Newborn babies are a blessing for parents. For first-time parents, it is the most joyful time in their lives. However, taking care of a newborn is a big responsibility. With an increase in infant deaths, it has become extremely important to impart equal pre-natal and post-natal care to the baby. To help you, here is a complete guide on how to take care of a newborn to prevent their early death:
What are the Reasons for Infant Deaths?
Neonatal death or infant death is when a baby dies before 28 days of life. According to WHO, the estimated neonatal death rate is 29 per 1000 births. It means every year approximately 4 million infants die. For parents, it is devastating to lose a child so early and they may have a lot of questions about how and why it happened. It can be because of a number of reasons which are as follows:
Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are termed as premature. Babies born too early may develop various health complications due to low immunity like infections, respiratory disease syndrome, hemorrhage, etc.
Babies whose birthweight is less than 3 kgs have higher chances of infant death. Such babies have low immunity and can easily develop infections or various other diseases which can cause their death.
Related reads: Know All About Baby Emergencies.
These are the defects present in a baby since birth. It can be a defect in the shape and size of different body parts or a defect in the internal organs like a hole in the heart, lung defects, etc. Birth defects can cause problems in the overall health of a child and affect the way a body function.
Babies with major birth defects may die in the womb itself after 20 weeks of pregnancy and are born still.
How to Take Care of Your Baby?
For first-time parents taking care of a baby can be overwhelming especially if they are born prematurely or have any other defect. To ensure that the baby’s health improves steadily, here are certain tips on how to take care of them:
Breastfeeding is an essential part of a baby’s healthcare routine. Breastmilk contains all the nutrition that is required by a baby. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat – everything your baby needs to grow. Your baby should be strictly fed breastmilk until they are 6 months old and later semi-solid foods can be introduced.
An infant is very attached to its mother and hence should not be separated from her for a longer period of time. A skin-to-skin contact between a mother and baby can help soothe them and feel secure. This can be done every time your child is wailing or ill.
Cleanliness & Hygiene
Maintaining proper cleanliness and hygiene is important to keep your baby away from unwanted germs and infections. Since the immunity of premature and children low birthweight is extremely low, it is necessary to ensure that the stuff used by them to play or wear is sterilized and free of germs.
Develop a Routine
A proper daily routine should be developed which includes everything from skin-care and nutrition to sleep-time and check-ups. This will help you keep a track of all the activities that need to be done and you won’t miss out on anything important.
How to Improve the Overall Health of your Baby?
Postnatal care is equally important as pre-natal care. Once your baby is born one should make sure that the mother’s and the baby’s health keeps improving. The various ways through which one can improve the overall health of your baby are:
The sure shot way of improving a baby’s overall health is by making sure that the mother is healthy. The mother needs to have a healthy diet and exercise adequately to ease the pain in her body and fight infections and fatigue. This will automatically improve the quality of breastmilk which will improve your baby’s health. Even during pregnancy make sure not to do any strenuous work or smoke, eat, and drink something which can affect your baby’s health.
Also, read about: Pregnancy Diet – How To Keep Yourself & Your Baby Healthy.
Regular Visit to the Doctor
A regular health check-up is essential for the mother and the baby as it will help detect any defects or infections in the body and help keep a track of the overall development of your baby.
Must read: Vaccination Time for Babies.
Both the mother and the baby should sleep adequately to improve their health. The mothers should sleep for at least 8-10 hours and the babies may sleep for about 14-18 hours each day. Sleep can reduce the stress levels in both the mother and the baby and can help boost their immunity.