The joy of watching your tiny bundle of happiness that has arrived and is squeaking its heart aloud is very special. It is of utmost importance that after the baby is born, both parents work together and plan for the baby’s warm surroundings, vaccinations and immunization schedule, the height-weight checkup, etc. To celebrate parenthood and learn more tips on how to care for a newborn, Newborn Care Week is celebrated every year from 15 November to 21 November.
Why Neonatal Care is Important?
The neonatal period is the first 28 days of the newborn baby. Separated from the mother’s womb, the child must adjust itself to the surroundings. Statistically, it has been observed that within the first 28 days, newborn deaths have been the highest. The reasons stated for this unfortunate situation by pediatricians all over the world are:
- Premature birth
- Delivery complexities like asphyxia
- Congenital issues etc.
When a baby is delivered, it must breathe normally, feed on its mother and stay warm. The care-giving environment must also be free of infection. Incubators should be on service based on demand. If these basic amenities are available, the child can survive.
In order to prevent neonatal deaths, the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Government of India has created plenty of mother and child care programs over the years. The most prominent ones among those are:
- Child Survival and Safe Motherhood program (1992)
- Reproductive and Child Health Program- phase 1 and phase 2
- National Rural Health Mission (2005)
- Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Framework (2013)
The aim of these programs is to create a safe environment for delivery, antenatal and postnatal care through experts, rehabilitation of sick newborns, continuous growth and development monitoring, etc. The latest addition to this welfare scheme is the Mother’s Absolute Affection program through which infant mortality rates are aimed to be brought down even further.
Aim of Newborn Week
Newborn Care Week is observed with the following aim:
- Expecting mothers and their guardians are taught about the importance of sanitization.
- The doctor’s nurses and other caregivers also give a presentation on how to keep the child warm and safe from pollution.
- The importance of immunization is highlighted and parents are kept abreast of the latest care programs announced by the government.
Few pointers on childcare include:
- Newborns must be breastfed for at least 6 months.
- Newborns must receive warmth and skin to skin contact from their mothers.
- The cord must be clamped and cut within minutes of delivery.
- The importance is of stem cell archival.
- Drying the baby thoroughly after preliminary examination by the pediatrician.
- Neonatal breath monitoring and shifting to an intensive care unit if help is required.
- Checking for neonatal jaundice.
- Keeping incubator assistance on standby.
- Immunization chart preparation.
- Height-weight-head diameter chart preparation.
- Follow-up guides.
Along with this, clean rooms and sanitation facilities in every childcare hospital and maternity hospital is a major part of newborn care week’s agenda. With such campaigns, every mother can give birth and enjoy parenting a healthy child.