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Essential Newborn Care

Posted on August 7, 2013 | No Comments on Essential Newborn Care

Essential Newborn Care is a government initiative or program that is designed to help save lives of pregnant women and children. Essential Newborn Care (ENC) is one. It is basically a set of simple, cost-effective newborn care intervention techniques that can enhance care for a newborn baby and mothers. The strategy involves an organized step by step and continuing procedure that will guide health workers and medical practitioners on how to handle the baby as follows:

Immediate drying. This is the first thing that should be done to newly born babies. They should be dried and cleanse from blood, water and other liquids immediately after they are released from the mother’s womb and exposed in the world environment. Health workers should use a clean dry cloth to clean the baby by wiping the face, eyes, head, front and back, arms and legs.

Uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact. After cleaning the healthy baby, he or she should be place beside his or her mother to receive warmth and facilitate immediate bonding between mother and the child. Incidentally, this procedure is related to the government’s “unang yakap campaign”. Skin to skin contact is important between the mother and child who has been found to have many medical benefits such the overall success of breastfeeding/colostrum feeding, stimulation of the mucosa—associated lymphoid tissue system, and colonization with maternal skin flora that can protect the baby from sepsis and other infectious disease and hypoglycemia.

Proper cord clamping and cutting. Once the newborn is released from the mother, medical practitioners should wait for up to three minutes or until the pulsations stop before cutting the umbilical cord. This helps in preventing the occurrence of anemia. Delays in cord clamping have no significant health impact on the mother. Moreover, it would also be important to dispose of the umbilical cord properly. As much as possible, healthcare workers should not encourage superstitious beliefs about using or taking the umbilical cord home for their own rituals.

Non separation of the newborn from the mother. The baby should not be separated from the mother to initiate early breastfeeding. The sooner the baby breastfeeds, the lesser the risk of death. The baby should be kept latched or beside the mother for see skin-to-skin contact. I will also prevent any careless, ignorant, or unnecessary procedures like placing the baby on a cold surface which can lead to hypothermia, administering glucose water or formula and foot printing, which makes baby vulnerable to contamination and infection, as well as washing. According to the World health Organization, washing of baby can be delayed up to 6 hours because their skin is still covered with vernix which protects them from infection.

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