Secret Life Of Babies

WhisperingAuthor: Yana Mikheeva

A miracle has happened. A baby was born. Your first, although very short, acquaintance has happened. Let’s try to learn what happens with babies after they are present solemnly to mothers.

The first thing a new-born baby needs is warmth. In comparison with maternal comfortable warmth, outward things of a labor ward are rather cold. So, doctors’ task – is to prevent warmth loss: babies are wiped dry with a swaddling band at once and put on a table with a special lamp, where a baby’s temperature is constantly controlled. But beforehand, when a baby is at his mother’s legs yet, right after his birth, and sometimes right at the moment when his head appears, they draw off slime and amniotic fluid from a baby’s nose and mouth, to make his first breath easier. Right after birth, an accoucheur clamps and cuts an umbilical cord. Your baby begins his own life. Then doctors spot argentic nitrate or sulfacetamide extract into baby’s eyes, to prevent eye infections, particularly blennorrhea , which appears, if a mother is sick with gonorrhoea. Absolutely all babies pass through this preventive procedure, as a woman is not always aware about her illness. They cleanse girls’ genitals also. Moreover, they also determine a baby’s blood group and Rhesus factor, according to umbilical cord blood.

A baby’s first medical inspection takes place right after birth. A doctor estimates a baby’s general state, his breath, palpitation, skin color, determines apparent defects, estimating also a state of hip joints and clavicles, which pathology is often met. A doctor pays special attention to a baby’s cry. Doctor can determine a lot about general state of a baby, listening to a baby’s inflexion while crying. Later on, a doctor and a nurse examine a baby every morning, during his stay in a maternity hospital. A baby is weighed every day at the same time, and before discharge he passes through control weighing – before and after nursing, in order to know whether he eats enough. Moreover, a nurse cleanses his umbilical wound with a hydric dioxide and manganese crystals regularly.

If you think it’s too early for your baby to get marks, you’re mistaken. He’ll get his first mark right after birth, according to so called scale of Apgar, which allows determining a baby’s initial state of health quickly. This scale was worked out in 1952 by doctor V.Apgar for junior medical staff, which could determine a baby that needed more care, with the help of this scale. A baby receives marks according to this scale in the end of the first minute after birth and then in the end of the fifth minute. Doctors estimate a baby’s state of muscle tone in complex, reaction to irritation, skin color, respiration rate and heartbeat. Till recently such estimation served as a guide to further actions for medical staff. Now a role of this scale has changed a little, especially for babies, which need special reanimation measures. A doctor estimates a baby’s state right after birth (and often even before birth) and holds reanimation, if it’s necessary, – according to modern standards, it’s already late to do it in the end of the first minute of life. So, in this case, they estimate rather efficiency of reanimation measures according to the scale, not a real state of a baby. And such estimation takes place during following 25 minutes of baby’s life. Later, it is written in a baby’s medical card.

After first medical examination, an accoucheur cleanses an umbilical cord, clear a baby’s skin with oil and wraps him in swaddling clothes. Now a new human being can have some rest from first impressions, falling on him, till his first procedure of nursing.

On the third day babies pass through general blood test. Moreover, now all babies pass through blood screening-tests, to reveal more common diseases, namely hypothyroidism and phenylketonuria. These are serious heritable diseases. One of five thousands of babies suffers from hypothyroidism, it causes decline in a thyroid gland’s functioning, and leads to backwardness of a baby. Phenylketonuria is less spread: about one of fifteen thousands of babies suffers from it. This disease leads to cerebral defects. If these diseases are found and treated in early age, it’s possible to avoid serious consequences. For example, phenylketonuria can be treated with a special diet, observing which a baby develops absolutely normal. Doctors give an injection of a medicine that improves fibrillation and reduces a chance of extravasation to babies, suffering from chronic pre-natal hypoxia (lack of oxygen).

Your baby will receive his first vaccination against tuberculosis in a maternity hospital. As a rule, such vaccination takes place on third day after birth, in the morning, in a special room. And at home a doctor- podiatrist will check a reaction to the vaccination in 4-6 weeks. In fact, there’re some contra-indications for this vaccination. Usually doctors don’t do it, if a baby’s weight is less than 2000 g or a baby suffered from intrauterine hypotrophy, infections, suppurative-septic inflammations, serious affections of central nervous system. If a mother has HIV, her baby also cannot be vaccinated against tuberculosis.

Usually a mother can go home on the fifth day, although doctors may allow mothers go home earlier, so that a mother and a baby would turn to be in a comfortable sphere, at home, in a family, as soon as possible. If a mother and a baby have no health problems, such discharge is possible on second-third day.

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About the author

Yana Mikheeva is the creator of the Baby-Health.Net at

Are you going to get pregnant? Visit our friendly resource and read information on pregnancy and parenting, painless childbirth, growth and development of a baby, baby health, safety, signs of pregnancy. She also has a blog for women at

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