Hygiene plays a crucial component of a baby's overall care. Practicing a good hygiene is extremely important to keep your baby happy and healthy all the time.

Eight essential hygiene rules for your baby. Here are eight simple good hygiene practices to adopt when you have a baby.

  • Washing your hands with a good antibacterial soap is essential for removing harmful bacteria and germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea and other infections. Be sure to dry your hands properly and wash your hand towels regularly. It's especially important to wash your hands before feeding your baby, after handling raw food, after changing a nappy or going to the toilet yourself, after touching pets, after touching anything dirty such as dirty nappies, rubbish or food waste.
  • You don't need to clean the house every day from top to bottom with disinfectant, you just need to pay particular attention to the surfaces that are most likely to harbour germs and bacteria. Focus on the areas that have a lot of contact with food, bodies and hands, such as bathrooms, kitchen benches, tables, crockery, cutlery and glassware. You need to be cleaning these properly. Use hot water with detergent for crockery, cutlery and glasses, while kitchens and bathrooms will need a thorough clean with a good disinfectant. Pay particular attention to taps, toilet seats, benches and door handles. Dry surfaces as well if they are not in a well-ventilated area with natural light.
  • Babies love to put things into their mouths, and toys are often the closest thing to hand. Be sure to regularly give your child's toys a clean with a good disinfectant. Wipe hard plastic toys down and make sure you rinse them thoroughly or put plush toys through the washing machine.
  • A good bath is essential for keeping your baby clean and tidy, but you need to make sure you are not over-washing as this is damaging to your baby's sensitive skin. In the first year of your baby's life a full bath is necessary only two or three times a week. Check out our step-by-step guide to bathing your baby.
  • These are three areas that need some special attention. Always keep your baby's nails well-trimmed so that they can't scratch themselves — the best time to trim them is when your baby is asleep. Be sure to use baby-sized nail clippers and not to cut the nails too short as these will hurt your baby.
  • Only wash the outside of your baby's ears, never the inside, and never insert cotton wool buds into your baby's ears. If your baby is unhappy and touching their ears repeatedly, this could be a sign of infection — be sure to get this looked at by a medical professional.
  • Clean any dried mucous from your baby's nose, as this can cause difficulty breathing. Use a damp wash cloth to gently remove the dried mucous. A nasal syringe may be needed to help remove excess mucous, but consult your baby's health practitioner before using one of these.
  • Be sure to keep your baby's eyes clear of any dried mucous. Use damp cotton wool to gently clean their eyes and seek medical attention if you notice your baby's eyes are irritated.

Personalise your C-section

Personalise your C-section

As more women are having C-section births, we have a look at how you can make the experience as personalised and memorable as possible. By registered midwife Pippa Hime

The post Personalise your C-section appeared first on Living and Loving.

Personalise your C-section

As more women are having C-section births, we have a look at how you can make the experience as personalised and memorable as possible. By registered midwife Pippa Hime

The post Personalise your C-section appeared first on Living and Loving.

Personalise your C-section

Having a C-section may be your preferred mode of delivery, or it may be medically necessary. For parents hoping for a vaginal birth, ending up with an unplanned C-section can be a traumatic experience. There is only one of two ways for a baby to be born – and it’s a good idea to prepare yourself and your partner for both. You can make your C-section a special and unique experience.

ALSO SEE: A vaginal birth versus a C-section

Making your C-section unique

It’s a good idea to get to know your team. There are various people involved in a C-section and it makes it more personal if you are familiar with a couple of the faces. For example, ask you family doctor if they assist in theatre. Dr Megan Jones, a family GP, says, “It’s great to assist in a C-section of known patients from my family practice. It’s always so special to be part of the birth of a baby − especially when you have looked after the family before and have an existing relationship with them.”

Some midwives and doulas offer to come with you to theatre if you end up having a C-section. This can be a great support for you − especially if you were not planning on this birthing option. Every hospital has its own policy regarding this, so make sure you enquire beforehand.

Many hospitals offer tours of the units ahead of time, so you can get an idea of the routine elements of a C-section and perhaps meet some of the nursing staff who may be looking after you pre and post delivery.
It’s important to remember a C-section is a surgical procedure and is performed in compliance with surgical rules. Safety of mother and child are paramount and can’t be compromised. With this in mind, there are still a number of ways to make the whole experience from start to finish a personalised and memorable one.

During a C-section, you will need to have an IV drip inserted. Ask the anaesthetist for this to be placed in your non-dominant hand, which will make it easier to handle your baby during the first 24 hours after the operation when the drip remains in place.

As it is a surgical procedure, you will need to be monitored by the anaesthetist throughout the operation. You can ask the doctor to place the electrodes that monitor your pulse and breathing to be placed on your back as opposed to your chest. This way, your chest will be open for your baby to be placed skin to skin for bonding immediately after birth. The blood pressure cuff can also be placed on your leg as opposed to your arm. That way, you will have your arm free for those first special cuddles.

ALSO SEE: What is a gentle C-section?

The theatre of it

“It’s about creating this beautiful moment for both the parents and the child at birth,” says Dr Kerry Sherwood, a Cape Town obstetrician in private practice. Measures can be taken to make the hospital theatre a little more welcoming to your baby. This family-centred approach makes the experience more peaceful.

  • The harsh peripheral lighting in the theatre can be dimmed and the room can be warmed slightly.
  • A surgical screen is put up during the procedure. This screen can be lowered once the head is birthed so both parents can be part of the delivery and watch their child enter the world.
  • You can ask for silence at the time of birth so your voices are the first your baby hears.
  • Ask that you be the ones who call the sex of the baby.
  • Warmed blankets can be placed over your baby when he is lying skin to skin.
  • Your baby can be placed skin to skin on your chest once born and remain there with you throughout the rest of the operation, provided there are no complications.

Little things make a big difference

  • Ask your doctor to explain the procedure as it happens, so you feel part of the process.
  • Ask for someone to take photos of the birth.
  • Bring a cute hat to be placed on your newborn instead of the standard hospital one.
  • Make a a music playlist to play in theatre.
  • Ask for delayed cord clamping (waiting until the cord stops pulsating before cutting).

ALSO SEE: 6 reasons why you should wait to cut baby’s umbilical cord

At the end of the day, whether you planned a C-section or it took you by surprise, it is the birth of your child and it should be a magical event.

Skin to Skin

The term skin-to-skin C-section has made its way into hospitals and many units are trying to make C-sections as memorable and natural as possible for parents and their baby. Skin to skin means keeping your naked baby on your bare chest for a prolonged period to help him adjust to the outside world and encourage bonding and breastfeeding.
Research has shown babies who remain skin to skin on their mother’s chest tend to maintain a more constant body temperature, as well as a regular heart rate and breathing pattern.
All post-delivery checks for the baby are done while your baby remains on your chest. The weighing and measuring of your baby can be done when you are moved from the theatre table to your ward bed.
Skin to skin is not only limited to the mother. You can also keep baby skin to skin while you are having any medical checks done following the surgery.

The post Personalise your C-section appeared first on Living and Loving.

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