Pro­tect­ing your new­born

Your Pregnancy - - Contents - BY MAR­GOT BER­TELS­MANN

How to do it safely from day one

The day your beau­ti­ful baby ar­rives the big­gest day of your life. And while it can be hard to un­der­stand when he is get­ting pricked and jabbed, this is also the day he must be­gin to be pro­tected from the dan­gers of the out­side world – by you, and by the doc­tors you en­trust with this im­por­tant job.

You’ll likely be so dis­tracted on the day that you won’t keep

is track of what drops and jabs your baby is get­ting, and when. And that’s fine – it will all be recorded on your baby’s Road to Health card, which will help you mon­i­tor his or her growth and im­mu­ni­sa­tions. Just re­mem­ber that the sched­ule of vac­ci­na­tions dif­fers slightly be­tween gov­ern­ment and pri­vate health ser­vices, and be sure to stick to the sched­ule you have started on. But to pre­pare you – or to jog your mem­ory, later – here’s a quick sum­mary. Very soon af­ter birth, your baby will get a Vi­ta­min K in­jec­tion into the thigh. It pre­vents haem­or­rhag­ing or bleed­ing in the new­born pe­riod. A de­fi­ciency of vi­ta­min K is quite com­mon in ba­bies, and can cause haem­or­rhagic dis­ease of the new­born (HDN), a se­ri­ous bleed­ing dis­or­der. So this is a pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sure – es­pe­cially if your baby is go­ing to be cir­cum­cised or is bleed­ing for any other rea­son.

PO­LIO

A doc­tor or nurse will also give your baby a few drops of liq­uid into the mouth – this is the oral po­lio vac­cine. Po­liomyeli­tis, a vi­ral in­flam­ma­tion of the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, was com­mon two to three gen­er­a­tions ago, and causes per­ma­nent dis­abil­ity. While it has been erad­i­cated in PRO­TEC­TION FROM DAY

ONE

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