Thursday, March 23, 2023

Primary care for newborns.. Clinical examination of the newborn and cutting the umbilical cord

Newborn need for postpartum care:

The success of the transition of the fetus from being immersed in the amniotic fluid and totally dependent on the placenta for nourishment and oxygen, to a baby capable of crying and breathing air, is a matter of admiration. Healthy newborns (from birth to 1 month) and infants (from 1 month to 1 year) need good care to ensure their normal growth and continued health.

Removal of mucus from the body of the newborn:

Immediately after the normal delivery of the baby, the doctor or nurse gently removes mucus and other substances from the mouth, nose, and throat, using a manual suction bulb, and the baby is then able to breathe.
Two clips are placed on the newborn's umbilical cord, side by side, and the umbilical cord is cut between the clips.

Cut the umbilical cord:

Shortly after the baby is born, two clamps are placed on the umbilical cord, and the cord between them is cut. The clamp is removed from the cord stump within 24 hours after delivery.
The umbilical cord stump should be kept clean and dry.
Doctors no longer recommend applying alcohol or other antiseptic solutions to the stump, and the stump falls off on its own within a week or two.

The newborn communicates with his mother:

The newborn is dried and carefully placed on the mother's stomach with skin-to-skin contact, or placed on a warm sterile blanket.
Not all births follow a standard pattern. For example, some women need a caesarean section or have complications from labor and delivery.
In some cases, a newborn baby needs some special care from the medical staff after birth.

Clinical examination of the newborn:

The doctor examines the newborn for any obvious deformities or signs of distress.
A full physical examination is done later (usually within 24 hours after birth), and the general condition of the newborn is recorded at the first and fifth minute after birth using the Apgar score.
A low Apgar score is a sign that the newborn has a problem and needs extra help with breathing or circulation. Once the newborn is stable, nurses take measurements of head circumference, weight and height (see also Physical Development of Infants and Children).

Protecting the newborn from cold and microbes:

It is very important to keep the newborn warm, so the newborn baby is wrapped in light clothes (swaddling) as soon as possible, and the head is covered to reduce the loss of body heat.
A few drops of an antibiotic, such as erythromycin, tetracycline, silver nitrate, or povidone iodine in some countries, are placed in the eyes to prevent infection from any harmful organisms the newborn may have come into contact with during birth.

The role of parents in caring for their newborn:

Parents are encouraged to hold their babies immediately after natural birth, and some experts believe that early physical contact with the newborn helps to form a bond with him, but, parents can bond with the newborn even if the first hours have passed and they are not with him.
Usually the mother and her newborn recover together in the delivery room, and if the birth is in a private setting, the mother, father or stepfather and the newborn stay with each other in the same room.
Breastfeeding mothers put their newborn babies to the breast within the first 30 minutes after birth.


Breastfeeding stimulates the production of oxytocin, a hormone that helps a mother's uterus heal and boosts breast milk production.
Once in the nursery, newborns are placed on their backs in a cot and kept warm.
Because all babies are born with low levels of vitamin K, the doctor or nurse gives an injection of this vitamin to prevent bleeding (hemorrhagic disease of the newborn).

Newborn bathing:

About 6 or more hours after birth, nurses bathe newborns, trying not to wash off the white fatty substance (vernix caseosa) that covers most of the newborn's skin, because this substance helps prevent infection.