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HealthPhone™: How to Care for a Newborn - The first hours after delivery

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Most babies are born healthy but as they are so small they need great care and attention to survive.

It is better to have your baby delivered at a health centre but if you can't we are going to explain in this film how to care for a baby as soon as its born and how to recognise when it needs to be taken to a health centre for treatment.

We kept our son warm with lots of clean clothes, especially around his head where babies lose a lot of heat.

We are going to be hearing advice from experts Comfort Momo and Janet Farr. First up is Janet.

It is very important to keep newborn babies warm following the birth. If you need to shut all the doors and windows to keep the room warm.

Before the baby’s born, wash your hands thoroughly and put gloves on. This can prevent germs and infection from being spread which can make people really ill.

To help a baby straight after birth you will need the following:

Number One

New, clean razor or scissors that have been cleaned in boiling water to cut the chord. Putting scissors in boiling water and keeping them there for at least ten minutes which is roughly the same time as this film will kill the germs.

Number Two

Two clean ties. These can be pieces of cloth to secure the chord with.

Number Three

At least two big clean cloths to keep the baby warm with.

Number Four

A flat, dry clean surface in case you need to resuscitate the baby.

Number Five

You will also need a second person to help you if necessary.

When the baby’s born place it in the mother’s arms or on her belly.

Dry the baby with a warm clean towel or piece of cloth and check that the baby is breathing as you dry it.

Wipe fluids from the eyes, nose and mouth with clean cloth.

Remove the wet cloth and cover the baby’s head and body with dry clothes.

While drying the baby, check to see if it’s breathing and crying. Is it’s face and body pink? Is it moving and active?

If the answer is yes to all these questions then the baby is well.

Keep baby skin to skin with the mother, keeping them both covered with dry clothes or blankets.

Now let's meet Comfort who will show us how to safely cut the baby’s chord.

If the baby’s breathing and well you can pass it straight to the mother for once breast feeding and cut the chord a few minutes later

You need a clean new razor blade or scissors that have been boiled in water.

Wash your hands with soap and water again.

Put new gloves on. Use a clean thread

to tie the chord tightly at least two finger widths away from the baby’s belly. Then tie a second clean thread two-finger width away from the first one.

Cut the chord between the ties, using a new razor blade. Do not put anything on the stump unless a health worker tells you to. And leave it dry and uncovered.

Check for swelling, redness or bleeding over the next few days until the stump falls off.

If the baby needs help with the stump it should be taken to a health worker straight away.

It’s really very important that newborns are fed soon after birth. Breast-feeding is essential. Here’s Comfort to explain why.

The first feed helps prevent lots of illnesses and the first breast milk which is a yellow colour and called colostrum protects the baby against infection.

Breast-feeding helps the mother deliver the placenta.

Another thing to remember is that you don’t need to wash the baby within the first day.

The baby should also have started to pass wee or poo by the end of its first sunrise and sunset.

So now you know how to check and look after a newborn baby.

Comfort is going to explain what to look out for in the first few days of a baby’s life.

Although babies may sleep a lot during the first few weeks after birth they should wake up to feed at least eight to twelve times from one sunrise to the next.

The baby may sleep between feeds but should be alert when awake, responding to noise and touch and should suckle well at the breast.

If the baby does not wake up to feed regularly it could be unwell. It should be taken to health worker straight away.

Other signs and symptoms that the baby is unwell are:

The baby is small.

It has trouble feeding.

It has less energy than normal.

The baby feels hot or cold.

The baby has trouble breathing.

The baby suffers from fits.

Or it has an infection of eyes, chord, or skin.

If the baby is unwell, it should be taken to a health worker straight away.

So now you know what danger signs to look out for. Even if baby looks well its really important to take the baby to a health centre to be seen by a health worker within the first week following birth. But ideally within the first day so that the baby can have routine checks and medication

So now you know how to assess a newborn baby.

Let's end by reminding ourselves of the information that we’ve seen in this film.

Once the baby is born, place it in the mother’s arms or on her belly.

Dry it with a warm, clean towel or piece of cloth

While drying the baby, check to see if it’s breathing or crying.

Are its face and body pink?

Is it moving and active?

If the answer is yes to all these questions, the baby is well.

Remove the wet cloth and cover its head and body with dry cloths.

Clamp and cut the umbilical chord with a clean new razor blade or scissors that have been boiled in water.

Help the mother to breast feed as soon as possible after the baby is born, within the first hour of birth.

Keep it skin to skin with the mother, keeping them both covered with dry cloths or blankets.

Right. Well - I certainly feel better prepared to look after a newborn baby. Do you?

I hope you enjoyed watching.

We are lucky that we had the help from the village birth attendant to ensure baby was delivered safely and looked properly after birth

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 4 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: Medical Aid Films
Views: 549
Posted by: nand on Jul 13, 2012

The primary intended audiences of this film are communities and birth attendants; it can be used by activists, community health workers, nurses and midwives who run community education programmes.

This film teaches the routine key steps to follow immediately after the delivery of a newborn in case it could not take place at a health centre. It covers in particular the importance of drying and breastfeeding the baby as well as the correct way to cut the cord to prevent infections. It also presents the danger signs to look out for in the first few days of life.

It encourages the early referral of the newborn to a health centre.

© Medical Aid Films - 2012

visit us on-line at http://healthphone.org

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