Immediate Newborn Care: What To Do and Things To Avoid

    Immediate Newborn Care: What To Do and Things To Avoid

    One of life’s most wondrous experiences is the birth of a child. What happens to the baby after labor can vary significantly based on the delivery method, how the baby is delivered, and how easily the baby adapts to life outside the womb. Here’s what all parents need to know about immediate newborn care.

    Essential Intrapartum and Newborn Care (EINC) or Unang Yakap

    In the Philippines, Immediate Newborn Care is called Essential Intrapartum and Newborn or Unang Yakap.

    The newborn’s condition should be monitored immediately after birth. Here are some immediate newborn care tips to ensure the baby’s health and safety during the first hours of their life.

    What To Do

    Immediately when the baby is delivered, the doctor will get the Apgar Score, a very simple test that is conducted on a newborn in the first to five minutes after being born. The doctor, midwife, or nurse examines the baby’s breathing effort, heart rate, reflexes, skin color, and reflexes.

    The 1-minute scoring is calculated to evaluate the birthing operation. The 5-minute score reveals the baby’s well-being outside the mother’s womb. But sometimes, the test will be performed within 10 minutes of birth, depending on the case.

    Then, comes The Unang Yakap, which consists of 4 steps: Immediate Drying, Skin-to-skin Contact, Delayed Cord Clamping and Cutting, and Breastfeeding

    Immediate Drying and then Skin-to-Skin Contact

    After a standard delivery, you should immediately dry the newborn and proceed with the skin to skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact keeps the baby at a warm temperature and allows you both to bond immediately. It also helps maintain the baby’s cardiac pace and breathing.

    This simple act helps reduce newborn crying, trigger breastfeeding, and maintain the baby’s body temperature. After this first touch, the baby will be brought to the nursery for the following:

    • Anthropometric measurements (Weight, Length and Head circumference)
    • Cleaning. The baby will be cleaned for excess blood or any secretions the baby has acquired
    • Physical Examination
    • Checking for the patency of the anus
    • Appropriate prophylaxis (medicine or vaccine)

    Delayed Cord Clamping And Cutting

    The doctor doesn’t immediately clamp and cut the umbilical cord. Instead, they allow some time for the blood from the cord and placenta to flow to the baby.

    Breastfeeding

    When an infant is breastfed immediately right after birth, they have the best chance of survival, development, and developing their full potential.

    Experts believe that mothers should breastfeed babies for the first six months or longer, as soon as possible after delivery. Exclusively breastfeeding right after birth has beneficial effects on a baby’s sensory and cognitive growth, as well as lowering the risk of both infectious and chronic illnesses.

    immediate newborn care

    What To Avoid

    1. Avoid touching the baby with dirty hands

    Immediate newborn care involves good hand hygiene for anyone touching the baby. To reduce infections, they must wash their hands first with soap and water.

    Around 28% of the 3 million newborn deaths every year are due to infections.

    Most of these infections can be prevented by good handwashing behavior of those around them during the vulnerable neonatal phase.

    2. Keep sick people away from the newborn

    Babies have undeveloped immune systems, so they are more vulnerable to becoming sick from infectious diseases.

    As part of immediate newborn care, people with fever, a cough, sore throat, or a runny nose should avoid visiting the baby in the meantime. Keep in mind that people who had contagious symptoms days earlier may still transmit viruses.

    The baby’s well-being is the most important thing, so it is understandable to decline or say no to visitors.

    3. Avoid too cool or warm temperatures

    Babies cannot regulate their own body temperature. If the baby feels cool, keep his body and head covered and keep him close to the mother’s body skin.

    If the baby feels warm, put the baby in the coolest part of the house, loosen the baby’s clothes and wraps, and bathe the baby in lukewarm water. Dry well.

    When To Seek Medical Attention

    If the baby is weak, not breathing properly after delivery, or has a heart rate of below 100 beats per minute, healthcare professionals should move the baby to the warming station. The doctor or nurse will decide what kind of action to take.

    Key Takeaways

    Every baby should receive immediate newborn care, especially within 24 hours after birth. This includes thorough drying, skin-to-skin contact with the mother, early breastfeeding initiation, and exclusive breastfeeding.
    Giving immediate newborn care also determines whether the baby is in a normal state or if the baby has a condition that needs immediate and rapid treatment. So if medical assistance is needed, the baby would be transferred to a better facility or service right away.

    Learn more about baby care, here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    Essential Intrapartum and Newborn Care (EINC) https://caro.doh.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/EINC.pdf, Accessed Sept 26, 2022

    Baby’s first 24 hours

    https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/babys-first-24-hours

    Accessed March 22, 2021

    Breastfeeding from the first hour of birth: What works and what hurts

    https://www.unicef.org/stories/breastfeeding-first-hour-birth-what-works-and-what-hurts

    Accessed March 22, 2021

    Apgar score

    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003402.htm

    Accessed March 22, 2021

    Taking Care of a Baby at Home After Birth: What Families Need to Do

    https://www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/hnn-content/uploads/CORE-ENC-11-08-2011.pdf

    Accessed March 23, 2021

    Washing hands to save newborn lives

    https://www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/blog/washing-hands-to-save-newborn-lives/

    Accessed March 23, 2021

     

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    Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos Updated Sep 26
    Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS