Newborn Care and Nutrition
The most perfect food for feeding a newborn baby is breast milk. Breastfeeding is a unique opportunity for the healthy growth and development of the baby. It is a biological and traditional way of feeding the baby. It is an important factor that creates the emotional bond between mother and baby. Breast milk alone meets all the baby’s needs, including water, for the first six months. Breast milk is primarily a clean food. There is no difficulty in preparation or heating, it is ready for use at any time. It is easy to digest. It protects the baby from diseases with the functional components and living cells it contains. Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and anemia are less common in breastfeeding mothers. The content of breast milk is not fixed, it is regulated according to the baby’s needs, independent of the mother’s nutrition. For example, the milk of mothers who gave birth prematurely is different from the milk of mothers who gave birth on time. The milk that comes in the first seven days, known as first colostrum, is called colostrum. It is yellowish in color and more viscous. It is rich in protein, antibodies, minerals and vitamins that protect the baby from diseases. In the following days, while the protein in breast milk decreases, the lactose and fat content increases. Towards the end of breastfeeding, the amount of fat in the milk increases (hindmilk), which ensures satiety in the baby and protects the baby from obesity. The most important factor that ensures the production and continuation of breast milk is the baby’s suckling. During breastfeeding, the time it takes for milk to become fat-rich varies depending on the baby’s sucking power. For this reason, in order for the baby to get enough fat-rich hind milk, the baby should be breastfed until it leaves the breast on its own. The production of breast milk increases by breastfeeding the baby with the correct technique and at frequent intervals, in addition to breastfeeding. During breastfeeding, the mother should sit comfortably, hold the baby close to her body, the baby’s head and body should be in the same direction, in a straight line, and the baby should grasp not only the nipple but also the brown area around it. Even if the breasts are not full after birth, it is very important to start breastfeeding immediately to stimulate and continue milk production. In the first months, night breastfeeding increases milk production. Fatigue and insomnia are among the factors that negatively affect milk production. Therefore, the mother needs help and support. Breastfeeding the baby: Breastfeeding is irregular in the first weeks and the baby should be breastfed whenever he wants. It is ideal to apply it to both breasts for equal periods of time. However, this does not always happen. If the baby sucks only one breast at a time, it is necessary to breastfeed from the other side the next time. Removing gas at the end of breastfeeding reduces colic pain. The average breastfeeding duration is 15 – 20 minutes, the average breastfeeding interval is 2-3 hours. Generally, after the fourth week, babies breastfeed every 3 hours. Sleeping times at night may increase to 4-5 hours. If he is sleeping, he should not be woken up to breastfeed. It is not necessary to give water to a breastfed baby.
Newborn Baby Care
General characteristics of the newborn baby:
For the first 48 hours, your baby’s hands and feet may appear more purple than normal. It is usually colder.
There may be edema of the eyelids and back of hands and feet. Birthmarks may also be found on the eyelids, forehead and nape of the neck.
Due to the hormones passed from the mother, breast swelling and so-called witch’s milk may occur. It usually resolves spontaneously within a few weeks. White vaginal discharge or bleeding may occur in female babies for the same reasons.
The ovaries of male babies are in the scrotum or canal. There may be swelling in the scrotum.
Purple mongolian spot seen in the coccyx area is a normal finding.
There may be pearl-white, pinhead-sized blisters called milia on the chin and around the nose.
It is a normal finding to see vesicles in the armpit, neck and trunk as a result of blockage of sweat ducts in a very hot environment.
The first urine is produced at birth, immediately after birth or within 24 hours. The first defecation is usually in the first 24 hours. The first stool is tar-colored and sticky, called meconium. Its color begins to lighten after the first two or three days. The poop of breastfed babies is golden yellow. He can poop 7-8 times a day. They also urinate 5-6 times a day.
In the first two weeks, the skin and white part of the eye may appear yellow due to the increase in the substance called bilirubin in the blood. If it is too high, phototherapy treatment may be necessary.
Babies lose 5-10% of their birth weight in the first week. They reach their birth weight within seven to ten days.
Room temperature: Normal body temperature is between 36.5-37 °C. If the baby’s body temperature is above 37.3 ° C in the armpit and 37.5 ° C in the anus, a physician should be consulted. Especially high room temperature and excessive clothing increase body temperature. The room should not be too hot. A temperature of 22-24° C is sufficient.
Clothing selection: Clothes should be made of 100% cotton fabric. Snap-back overalls should be preferred. At normal temperatures, an undershirt, overalls, gloves and socks are sufficient. It should not be worn too much. It may be one more layer than your own clothes. Labels on clothes may irritate the baby’s skin and should be cut off.
Belly care: It can be done with 70% alcohol once or twice a day until the belly falls off. When tying the diaper, the umbilical cord should be left outside the diaper.
Eye care: Wipe with sterile gauze moistened with boiled water, from inside to outside, without applying too much pressure. If there is excessive eye discharge and crusting, a physician should be consulted.
How the baby lies: The baby should be laid on its side or back, without folding its neck, and should not use a pillow. It should not be covered with a heavy blanket or quilt. The bed should not have pillows or too many covers.
Bath: After the belly drops, you should take a bath every day. The temperature of the bathing room should be 26°C. Shampoo should not be used more than twice a week. Bathing and subsequent massage relaxes the baby. It reduces gas pains and helps you sleep better.
Nail care: If the nails are not too long in the first days, there is no need to cut them. If the nails are long and scratch the face, they can be cut with blunt-tipped baby nail clippers.
Oral care: If there are white spots in the mouth that do not come out, it may be thrush. It is necessary to consult a physician. To prevent cotton, it is necessary to pay attention to hand and udder hygiene.
Diaper cleaning: Her diaper should be opened before each breastfeeding and when she becomes restless. Bottom cleaning can be done with warm water and cotton. It is important to keep your baby’s diaper dry and clean to avoid diaper rash. Anti-diaper rash cream can be used intermittently. To prevent urinary tract infection in girls, bottom cleaning should be done from front to back.
Gas pain: Babies may have gas complaints in the early stages because their digestive system is not fully developed. They pull their feet towards their stomach and cry. It decreases by three or four months. The most important cause of gas is incorrect breastfeeding technique. Failure to hold the breast properly while breastfeeding and swallowing air because the breast is not fully grasped causes gas in babies. The baby may also be affected to some extent by what the mother eats. It is necessary to burp after every feeding.
Vomiting: Babies may vomit a little after they are full and while burping. It’s normal. However, if there is excessive gurgling, green-colored vomiting, decreased sucking, or abdominal distension, a doctor should be consulted.
Sneezing and hiccup: Sneezing is a reaction to clear the droplets that enter the nasal passages, while hiccup is a reflex that occurs as a result of stimulation of the diaphragm. If the hiccuping baby is breastfed for a short time, this reflex disappears slowly.
When traveling: be sure to use a car seat. The car seat can also be used as a baby carrier.
Visits: The baby should not be in crowded groups and should not be kissed. Upper respiratory tract infections caused by viruses are very common, especially in winter months and in closed environments.
Vaccination book: The first doctor’s visit is made one week after discharge. Be sure to bring the vaccination book when you come for a check-up and do not forget to keep track of your baby’s vaccinations.