Months dreaming of the arrival of this important day, the arrival of our baby , that unrepeatable moment in which for the first time you can take it and feel it, but it is also the moment when doubts and fears invade us.
Until now the baby has developed thanks to the nutrients and oxygen that the mother supplied through the placenta, a supply that has not been interrupted in nine months and that has allowed the baby to mature enough so that now and in a healthy way independent, face a new stage outside the womb.
The first hours of a newborn
Many new parents are surprised when they attend the birth of their baby, it is not that pink and smooth child. Indeed, babies are born with a very different appearance from what the movies show us.
The first thing we highlight is the shape of its head , slightly pointed, this is because the bones of the baby’s skull overlap to be able to pass through the birth canal, a shape that will disappear after a few days, giving rise to a rounded head. .
The baby’s skin will appear wrinkled and covered with “sebum”. This substance is called vernix caseosa, with an oily appearance that keeps the baby’s skin hydrated and protected from the amniotic fluid in which it has been submerged for nine months.
In some cases and especially if the baby is born prematurely, his skin has a soft touch and covered with a kind of fluff, this fluff is called Lanugo and it is extremely fine hair that will end up disappearing in two weeks. Lanugo is the hair that protects the baby’s skin in the womb and appears covered with vernix.
Their extremities , both the legs and the arms of the newborn tend to flex as a reflection of the position adopted in the maternal uterus, especially in the last months of gestation, since the space is very reduced, this reflex will disappear and their extremities will straighten as the baby grows.
After delivery and in the following days the baby will begin to change its appearance, its color will turn pinker, its limbs will stretch and its skin will become smoother.
As soon as the baby is born, the umbilical cord will be clamped , the only physical link that still connects the baby with its mother. Once the cord has been cut, the baby will have to breathe on his own using his lungs for the first time, in some cases they will need a little help.
You must immediately pass a medical examination that will assess the general health of the newborn. The procedure will be as follows:
- Clean the mucous membranes of both secretions and amniotic fluid that obstruct the airways.
- Examine the body for any sign of a morphological malformation.
- Using a probe, the doctor will verify the proper functioning or, where appropriate, the state of the baby’s digestive tract and esophagus .
- Blood samples will be taken to assess your general condition, paying special attention to the levels of both sugar and bilirubin.
- Both the total length of the baby and the head circumference will be measured .
- The weight will be noted .
- It will provide a few drops or eye ointment to prevent infection.
- The Apgar test will be performed.
Apgar test : The Apgar test is a fundamental test to know the baby’s response capacity to a stimulus as well as its vital signs.
The tests are classified into 5 categories .
- Heart rate
- Muscle tone and activity
- Reflex response
Based on the baby’s reaction, each of the five categories will receive a score of 0-2. Once the tests have been carried out and with the individual score of each category, the average score will be calculated.
This test is performed on the baby as soon as it is born and will be repeated one minute after the first evaluation and again 5 minutes later.
It is understood that the results are normal and the baby will not need special attention, when the average score is between 7 and 10 . A lower note will alert you to a problem and therefore the need for rapid intervention by medical personnel, either by providing oxygen or performing other maneuvers.
In the following hours after birth, it is time for the injections, the first of which is an injection of vitamin K, a vitamin that will help prevent serious bleeding, helping the blood to clot.
Once the health status has been verified , our baby will be vaccinated . The first vaccination received and provided that the parents give their consent, is against hepatitis B , according to the current vaccination schedule.
Finally, the baby will receive a pleasant bath that the father may possibly enjoy, for later and once all these tests have been carried out, the moment comes when the mother and the baby meet again and it is also the time to try to breastfeed for the first time. . The first food your baby will receive will be a kind of thick liquid called colostrum.
Colostrum is secreted by the mammary glands, its color is light yellow and very rich in minerals, protein, vitamins A and E . The importance of the intake of colostrum lies in the fact that it will keep our baby free of infections since it is rich in secretions of Immunoglobulin IgA and due to the large amount of leukocytes it contains, essential to protect the baby against viruses and bacteria.
If everything goes well, in two or three days both the baby and his mother will be at home, but not without first performing a final test, the blood screening test .
The blood screening test will be carried out on the last day of your stay in the hospital and will be used to detect diseases such as phenylketonuria or PKU, congenital hyperthyroidism , as well as other types of ailments that, if detected early, can have an effective treatment and cash.
The return home
The first days at home will be adaptation , both from the parents to the baby and from the latter to the parents. These days will help you discover your surroundings. From the moment of its birth, the baby is able to react to a loud sound , even turning around, especially if the sound comes from its parents. The baby’s fundamental mission is to identify his parents to achieve this, he will activate the rest of his senses such as vision, hearing, touch and smell.
The vision of a newborn is not clear but blurred, although it is able to recognize faces like its mother’s if it is less than 50 cm away. He is also capable of putting into practice the first sounds to establish communication and will do so through crying. With crying, the baby will tell us if he is hungry, in pain, cold, etc.
Newborns spend long periods of time sleeping, so it is essential to wake them up to take their feedings, which will be approximately every 2 or 3 hours . The capacity of our baby’s stomach is very limited so his feeding will be frequent and in small quantities .
Not all babies obtain the necessary food by suckling, in some cases breast milk is insufficient and it is necessary to help with maternity milk.
Mothers who breastfeed their babies, in addition to protecting them, create a very important affective bond for their later emotional development. Breastfeeding your baby means that wherever you are, your food will always be assured, at the ideal temperature and without paying anything.
The best way to feed your baby is for him to suck on both breasts, first one and then the other, altering the order in the next feeding. After each shot, the expulsion of gases is played .
When sucking the food, the baby also introduces a large amount of air, which later will have to be expelled by burping. Some children are able to expel them without assistance, while others will need a gentle pat on the back to help them.
When a baby after eating, instead of falling asleep presents a picture of irritability and restlessness, it is probably the need to expel air.
At bedtime and especially after a feeding, we must not position horizontally, it is better that you lie lightly on the side and always on the right side, so that the heart does not feel pressure. Let’s not forget that babies often suffer from reflux problems, lying slightly on the side, you can expel it without problems, avoiding drowning.
Vomiting in newborn children is also frequent, let’s not forget that the route from the stomach to the mouth is very short and therefore, a hiccup or cough can cause vomiting.
Possibly one of the fears that moms have is to know if their babies are feeding correctly , these fears soon dissipate since if the baby is hungry they will let you know, starting with continuous crying, other gestures such as sucking on their hands or looking for the breast, will also be a clear indication of your needs.
The first days will surely be stressful, the newborn baby does not stop crying and we do not know what is wrong with him. This part belongs to the adaptation period, newborns cry to demand the attention of their parents, either due to hunger, pain, gas, etc.
Crying is the baby’s way of communicating with us and for that it will use different types of cries that we will surely learn to differentiate. However we can distinguish between:
- Crying continued . When our baby cries continuously and persistently, it is usually a sign of being hungry.
- Nervous tears . It is an intermittent crying, shut up and cry again. This type of flat usually indicates that the baby is sleepy but it is difficult to reconcile it.
- Cry of grief . Our baby may be too hot or on the contrary cold.
- Cry with screams . The baby is not feeling well, it may be that he is uncomfortable, gassy, etc.
- Broken cry . It is the typical cry after a tantrum, our baby shows us his anger.
Hygiene and Baby Care in the first days
The baby will need a series of hygienic care and among them, we highlight the moment of the bath has to be special, quiet and intimate.
The temperature should be the most similar to that of the baby, between 35 and 37 ºC, the best time of day being around noon, avoiding the coldest temperatures in the morning and afternoon.
Do not be in a hurry and dedicate all the time you need, the bath will not only serve to maintain your baby’s hygiene but also provide them with peace of mind and peace . In the market there is a great variety of baby bathtubs, if you are interested in knowing them, here we leave you a selection of the best baby changing bathtubs .
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THE NAVEL?
When we get home, our baby will continue to have the umbilical cord clamped. This cord, which is initially pink in color, will change color until it reaches a state of mummification and finally falls off. This process usually lasts a week, although in some cases it can take up to 15 days.
Until the umbilical cord falls out, it will need minimal but significant care. First we will clean it with 70% alcohol or chlorhexidine , in no case mercromine or iodine, then simply wrap it in a sterile gauze.
We should never try to pull or cut the umbilical cord even if it seems already dry, it dries up and falls off, otherwise we could cause a hemorrhage.
WHEN TO CHANGE DIAPERS?
The skin of a newborn baby is very sensitive and will require special attention. We must check his diaper every time we wake him up to eat because if it remains in contact with the baby’s sensitive skin for a long time, it could cause dermatitis. On the other hand, the humidity causes the appearance of fungi, causing infections that are much more difficult to treat.
Every time we change our baby’s diaper, we must wash the entire area with warm water , dry well and then put on a new diaper.
Babies grow very fast so it is not advisable to fill up on clothes for the first few days. Natural fabrics will be the most recommended for your skin, much more delicate, cotton clothing for summer . In winter, underwear should be made of cotton, while wool should be used as outerwear.
After the first week or so, it will be advisable to go for a daily walk with our baby, simply wrap him well, with comfortable and loose clothing, that does not cause friction or redness.
Nor can you ever miss a lullaby to wrap both when you get out of the bathroom and in those precious moments when you breastfeed your baby. If you are looking for lullabies and shawls, you may be interested in a selection of the Best Shawls and Lullabies for Babies
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.