In ADONIS we have a children’s hospital, where we have a great team of paediatricians, including children surgeons. We also have a world-class modern diagnostic laboratory and other equipment.
And today we want to share our experience and answer most popular questions about the care of infants.
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.
There is a difference in how long time the baby spends in the maternity hospital after birth. If it is a normal delivery after 37th weeks, the baby stays 2-3 days before being discharged. After c-section about 5 days. 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 are discharged from the hospital you should be fully sure that your baby is fully independent in these key areas, as eating well, gaining weight, holding temperature, defecate and breathing well without any obstruction.
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 key questions that you should be aware of before the baby is born?
You need to have information ready on who and how to contact in case of an emergency.
The next question is the type of food that you will be providing the baby with. It is good to discuss with a doctor even before the delivery or right after while you are 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 should we know about a newborn baby?
We need to realize that a newborn might not look as you might imagine from the movie.
The normal position of a baby is still a pose of the fetus with hands and legs near the body.
It is normal that the baby has the reddish color of the skin and swelling of eyelids and general visible areas.
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.
The most common and available language for the baby during the first month is of course the cry. It can be very loud, but it is the only language for the baby at the beginning. By the end of the first month you will be able to distinguish between types of cry: if it is hunger or a need for a diaper change, or just need 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.
How does a first-time parent care for their newborn in the weeks following delivery?
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 type of food should we choose for the first days of a newborn from the surrogacy program? Breastmilk from a bank or formula?
Even if there are many benefits of breastmilk it is in some cases stress associated with all the processes: the logistic, storage, etc. So if there is a lot of stress involved in the process all benefits can be evaluated and it is better to start 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 symptoms in newborns must be reported to a doctor immediately, and how does a new parent go about getting help?
First, we always pay attention to the body temperature. The normal temperature is not higher than 37.5 °C / 99,5 °F. If the temperature is higher than that you should immediately lighten up the clothing of a baby because it could be a reaction to overdressing. And within 15 minutes the temperature is not dropping, it is a reason to call the doctor or 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 know about vaccinating their newborn?
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.
Should you have anymore questions, you can always contact our team or sign up for free consultation.