A Parent’s Guide: Keeping Your Newborn Healthy in the Maternity Ward

As you walk through the exciting journey of parenthood, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about how to provide the best care for your newborn while they are in the maternity ward.

In this blog, we have share essential tips and information to help you ensure your baby’s health and well-being. From bonding and breastfeeding to hygiene practices and safe sleep, we’ll cover the key areas to focus on to promote your newborn’s health in the maternity ward.

Essential Tips for Maintaining Your Baby’s Health in the Maternity Ward

A maternity ward is a crucial place where newborns require special care to ensure their health and well-being. One essential tip for maintaining your baby’s health in the maternity ward is to practice proper hand hygiene. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching or holding your newborn. This is will prevent the spread of germs and reduce the risk of infections

Studies show that infections contribute to about 25% of neonatal deaths worldwide, with over 95% of sepsis-related deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries. Maintaining good hand hygiene is and effective measure to prevent neonatal infections, especially in settings with limited resources.

Another key tip is to ensure that your infant receives sufficient nutrients for optimal growth and development. If you are breastfeeding, try to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, as colostrum, the first milk produced by the mother’s breasts, is rich in essential nutrients and antibodies that can boost your baby’s immune system.

If you are formula feeding, make sure to follow proper preparation and storage guidelines to avoid contamination. Also, selecting the right formula product is necessary when formula feeding, as some bovine-based formulas have been associated with adverse effects on newborn development.

Studies published in TorHoerman Law’s blog revealed that bovine-based formulas increased the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants compared to human breast milk-based formulas. This led to parents filing a toxic baby formula NEC lawsuit, underscoring the importance of careful formula selection for newborn health.

Lastly, be an advocate for your baby’s health in the maternity ward. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarifications from your healthcare providers regarding your baby’s care plan, medications, and vaccinations.

Make sure you are proactive in understanding and being informed about your newborn’s healthcare and that your baby receives all the necessary vaccinations as per the recommended schedule to protect against preventable diseases.

Promote Emotional Well-Being in the Maternity Ward

Promoting emotional well-being in the maternity ward is critical for the overall health of both the newborn and the parent. The first few days after birth can be overwhelming, and parents need to prioritize their emotional health during this time.

Dr. Mercedes Bonet, a Medical Officer with WHO’s Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, and the UN Special Programme, HRP, emphasizes that research indicates women and their families require a positive postnatal experience to navigate the significant physical and emotional challenges that arise after childbirth. This experience should also help build their confidence as new parents, highlighting the importance of providing comprehensive support during the postnatal period.

A beneficial approach to fostering emotional well-being in new borns is through the practice of skin-to-skin contact, commonly referred to as kangaroo care. Research suggests that skin-to-skin contact between a new born and mother stimulates a specific part of the baby’s brain, leading to physical development as the baby moves towards the mother’s breast to begin feeding.

Also, this contact encourages emotional and social development as the baby opens their eyes and gazes upon their mother for the first time. Encouraging parents to practice skin-to-skin contact can have a positive impact on their emotional well-being in the maternity ward.

Finally, offering mental health screenings and counselling services in the maternity ward can play a major role in promoting emotional well-being. states that around 10% of women may experience postpartum depression following childbirth, while other studies suggest that this number may be as high as 14%, indicating that postpartum depression is a relatively common condition among new mothers.

Providing access to mental health screenings and counseling services can help identify and address any emotional issues early on, ensuring the well-being of both the parent and the newborn in the maternity ward.

Ensure a Restful and Healthy Environment

Creating a restful and healthy environment for your newborn in the maternity ward is crucial for their well-being and development. The first few days of your baby’s life are critical for bonding, recovery, and adjusting to the new surroundings.

Here are some key tips to ensure a restful and healthy environment for your newborn in the maternity ward.

  • Managing Noise and Light

Newborns are sensitive to noise and light, and a calm and quiet environment can promote better sleep and overall well-being. Talk to the healthcare providers in the maternity ward about minimizing unnecessary noise and keeping the lights dim during sleeping hours.

Research has shown that elevated noise levels in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can impact the hemodynamics of preterm newborns and result in long-term delays in neurodevelopment and hearing loss.

  • Promoting Rooming-in

Having the baby stay in the same room as the mother, known as rooming-in, can yield multiple advantages for both the infant and the mother. It allows for increased bonding, easier breastfeeding, and better observation of the baby’s cues and needs. Many maternity wards now promote rooming-in as a standard practice.

  • Maintaining a Clean and Hygienic Environment

You need to establish a sanitary and germ-free environment for your newborn in order to prevent infections and ensure their well-being. Make sure to follow the maternity ward’s guidelines for hand hygiene, and encourage all caregivers to wash their hands thoroughly before handling the baby.

  • Encouraging Family Involvement

Involving family members in the care of the newborn can promote bonding, emotional well-being, and a supportive environment. Many maternity wards now encourage family involvement in newborn care, including diaper changes, feeding, etc.

Ensuring a restful and healthy environment for your newborn in the maternity ward involves managing noise and light, promoting rooming-in, maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, and encouraging family involvement. Following these tips can help create a nurturing environment for your newborn’s early days of life in the maternity ward.

Final Thoughts

Ensuring the health and well-being of your newborn in the maternity ward is vital. By following recommended practices, you can help your newborn thrive during their stay in the maternity ward.

Keeping informed about recent research and guidelines, and working closely with healthcare professionals, can assist you in providing the best care for your newborn. By prioritizing your baby’s health and well-being, you can set them on a path toward a healthy and happy start in life.

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