you will find all the information you need: how to take care of your belly button , how to bathe it … A true “instruction book” for parents in distress.
First care of the newborn
While your baby grew inside you, to take care of him you hardly had to worry about leading a healthy life and diet ; But from the moment his head appears, he needs your care and that of the health personnel who have assisted your delivery.
They are very important moments and, at the same time, full of emotion. The midwife will definitely cut the umbilical cord that until now united you, and together with the doctor they will verify with simple painless tests that your baby is born healthy.
We tell you what those first care of the newborn will be like since their lungs take air for the first time and begin to breathe.
What medical care does the baby receive at delivery?
As soon as the baby is born, even before the baby has completely finished , when the placenta is still inside your uterus, the baby undergoes the first medical care so that nothing will complicate his happy birth. We must say that in recent years medical practice has changed, and it is not as interventionist as in the past.
Skin to skin contact
“If the baby starts crying and has a good tone, it is placed on top of the mother to favor skin-to-skin contact and start breastfeeding, ” says Dr. José Beceiro, from the Neonatology Unit of the Pediatric Service, Hospital University Prince of Asturias, of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid).
Cleaning of nose and mouth, according to the center
Traditionally, and still is the case in many maternity wards and hospitals, the gynecologist or midwife gently cleans the newborn’s mouth to eliminate oropharyngeal secretions, that is, phlegm and mucus, and help him take his first puffs of oxygen.
But today in the centers where a less medicalized delivery is carried out, this practice or the aspiration of secretions, gastric lavage, the passage of probes … is not done routinely. “The full-term newborn spontaneously expels the pulmonary fluid in the course of labor,” says Dr. Beceiro.
Umbilical cord cut
The next step is to cut the umbilical cord. The gynecologist or midwife will first clamp it with a surgical instrument (the plastic clamp will not be placed yet) and then break the bond that has held you together. In some hospitals this action is done immediately, minutes after birth, and in others, the cord is expected to stop beating . “The only test that will be performed on the new born baby during the time of skin-to-skin contact are identification and the allocation of the Apgar test. Correct identification of the newborn after birth is necessary from the moment of ligation of the umbilical cord “, points out Ana Ferrer.
Now it is time to perform the Apgar test , the clinical test that measures the vitality of the newborn in its first minutes of existence. What the neonatologist values are five baby values. Your muscle tone, respiratory effort, heart rate, response to external stimuli, and skin coloration.
Baby weight and measurement
Then it is weighed and measured and the head circumference measurements are taken , although in the centers where a more humanized delivery is practiced, this practice is delayed until the mother does not go up to the room, about two hours later, ” so as not to interfere with skin-to-skin contact after birth, “adds Dr. Beceiro
Injected vitamin K and eye drops.
Intramuscular vitamin K prophylaxis is also given “to prevent hemorrhagic disease of the newborn, which can lead to severe bleeding in some cases,” says the neonatologist. An eye drop is also applied to prevent gonococcal eye infection, which you can contract by going through the birth canal.
The image of a baby all rosy and clean that usually appear in movies is very unreal. Babies are born a little dirty but today they are not washed . “In the first hours of life, cleaning should be superficial and in any case should not interfere with skin-to-skin contact with the mother,” says Dr. Beceiro. “The newborn is placed on the mother’s abdomen or chest in a prone position and is dried and stimulated with pre-heated towels to avoid heat loss,” says the birth supervisor, Ana Ferrer.