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When a baby enters this world, the battle is just half won. There is a series of steps that start from screening of the newborn to vaccination, which ensures a healthy life.
Soon you will experience that boundless joy of delivering a baby, often described as the most beautiful feeling. Shortly after delivery, your newborn will be evaluated, dried and covered in a warm towel. This is done to protect the baby from sudden change in conditions.
The nose and mouth of the baby are suctioned in order to clear the secretions. This helps in vitalising normal breathing. It is essential for the baby to cry within 30 to 60 seconds of birth. In case the baby does not cry, he is given a gentle stimulation or a rub on his back.
After an infant’s birth, the doctor clamps the umbilical cord in two places before cutting it from the middle. The blood from the cord is collected in a tube and sent to the lab for testing. These tests help us know if the baby is healthy or facing any complications
Common Newborn Health Problems After Birth
In case the baby has problems at birth, extra care is required. He should immediately be examined and placed under observation or a full-fledged resuscitation. He is placed on a radiant warmer in the birthing room, as the warmth allows the baby to help adjust in the environment outside the mother’s womb. If the baby needs further care after being stabilised, he may be taken to an intensive care nursery.
It is common to see a newborn having jaundice or breathing problems. Many premature babies or even full-term babies tend to develop jaundice because of immature liver. In such cases, certain tests are conducted to start immediate medication. The skin and eyes turning yellowish are the symptoms of jaundice. Here, the baby is exposed to special lights through a process called photo-oxidation that helps to break down and remove the extra bilirubin from the blood.
Some babies may have immature lungs. It occurs when the baby’s lungs lack sufficient surfactant (a chemical which prevents air sacs from collapsing during breathing). Most babies face such a problem during birth. The doctors may use ventilators to allow the baby to breathe normally.
Vaccines Necessary for a Newborn
Here is a list of vaccines that are very important for a newborn. The following vaccines are administered to the baby at appropriates ages:
- Hepatitis B – 3 shots
- DTaP – 6 shots
- Hib – 3 or 4 shots
- Polio (IPV) – 4 shots
- Pneumococcal (PCV) – 4 shots
- Rotavirus – 2 or 3 doses
- Influenza (seasonal and H1N1 flu) – It needs to be given once a year for kids who are 6 months and older.
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) – 2 shots
- Varicella (chicken pox) – 2 shots
- Hepatitis A – 2 shots
- Meningococcal (MCV4) – 2 shots
- HPV – 3 shots
You should always consult a doctor before administering any of the vaccines to the baby.
With happiness comes responsibility, your newborn requires extra care and affection right from the start for a healthy growth. So enjoy your motherhood and cherish each moment with your bundle of joy while taking care of him.