One of the top things we go over with our newly postpartum clients is newborn care!
Sometimes it can be a difficult to remember everything our wonderful care team tells us right after babe is born. Here are our top 3 tips based on the most commonly asked questions we get about how to take care of those sweet, sweet newborn babies!
Three Newborn Care Tips From Experienced Doulas
1. Keep that umbilical cord nice and dry.
In the past, folks were told to swab the umbilical stump with alcohol or something similar at every diaper change, but we now know that we don’t need to do that! The umbilical stump actually contains bacteria that is helpful as the cord dries off and eventually falls off.
All normal and good things. It may be hard, but please do not touch or try to pull of the umbilical stump. It should fall off on its own a few days or so after birth (can take up to 14 days). While it is normal to see a drop of blood or so around the stump area, if you should notice a foul odor or puss coming from your baby’s belly button or umbilical stump, please feel free to call your pediatrician for further instructions.
2. They really don’t need a bath.
Trust us on this one. You will be giving your baby a lot of baths during your time as their parent; it is okay to delay your new baby’s first bath. Why?
Well, you know that cheesy white stuff on babies after they are born? That glorious substance is called vernix, and it is a natural skin protectant for your baby and helps as their little immune system is building up. The longer vernix remains on the skin, the better.
Also, any amniotic fluid that may still be on the baby acts as yet another layer of protection from the germs in the outside world. Isn’t it neat how your body provides for your baby? So, save yourself a little worry and just delay that bath!
3. Skin to skin is SO important!
Cuddle up. Snuggle up. Cozy up. All those things are important for both the mama and the baby, especially if we remove the clothing divider and get you 2 skin to skin! There are SO many reasons why skin to skin is important, so we will go over just a few.
Skin to skin is simple: it’s having your baby with just a diaper on and parent shirtless, with a nice, warm blanket on top. After birth, both you and baby will be tired or need to rest, and being skin to skin is a wonderful way to accomplish that.
Having baby skin to skin helps the baby regulate their body temperature and breathing rate and has a calming effect for both parent and newborn. After all, your baby just spent all that time inside and warm and close to mom! So, it makes perfect sense that babies prefer to be snuggled up on the chests of or in the arms of their loving parents.
Skin to skin also makes the transition Earth side a bit easier for babe. If you are planning to breastfeed, building a strong bond with your baby via skin to skin will really help stimulate needed hormones and baby’s natural instincts. Skin to skin is important immediately postpartum and for several weeks after the baby is born, so keep up those snuggles, parents!
We hope this helps remind you of some important newborn care. Remember, you are strong, loving, and capable of caring for your newborn baby, and as always, we are here supporting you and cheering you on.
Read more about the author, Mandy Casey