The first six weeks after birth, also called the postnatal period, are critical to giving your baby a healthy start.
As a new mother, your primary focus should be bonding with your baby, figuring out when to feed them, and keeping them safe and healthy.
It can be a very overwhelming time, and your mind may be racing with questions, and you might require help, and here we are with some amazing tips to help you out.
So, without further delay, let us get straight to the topic.
- Schedule at least four postnatal care visits soon after delivery
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that postpartum women and newborns visit a pediatrician or family doctor within 24 hours of childbirth, then two days later, for the third time within the first two weeks, and lastly, in the sixth week after delivery.
These visits will not only help track the baby’s normal growth and developmental milestones but also allow you to ask questions if your baby is behaving somewhat abnormally. This could include not taking milk, being excessively sleepy, having blood in the baby’s nappy, having a congested or runny nose, and non-stop, unexplainable screaming.
In addition, sometimes, during delivery, excessive stretching of nerves damages the brachial plexus nerves and causes limpness in the baby’s shoulder, arm, and elbow.
If your child cannot lift their arm or bend their elbow, chances are that they have developed Erb’s palsy. A pediatrician will catch the disease early so that the treatment begins sooner.
Therapy, medication, and surgery to treat Erb’s palsy are expensive. For this reason, we recommend you contact Erbs Palsy attorneys at the Birth Injury Justice Center immediately if you suspect your child’s birth injury results from medical malpractice.
An experienced lawyer will help you file a lawsuit and receive the highest possible financial compensation so that you can hire high-quality pediatric services for your child.
- Set basic sanitation rules for household members and visitors
With a baby at home, continuing with the sanitation measures you observed during the pandemic becomes all the more important.
Before touching or holding the baby, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with a suitable antibacterial handwash. We know you cannot wait to hold your little fellow, but keeping them safe should be your topmost priority.
Visitors can still be contagious and spread harmful gems even if they do not show any symptoms. When guests arrive at your home, request them to wash their hands before they hold the newborn.
When around the baby, older kids in the family, or any visiting children, for that matter, should be encouraged to cover their coughs and sneezes and discard their tissues properly after blowing their nose.
- Vaccinate your baby and the people around them
Newborns don’t have a strong immune system yet. They rely on antibodies transferred from their mothers during the first six months of life.
The infant, after birth, can begin receiving further vaccinations at six months of age, which will protect them by helping them develop their antibodies.
That said, only the Hepatitis B vaccination is given to newborns at birth; the remaining doses are given over the four years post-birth.
While newborns can’t get most vaccines yet, and are at a higher risk for infection, getting vaccinated is important for everyone in the household who is eligible to get them.
It will help protect the baby from germs, bacteria, and viruses they are exposed to when people touch or hold them.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Talk to a feeding specialist or lactation consultant if you deliver your baby to a hospital. They can provide you with expert advice on how to nurse the baby correctly and hold them in your arms safely.
In addition, you should opt to get referrals from your family or the healthcare institution to help you find a reliable and trustworthy nurse for in-home care.
Relatives, close friends, and family members often want to help too. Don’t dismiss their experience just because you disagree with them on certain parenting habits. Whether it be holding the baby, bathing them, changing the diaper, cleaning their clothes, or running a few errands for the baby’s need, use all the help you can get.
- Don’t let your baby’s frailty hold you back
While holding a newborn is one of the greatest joys of parenthood, you must handle them with utmost care. Here are a few important things you should remember:
- Hold your baby like a football, with their chest and stomach pressing against your arm.
- Don’t squeeze the scalp or let anything hit or fall on your baby’s head.The skull bones aren’t fully developed yet to protect the brain. Touching the head is fine, but pressing it down may cause brain bruising and bleeding on the outside of the brain.
- Keep your baby upright after feeding. Face their stomach towards your chest. Support the back of their head and neck with one arm and their bottom with another.
- When traveling or walking outdoors, ensure your baby is securely fastened. If you must wake your infant, tickle their feet or blow gently on their cheek instead of shaking them. Never shock your baby, as they might get injured in the process.
- Don’t kiss your newborn if you have (or recently had) a cold sore. Cold sores are caused by the HSV-1 virus, which can cause brain damage and death in newborns.
With a weak immune system, newborn babies need much love and attention in the first few years of their lives and are fully dependent on parental care.
When welcoming a newborn into your family, it’s important to use the tips mentioned above to reduce the risk of illness in your baby and keep them as healthy as possible.
It is also important as a mother to take care of your health – the healthier and more fit you are – the more you can take care of your baby efficiently.