Nursing Care of Newborn Baby at Birth

Nursing Care of Newborn Baby at Birth

Who is Newborn Baby or Neonate?

A newborn infant, or neonate, is a child under 28 days of age. During these first 28 days of life, the child is at highest risk of dying. It is thus crucial that appropriate feeding and care are provided during this period, both to improve the child’s chances of survival and to lay the foundations for a healthy life.

Nursing care of newborn baby at birth
Fig: Nursing care of newborn baby at birth

First four weeks of life after birth are described as newborn period. Proper care of the newborn babies forms the foundation for the subsequent life not only in terms of longevity or survival but also in terms of qualitative outcome without any mental and physical disabilities.

You can read: Essential Newborn Care (ENC): Steps, Components, Principles, Objectives

Nursing Care of Newborn Baby at Birth:

It includes the following:

  • Drying the baby with warm towels or cloths, while being placed on the mother’s abdomen or in her arms. This mother-child skin-to-skin contact is important to maintain the baby’s temperature, encourage bonding and expose the baby to the mother’s skin bacteria.
  • Ensuring that the airway is clear, removing mucus and other material from the mouth, nose and throat with a suction pump.
  • Taking measures to maintain body temperature, to ensure no metabolic problems associated with exposure to the cold arise.
  • Clamping and cutting the umbilical cord with sterile instruments, thoroughly decontaminated by sterilization. This is of utmost importance for the prevention of infections.
  • A few drops of silver nitrate solution or an antibiotic is usually placed into the eyes to prevent infection from any harmful organisms that the baby may have had contact with during delivery (e.g. maternal STDS).
  • Vitamin K is also administered to prevent haemorrhagic disease of the newborn.
  • The baby’s overall condition is recorded at 1 minute and at 5 minutes after birth using the Apgar Scale.
  • Putting the baby to the breast as early as possible. Early suckling/breastfeeding should be encouraged, within the first hour after birth and of nipple stimulation by the baby may influence uterine contractions and postpartum blood loss but according to the WHO, this should be investigated.
  • About 6 hours or so after birth, the baby is bathed, but the vernix caseosa (whitish greasy material that covers most of the newborn’s skin) is tried to be preserved, as it helps protect against infection.

Equipment Needed for Newborn Care at Birth:

All the equipment needed for newborn or neonate care at birth has been listed in the following:

  1. Prepare equipment and supplies for care at birth,
  2. Two (2) or more clean baby sheets /towels,
  3. Gloves,
  4. Scissor,
  5. Sterile ties,
  6. Suction catheter,
  7. Bag and mask various sizes,
  8. Stethoscope,
  9. Baby clothes and cap.

More questions related to this article:

  • What is newborn baby?
  • Define newborn.
  • Who is a neonate?
  • Discuss the nursing care of newborn baby at birth.
  • What cares are required of newborn baby at birth?
  • What kinds of equipment need for newborn care at birth?
  • List some equipment need for newborn care at birth.

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