As a freelance writer, Kathy's projects have ranged from a white paper for a human resource company to ghostwritten articles for a medical clinic. Clear communication at the start of her projects ensure a successful product and a satisfied client.
|EDUCATION: AS Paramedicine from Eastern Kentucky University||BLOG: None provided|
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Keeping Your Newborn Healthy
Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing and life-changing events anyone can experience. The responsibility of raising another human being can quickly become overwhelming. One major concern for new parents is the health of their baby. In the hospital, the parents have the security of trained medical staff nearby, armed with all the latest technology and equipment. Placing that infant carrier securely into its car base and heading home brings a parent face-to-face with their new responsibility. Over the coming days of interrupted sleep, warm cuddles, and countless visitors, parents encounter new experiences that bring lifelong memories and potential dangers. One such risk is keeping your lovely little newborn healthy.
Everyone approaches the birth of a new child differently. Some families welcome the newborn home with a large celebration of family and friends. Others keep visitors limited to the closest family members. Whichever way you chose, there are steps you can take to keep your baby as healthy as possible. Remember that while friends and family are excited to share in this new part of your life, your child is your number one responsibility. Some people have never been around newborns or perhaps haven’t been in years. Every new encounter with a visitor is also a new exposure to different smells, chemicals in detergents, and even tobacco smoke. With a little preparation, you can enjoy introducing your new addition to friends and family without worrying about the effects on your child.
One of the most important steps you can take is to ask anyone who will be having direct and consistent contact with your newborn to get a pertussis booster. Pertussis, aka Whooping Cough, has made a come back due to pockets of the population being unvaccinated and to a lack of boosters. While it can cause discomfort and even severe issues in adults, in can prove fatal to a newborn. The delicate respiratory system and lack of immunity place the child in a vulnerable position. More severe illnesses in infants start in the respiratory system. Ask grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who will be spending a lot of time around your baby to get the booster. Pharmacies are usually able to accommodate them very quickly.
Second-hand smoke can trigger severe reactions in a newborn's respiratory system. If you have friends or family who smoke, either tobacco or flavored vapor cigarettes, don’t hesitate to have a blanket handy to use as a barrier between your baby and their clothing. Even holding a baby against a shirt filled with smoke fumes can be harmful. Make sure to wash any gift you receive in the detergent you will be using for the baby. Newborns have extremely sensitive skin and can react to new scents and chemicals. Many families love to pass along a favorite stuffed animal or doll. While this is a wonderful way to preserve memories, it can also pass along years of germs and dust mites. Running those items in a dryer for 30 minutes on high heat can help eliminate many of those issues.
Well-meaning visitors may bring more than just a hug and a wrapped baby gift. What may just be the sniffles to an adult could become something more dangerous for a newborn. It isn't impolite of you as a new parent to discreetly inquire if future visitors have been recently sick. Even saying something to the effect of, "My good friend from work was so wanting to visit but she is just getting over a cold" may be enough to cause some people to think before rushing over. Consider limiting activities during the flu season as that can be especially dangerous to an infant. Another polite way to address the limiting of germs is by asking people not to kiss the baby directly on the mouth or on their hand.
It is important to recognize two schools of thought exist on exposing newborns to germs and other environmental factors. It is true that building up immunity is a significant step in child development. As a parent, you are constantly making one decision after another. Some of those decisions will be made with limited information while others may find you overwhelmed with information. Find a pediatrician you respect and other sources you trust. Make the best decision for you and your child. If you find yourself having to defend your choices, just remember that you are acting in your child's best interest, not everyone else