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Guess what — you're already a natural at caring for your baby (maternal instinct isn't a myth!). Start feeling like a parenting pro now with this guide to basic baby care, complete with tips to keep your newborn clean, cozy and happy. Get the for first-time parents with this.
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Twenty-four mothers, aged between 22 and 39 years old, were included in the study, 13 of whom were in the age group. Of the participants, 20 were married, two had a stable relationship and two were divorced, ten performed a cesarean section and 14 performed a normal delivery, all of them had undergone prenatal care. As for schooling, 15 had secondary education completed or to be completed. The gestational age varied between From the identification of the registration units, the themes were grouped, which allowed the construction of three categories, as follows:.

The need of hospitalization of a baby right after the birth, whether expected or not, is an unwelcome occurrence for the parents, they do not know what to expect or do. As mothers prepare to visit their child for the first time, they feel fear, anxiety, trembling, and despair.

The support received by the nursing team is identified in the speeches. E3 states that at the same time that she wants to visit her child, she feels fear and shock because she does not know how she would find the child. The speeches of the mothers of first-borns show that they feel less prepared to experience this moment.

The interviews revealed that the experience of the first visit has a strong impact, leaving these mothers vulnerable regarding care. Even with all the suffering of seeing the child hospitalized for having the need of continuous care, they do not fail to offer love to the baby. This is demonstrated by the following speeches:. I was afraid to put hands on her because she is so tiny, poor thing [ The first encounter between a mother and her child in a regular birth is a great event; she will know its traits, receive the baby in her arms and perform the first touch.

There is a break in this first encounter when something makes these actions impossible and the baby is taken to a neonatal care unit at birth. The first visit is of great expectation to mothers as she will finally meet and touch the baby, one of the mothers referred to it as the great moment.

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Because as soon as he was born, I saw him very fast, so I did not even know how he was, whether he was alive [ When the mothers arrive to visit the child they are confronted with a great technological apparatus, that until then was unknown, they feel frightened and they wonder if they will need that support forever. They question whether this is really their son, they become apprehensive and tearful. The support and information received by the nursing team that accompanies this first contact is important to guide and calm them down.

One of them asks if the baby feels pain. No way, at the time you see it you feel the whole body cold, it seems like you are going to fly [ It is like it is not even our son [ I cried a lot, the nurse had to hold me, I think I was very shocked, the feeling was of despair [ In addition to the shock when seeing the child connected to equipment, to see them without clothing even though inside the incubator, makes them question whether it is being well cared for and not cold.

The participants revealed that they felt bad when visiting the child, they had support of the nursing team, who through the care provision and communication, made it possible to reduce the anxiety, nervousness and fear of the first visit. I leaned on my husband and looked at the nurse. I felt that I was being well accompanied, supported, it was a very good feeling [ After discovering that they will have a child, the mothers expect them to come healthy so they can them home and perform the first care.

Newborn Baby Bootcamp: Taking Care of a Newborn

However, the need for hospitalization in the neonatal unit causes a huge sense of sadness because it affects the family routine and the dream plans. When seeing the child hospitalized and in an incubator, the mothers are sad because they cannot perform the role of mother as they imagined from the beginning. Including them in the care offered to the newborn as soon as possible minimizes separation and assists in the coping process. Even with the sadness of knowing that the child needs hospitalization at birth, they do not fail to express their maternal feelings of love, affection and care.

The concern about whether the baby is being cared for, whether it is breathing properly, whether it is being medicated and fed, shows that they are present in the NB recovery and feel emotional about their evolution. Because we know it is being taken care of and bad because we cannot take it home [ Feeling of a mother. Feeling cozy, we want to protect, want to be close [ The feeling of guilt was reported by one of the participants regarding the child's health problem.

It is understood that the feelings and experiences of the mothers during the first visit to the hospitalized child is different from the expected reality in relation to the experienced reality, because they imagine during the gestation a healthy child, who after birth goes home. In the speeches it is possible to perceive that the biological fragilities of the hospitalized children generate feelings of anxiety and stress.

Baby Care 101 for First-Time Parents

Results of a study showed that mothers with children admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit NICU had moderate to severe stress levels, reinforcing the need to develop coping strategies. The neonatal intensive care environment is considered shocking because of the technology in it; mothers do not know how to behave and what they can or cannot do, many are afraid to touch their child because of the devices attached to it. This situation represents the feeling and sensation of impotence. It is possible to see in the reports that the mothers, when they arrived at the NICU, received support from the nursing team.

Although they were scared and anxious, the support offered helped them to cope with the situation. Providing emotional and informational support reduces distress and strengthens the bond of mothers with their children and staff. In other studies, there is a concern of the mothers regarding the preparation and informational support. Although it is a traumatic moment to see the child with the whole technological apparatus, fragile and debilitated every detail becomes important.

Faced with the risk of death of the baby, mothers experience anxiety, concern and confusion, and sometimes feel guilty, 16 evidencing the feelings mentioned in this study, being the most frequently cited anxiety and fear of losing the child. The separation of the binomial is an important difficulty that the mothers will face, which was also shown in another study.

The gradual and planned involvement of mothers in the care provision softens the feeling of impotence and assists in the construction of autonomy. In this way, adequate support is necessary, as well as their participation in the care of the newborn, which may be useful to reduce anxiety, as suggested by the literature.

The present study showed that the first visit of the mothers to their children in the NICU can bring positive feelings development, care and love and negative experiences lack of information, fear, anxiety and stress. The positive ones could help them deal better with the critical situation. Therefore, it is important that the nursing team accompany them during the first visit to the NB, so that the impact and shock caused are minimized, fears diminished and their doubts clarified, favoring the realization of their motherhood.

But if you don't feel up to having guests or you have other concerns, don't feel guilty about placing restrictions on visitors. If you haven't spent a lot of time around newborns, their fragility may be intimidating. Here are a few basics to remember:. Bonding , probably one of the most pleasurable parts of infant care, happens during the sensitive time in the first hours and days after birth when parents make a deep connection with their infant. Physical closeness can promote an emotional connection.

For infants, the attachment contributes to their emotional growth, which also affects their development in other areas, such as physical growth.

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Another way to think of bonding is "falling in love" with your baby. Children thrive from having a parent or other adult in their life who loves them unconditionally. Begin bonding by cradling your baby and gently stroking him or her in different patterns. Both you and your partner can also take the opportunity to be "skin-to-skin," holding your newborn against your own skin while feeding or cradling. Babies, especially premature babies and those with medical problems , may respond to infant massage.

Certain types of massage may enhance bonding and help with infant growth and development. Many books and videos cover infant massage — ask your doctor for recommendations. Be careful, however — babies are not as strong as adults, so massage your baby gently. Babies usually love vocal sounds, such as talking, babbling, singing, and cooing. Your baby will probably also love listening to music. Baby rattles and musical mobiles are other good ways to stimulate your infant's hearing. If your little one is being fussy, try singing, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, or reading aloud as you sway or rock your baby gently in a chair.

Some babies can be unusually sensitive to touch, light, or sound, and might startle and cry easily, sleep less than expected, or turn their faces away when someone speaks or sings to them. If that's the case with your baby, keep noise and light levels low to moderate.

Little Things About Pregnancy, Birth, and Being a First Time Mom

Swaddling , which works well for some babies during their first few weeks, is another soothing technique first-time parents should learn. Proper swaddling keeps a baby's arms close to the body while allowing for some movement of the legs. Not only does swaddling keep a baby warm, but it seems to give most newborns a sense of security and comfort. Swaddling also may help limit the startle reflex, which can wake a baby. You'll probably decide before you bring your baby home whether you'll use cloth or disposable diapers.

Whichever you use, your little one will dirty diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week. Before diapering your baby , make sure you have all supplies within reach so you won't have to leave your infant unattended on the changing table. You'll need:. After each bowel movement or if the diaper is wet, lay your baby on his or her back and remove the dirty diaper.

Use the water, cotton balls, and washcloth or the wipes to gently wipe your baby's genital area clean. When removing a boy's diaper, do so carefully because exposure to the air may make him urinate. When wiping a girl, wipe her bottom from front to back to avoid a urinary tract infection UTI. To prevent or heal a rash, apply ointment.

Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper. Diaper rash is a common concern. Typically the rash is red and bumpy and will go away in a few days with warm baths, some diaper cream, and a little time out of the diaper. Most rashes happen because the baby's skin is sensitive and becomes irritated by the wet or poopy diaper.

If the diaper rash continues for more than 3 days or seems to be getting worse, call your doctor — it may be caused by a fungal infection that requires a prescription. A bath two or three times a week in the first year is fine. More frequent bathing may be drying to the skin.

Sponge baths. Undress your baby and wrap him or her in a towel. Wipe your infant's eyes with a washcloth or a clean cotton ball dampened with water only, starting with one eye and wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner.

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Use a clean corner of the washcloth or another cotton ball to wash the other eye. Clean your baby's nose and ears with the damp washcloth. Then wet the cloth again and, using a little soap, wash his or her face gently and pat it dry. Next, using baby shampoo, create a lather and gently wash your baby's head and rinse. Using a wet cloth and soap, gently wash the rest of the baby, paying special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck, and in the genital area. Once you have washed those areas, make sure they are dry and then diaper and dress your baby. Tub baths. When your baby is ready for tub baths, the first baths should be gentle and brief. If he or she becomes upset, go back to sponge baths for a week or two, then try the bath again. Undress your baby and then place him or her in the water immediately, in a warm room, to prevent chills. Make sure the water in the tub is no more than 2 to 3 inches deep, and that the water is no longer running in the tub.

Use one of your hands to support the head and the other hand to guide the baby in feet-first. Speaking gently, slowly lower your baby up to the chest into the tub. Use a washcloth to wash his or her face and hair. Gently massage your baby's scalp with the pads of your fingers or a soft baby hairbrush, including the area over the fontanelles soft spots on the top of the head. When you rinse the soap or shampoo from your baby's head, cup your hand across the forehead so the suds run toward the sides and soap doesn't get into the eyes.

Gently wash the rest of your baby's body with water and a small amount of soap.