Mr. Would be Daddy – Part 8/10

Mr. Would be Daddy – Part 8/10

The baby’s first day is delicate and critical, with lasting impact on later growth and development. There are key things to keep in mind after the baby is born and crying. First, he/she should be breastfed within an hour after birth (for normal deliveries AND C-sections). Even after C-sections, babies can be fed, with the mother in lying down or slightly propped up position, carefully, with the help of a nurse. It’s very important to have a nurse to support a first-time mother, to check if the baby is properly latching on. On the other hand, don’t let her become anxious if she can’t feed in the first few hours. The aim here is to feed ‘as soon as possible’. Reduce her fears, minimize other distractions – let the mother and the baby ‘quietly’ attach and bond as much as possible. Please – only listen to rational (and experienced) advice from the doctor and the nurse. Second, the baby should receive the BCG, Oral polio and hepatitis B vaccines. Third, ensure that he/she is given ONLY breast-milk and nothing else (except oral polio drops and allopathic medicines, if the baby falls ill, only on doctor’s prescription) for next SIX months. Do NOT give water. Anything ‘external’ and not derived from mother’s blood – in which the baby has stayed for previous 9 months – is potentially harmful. The baby’s immune system is too ‘weak’ and ‘new’ for the things that we eat and drink. Whatever the baby needs for growth is right there in mother’s milk! There is scientific evidence to support that initiating breastfeeding ASAP after birth and EXCLUSIVELY giving breast-milk, positively affects the baby’s physical and brain development, in the months to come. Fourth, the baby must be dried and wrapped immediately after birth. Don’t insist on bathing. Follow the doctor’s advice on when to bathe the baby. Remember that babies need to stay warm – they are protected by the mother’s body heat for a good nine months and the outside world is actually cold, way too cold for them! Finally, ensure that there is utmost hygiene i.e. clean hands, clean surfaces, clean wraps and clean cord. Nothing should be applied on the cord-stump left on the baby’s body after the cord is cut. It should be left as it is and kept clean. The stump will dry and fall, about two weeks after birth.


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