We have a children’s hospital at ADONIS, with a fantastic team of paediatricians, including pediatric surgeons. We also have a state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratory and other equipment.
And today we’d like to share our knowledge and address some of the most often asked questions concerning newborn care.
When the child has been discharged from the maternity hospital, what are the next steps? Or anything else we need to know about the process of discharge.
The length of time the newborn spends in the maternity hospital after birth varies. If the baby is born normally after 37 weeks, he or she will be kept in the hospital for 2-3 days before being discharged. About 5 days after the c-section. If the baby was born on the period of 34-37 weeks, then it is required about 7 days to be sure the baby is gaining weight and eating well. In case the baby was born before the 34th week, then it is a very individual treatment plan.
When you leave the hospital, you should be certain that your baby is entirely independent in several essential areas, including as eating properly, gaining weight, maintaining body temperature, defecating, and breathing normally.
Also, it is vitally important to make sure that the baby was seen by a pediatrician within 3 days after being discharged. This first check-up is very important because not all conditions could be seen during 3 days after the birth.
What are the most important questions to ask before the baby is born?
In the event of an emergency, you should have information about who to contact and how to reach them on hand.
The type of food you will feed the infant is the next item to consider. It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor before or after the delivery, while you’re still in the hospital.
After that, you need to make a decision and prepare the place where the baby will be sleeping.
And the last important thing – is to prepare the safe transportation of the baby from the hospital to the place of residence. You should arrange a baby car seat.
What knowledge should we have about a newborn baby?
We must accept that a newborn may not resemble the image depicted in the film.
A baby’s typical position is still a fetus pose with hands and legs tight to the body.
It is typical for the baby’s skin to be reddish in color and for the eyelids and other visible regions to enlarge.
During the first month, babies have very poor eyesight. It is normal that a baby does not react, smile, or recognize you when you come closer.
The hearing is also not very strong during the first month, and the baby will react only to loud sounds.
But what is the child is very sensitive to and is very receptive to and might be a good way to communicate with him/her is a touch. So stroking, holing and all touching communications are very important and very welcoming.
During the first month, the most common and available language for the newborn is, of course, the cry. It can be quite loud, but it is the baby’s only means of communication at first. By the end of the first month, you’ll be able to tell if the cry is due to hunger, a need for a diaper change, or simply a demand for attention.
The time of sleep during the first month is up to 14-18 hours. For First 4 weeks most of the time baby is spending sleeping or eating.
In the weeks following delivery, how does a first-time parent care for their newborn?
The first and most important factor is the feeding of the baby. It is necessary to feed the baby every 2-3 hours and you will receive a recommendation about the amount and dosage of food by your doctor.
And it is extremely important not to have breaks between feeding for more than 5 hours. Because the level of sugar/glucose can drop very fast, the baby can go from sleeping directly to a hypoglycaemic coma.
The next important thing is the amounts and types of pee and poo that baby has. The baby should change not less than 8 diapers per day. And if notice that there is a fewer number of dirty diapers, that is a reason to contact the nurse or pediatrician immediately.
When there is a need to change a diaper you will know because the baby will wake up every 1,5-2 hours to eat or to defecate.
The next important thing to pay attention to is the sleep of a baby. As you might already know there is a high risk of sudden death syndrome in infants. So it is important to know how to organize a safe space for sleeping for a baby.
It is important not to smoke near the place where the baby sleeps, to control the position of a baby while sleeping.
The safest place for a baby to sleep is a baby crib that is located next to the parents’ bed. And the only thing that should be inside the crib is a mattress and no pillows or toys. The safest position for a newborn is sleeping on a back with turned head to the side.
If the baby is suffering from a tummy ache (which is quite common and normal), some parents like to place the baby on their chests for sleeping, but it is not a good idea. Only for a short period of time, but the safest place to sleep is always a crib.
Also is important to control the temperature in the room and dress a baby accordingly, because at this age the baby can not regulate the temperature quite well yet. The optimal temperature for a baby is 19-22 °C or 66-72 °F. Even the baby looks very defenseless and fragile, it does not need very high temperatures, so it needs to be that temperature that is important for health and immune system. A good measurement of how to dress a baby is how you are dressed yourself and maybe cover with a thin blanket while sleeping. The same thing for when you go outside, if you go outside with a jacket, you do the same for a baby. Be careful about overdressing or underdressing. Cold feet and hands is not an indication for a baby to be cold, the proper place to check the temperature of the child is the chest and neck.
Another important thing to be aware of is how to take care of the skin of a baby since it can be very dry and sensitive in the firth weeks. So it is good to use the baby lotion. And it is important to change diapers often and in time, not to have diaper rashes.
What kind of food should we feed a newborn from a surrogacy program in the first few days? Is it better to use donated breastmilk or formula?
Even though there are numerous advantages to breastmilk, there is sometimes anxiety involved with all of the processes: logistics, storage, and so on. So, if the procedure is stressful, all benefits can be assessed, and it is preferable to begin and continue with a formula.
There is a huge variety of formulas milk like powder ones as well as liquid. Both types are equal, but the powder is a bit less convenient, the liquid one is ready to use and the only thing needed is to warm it up. But at the same time, we should consider that the expiry date of liquid formula is much less and it should always be stored in a fridge.
And if the baby has any allergies or other specific reactions, then it will be only powder formula.
You should make the final decision about what type to use after the baby is born after the doctor will see the individual needs of a baby.
Which newborn symptoms should be reported to a doctor right immediately, and how can a new parent get help?
First and foremost, we pay close attention to our body temperature. The typical temperature is 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit). If the temperature rises above that, a baby’s clothing should be lightened immediately because it could be a reaction to overdressing. If the temperature does not drop within 15 minutes, it is time to call a doctor or an emergency.
Another vital sign is the refusal of a baby to eat for 2 hours after a regular feeding schedule. It can be because of a sore throat or mouth or other deeper issues.
If you see the change of the color of the skin to blue and especially you notice the signs of breathing problems that is a reason to call an emergency immediately.
If the baby constantly crying and nothing that you are doing like feeding, holding and so on for half an hour, call a doctor.
And if the baby is in a too relaxed position and not in a fetus pose or sleeping too much and is difficult to wake him up, it is also the reason to contact a doctor.
What should a new parent be aware of when it comes to vaccinations for their child?
We can share what we recommend in Ukraine, but you should also check it with your local doctor.
Typically in Ukraine, there are 2 mandatory vaccinations that are done to newborns in a hospital: against hepatitis and tuberculosis.
But if your country has a different schedule and if your country does not require tuberculosis then we could not give the vaccine.
And the next vaccination is done 1-2 months depending on the country.
What are the routine checkups of the baby?
After the first vital check-up at 3 days old, the next one is normally done in 1 month. That can be done at the hospital or the doctor with all the equipment will be coming to your house.
You may always contact our staff or sign up for a free consultation if you have any further queries.