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Safe Mother. 1993 Jul-Oct;(12):4-6.

The newborn baby needs special care.

[No authors listed]



The first essential element of care for a newborn is a clean and safe delivery in a medical facility or at home with a trained birth attendant who follows aseptic procedures. Kits with the items necessary for a clean home delivery are available. For a safe delivery, labor must be monitored and not allowed to continue for more than 12 hours. Antibiotics are used for prolonged premature rupture of the membrane, oxytocics are used as appropriate after delivery of the infant and placenta, and certain traditional practices are avoided. Prolonged, obstructed labor can lead to asphyxia in newborns. Asphyxia is also a problem in infants of low birth weight (which is more likely if the mother is anemic or hypertensive or has a history of bleeding while pregnant or a large number of children). The baby's airway must be kept clear to avoid asphyxia. Mucus can be wiped from the baby's mouth and throat with a cloth, or a mucus extractor can be used by trained personnel. A face mask should be used to get air into the lungs of san asphyxiated baby. Newborn must be kept warm, even in tropical countries. Low birth weight babies are especially prone to hypothermia, which can be avoided by drying the baby immediately after birth, placing it in skin contact with the mother, and covering both with a blanket in a warm room. Early breastfeeding is also helpful, and a healthy child should be placed on the breast as soon as possible after delivery for as long and as often as it needs. This will stimulate milk production and will provide all the fluid the baby needs for 4-6 months. In addition, suckling reduces the mother's bleeding and stimulates the contraction of the womb. If, however, a women knows she has HIV infection, she will need special information about the best way to feed her infant.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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