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 To establish, maintain and support respirations.

 To provide warmth and prevent hypothermia
 To ensure safety, prevent injury and infection.
 To identify actual or potential problems that may require immediate attention.
 To promote maternal and child bonding


 The most important need for the newborn immediately after birth is a clear airway to
enable the newborn to breathe effectively since the placenta has ceased to function
as an organ of gas exchange.

 It is in the maintenance of adequate oxygen supply through effective respiration that

the survival of the newborn greatly depends.

 To establish and maintain respirations:

 Wipe mouth and nose of secretions after delivery of the head.

 Suction secretions from mouth and nose.
 Compress bulb syringe before inserting it.
 Suction mouth first, then, the nose.
 Insert bulb syringe in one side of the mouth.
 A crying infant is a breathing infant. Stimulate the baby to cry if baby
does not cry spontaneously, or if the cry is weak.
 Do not slap the buttocks, rather rub the soles of the feet.
 Stimulate to cry after secretions are removed.
 The normal infant cry is loud and lusty. Observe for the following
abnormal cry:
 High-pitched cry – indicates hypoglycemia, increased intracranial pressure.
 Weak cry – prematurity
 Hoarse cry – laryngeal stridor

 Oral mucous may cause the newborn, to choke, cough or gag during the first 12 to
18 hours of life. Place the infant in a position that would promote drainage of

 Trendelenburg position – head lower than the body

 Side lying position – If trendelenburg position is contraindicated, place infant in

side lying position to permit drainage of mucus from the mouth. Place a small pillow
or rolled towel at the back to prevent newborn from rolling back to supine position.

 Keep the nares patent. Remove mucus and other particles that may be cause
obstruction. Newborns are obligatory nose breathers until they are about 3 weeks

 Give oxygen as necessary. Oxygen should be given when the infant remains
cyanotic after initial suctioning and stimulation.

 If the heart rate is below 60 BPM, cardiac massage may need to be carried out.

 Immediately after delivery, the baby should be dried. Newborn hypothermia can
occur quickly and depress breathing.

 It is very important to keep the newborn warm. This can be accomplished by

covering the baby with clothing as soon as it is dried.

 Pay particular attention to keeping the head covered (but the airway open) as heat
loss from the newborn head can be substantial.

 Typically, the baby is wrapped in warm, soft blankets and a head covering put in
place. Ideally, the newborn should be placed under a droplight if his temperature is
below 36.5ºC.

 In sub-optimal circumstances, nearly any cloth material can be used keep the baby

 If the mother is available, dry the baby, place the baby on the mother's chest, and
cover both of them with blankets or clothing. The mother's body heat will help keep
the baby warm.

 Check the baby's temperature several times during the first few hours of life. The
normal range of newborn axillary temperature is about 36.5-37.4ºC (97.7-99.3F).
Average newborn temperature is around 37.2ºC.

 Newborns loss about 2 to 3 Degrees Celsius of heat because the external

environment is much cooler than the temperature inside the mother’s womb.

 Such heat loss occurs primarily by way of the neonate’s wet head and the cold
temperature in the delivery room.

 Newborns also tend to take on the temperature of their environment; this means
that the newborn can become hypothermic or hyperthermic easily depending on the
temperature of their environment.

 Delay the initial bath of the baby until 6 hours after delivery to avoid hypothermia.
Maintain ambient temperature in the nursery at 24ºC.

 Exposure to cold environment can cause cold stress (hypothermia) which can
further lead to metabolic acidosis, a potentially lethal complication even to normal

 Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature falls below 36ºC. The newborn is
most sensitive to hypothermia during the first 6-12 hours of his life.


 The APGAR Scoring System was developed by Dr. Virginia Apgar as a method of
assessing the newborn’s adjustment to extrauterine life.

 It is taken at one minute and five minutes after birth. With depressed infants, repeat
the scoring every five minutes as needed.
 The one minute score indicates the necessity for resuscitation. The five minute
score is more reliable in predicting mortality and neurologic deficits.

 The most important is the heart rate, and then the respiratory rate, the muscle tone,
reflex irritability and color follows in decreasing order.

 The heart rate and respirations should be counted for one full minute because of the
irregularities of the rhythms.

 A heart rate below 100 signifies an asphyxiated baby and a heart rate above 160
signifies distress.

0 1 2
HEART RATE Absent Below 100 Above 100
RESPIRATION Absent Slow Good crying
MUCLE TONE Flaccid Some flexion Active motion
REFLEX IRRITABILITY No response Grimace Vigorous cry
COLOR Blue all over Body pink, Extremities Pink all over
(Appearance) blue

 Score:
 7 – 10 : Good adjustment, vigorous
 4 – 6 : Moderately depressed infant, needs airway clearance
 0 – 3 : Severely depressed infant, in need of resuscitation.

 Acrocyanosis is normal for a newborn during the first few hours, disappearing
over the next day. It is due to relatively sluggish circulation of blood through the
peripheral structures, related to immaturity or inexperience of the newborn blood
flow regulatory systems.

 Central cyanosis is not normal and indicates the need for treatment. It is due to
the accumulation of desaturated (oxygen-depleted) hemoglobin.


 Care of the Eyes: Crede’s Prophylaxis

 It is part of the routine care of the newborn to give prophylactic eye
treatment against gonorrheal conjunctivitis or opthalmia neonatorum.
 Neisseria gonorrhea, the causative agent, may be passed on the fetus
from the vaginal canal during delivery.
 This practice was introduced by Dr. Crede, a German gynecologist in1884.
 Silver nitrate, erythromycin and tetracycline ophthalmic ointments are the
drugs used for this purpose.

 Erythromycin or Tetracycline Ophthalmic Ointment

 These ointments are the ones commonly used nowadays for eye
prophylaxis because they do not cause eye irritation and are more effective
against Chlamydial conjunctivitis.
 Apply over lower lids of both eyes, then, manipulate eyelids to spread
medication over the eyes starting from the inner and going into the outer

 Ophthalmia neonatorum is defined as any conjunctivitis with discharge occurring

during the first two weeks of life.

 It typically appears 2-5 days after birth, although it may appear as early as the first
day or as late as the thirteenth.

 Most often both eyelids become swollen and red with purulent discharge.

 Principles of cleanliness at birth are:

 Clean hands
 Clean perineum
 Nothing unclean to be introduced into the vagina
 Clean delivery surface
 Cleanliness in cutting the umbilical cord
 Cleanliness for cord care of the newborn

 Hand washing
 The single most effective way of preventing infection among newborns is
proper hand washing technique. Hand washing should be done:
 Before entering the nursery or before caring for the baby
 In between handling or after caring for each baby
 Before cleaning the umbilical cord
 After changing soiled diaper
 Before preparing milk formula

 Each newborn should have his/her own individual supplies to prevent cross

 Newborns should be handled with gloves until after the first initial bath.

 Persons with infectious diseases should not be allowed to care for newborns and
excluded from contact with newborns.


 The newborn has a sterile intestine at birth; hence, the newborn does not possess
the intestinal bacteria that manufacture vitamin K which is necessary for the
formation of clotting factors. This makes the newborn prone to bleeding.

 As a preventive measure, 0.5 mg (preterm) and 1 mg (full term) Vitamin K or

aquamephyton is injected IM in the newborn’s vastus lateralis (lateral anterior
thigh) muscle.

 Vitamin K prevents a now rare, but often fatal, bleeding disorder called
hemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN).

 This is a self-limiting hemorrhagic disorder of the first days of life, caused by a

deficiency of the vitamin K-dependent blood clotting factors II, VII, and X.

 HDN can cause bleeding into the brain, which may result in brain damage.
 The warning signs of HDN include the following:
 Spontaneous bruising or excessive bruising after minor injury
 Nose bleeds (epistaxis)
 Oozing or bleeding from the umbilicus
 Dark colored vomitus
 Dark stools (melena)
 Excessive bleeding from skin lesions


 Traditionally, the cord is clamped and cut approximately within 30 seconds after
birth. But new standards advocated by DOH stated that the umbilical cord must be
cut only once the pulsation on it stopped.

 In the delivery room, the cord is clamped twice about 8 inches from the abdomen
and cut in between.

 When the newborn is brought to the nursery, another clamp is applied ½ to 1 inch
from the abdomen and the cord is cut at second time.

 The cord and the area around it are cleansed with antiseptic solution.

 The manner of cord care depends on hospital protocol.

 What is important is that the principles are followed.

 Cord clamp maybe removed after 48 hours when the cord has dried.

 The cord stump usually dries and falls within 7 to 10 days leaving a granulating
area that heals on the next 7 to 10 days.

Instruction to the mother on cord care:

 In the first few hours after birth, if you notice the cord to be bleeding, apply firm
pressure and check cord clamp if loose and fasten.

 No tub bathing until cord falls off. Do sponge bath to clean the baby. See to it that
cord does not get wet by water or urine.

 Do not apply anything on the cord such as baby powder or antibiotic, except the
prescribed antiseptic solution which is 70% alcohol.

 Avoid wetting the cord. Fold diaper below so that it does not cover the cord and
does not get wet when the diaper soaks with urine.

 Leave cord exposed to air. Do not apply dressing or abdominal binder over it. The
cord dries and separates more rapidly if it is exposed to air.

 Report any unusual signs and symptoms which indicate infection.

 Foul odor in the cord
 Presence of discharge
 Redness around the cord
 The cord remains wet and does not fall off within 7 to 10 days
 Newborn fever
 Based on the new guidelines set by the DOH regarding newborn care, the cord
must be left as is after it is cut. There is no more need to apply anything on the cord
(even the 70% isopropyl alcohol). If unusual signs and symptoms are noticed, the
mother or the immediate caregiver is advised to report it to a doctor.


 Proper identification is made in the delivery room before mother and baby are

 Newborn identification is not performed in home delivery unless more than one
infant is born.

 A final identification check of the mother and the infant must be performed
before the infant can be allowed to leave the hospital upon discharge.

 This is to ensure that the hospital is discharging the right infant.

 Several methods of identifying an infant are as follows:

 Identification band (ID tag): identification bands are placed around the
infant’s wrist or ankle and around the mother’s wrist. Information contained in
the ID band includes name of the mother, date, time and manner of delivery,
hospital number, gender of the baby, and the name of the doctor who
facilitated the delivery.

 Footprints: footprints are obtained and kept with other records of the
infant and mother. Ridges of the foot are easier to obtain that the newborn’s
fingerprints. The infant’s foot should be clean and dry and must be pressed
firmly on the ink pad and then gently on the footprint form beginning from
the heel to the toes.


 If an infant is to be breastfed, feeding can be started as soon as after the umbilical

cord is clamped.

 It is recommended that breastfeeding be started within the hour after the birth of
the baby.

 There is no need to give water first because colostrum (first milk of the mother)
is non-irritating and is easily absorbed in the lungs if aspirated.

 Early breastfeeding not only provides early protection to the newborn. It also
stimulates the release of oxytocin from the mother’s body, which in turn stimulates
uterine contractions that is necessary to prevent bleeding.

 Early breastfeeding is also an ideal way of initiating bonding between mother and

 Breastmilk has unique anti-infective properties.

 By breastfeeding, the mother begins the immunization process at birth and
protects her baby against a variety of viral and bacterial pathogens before the
acquisition of active immunity through vaccination.


 Instruct the mother to be aware of the following UNUSUAL/ABNORMAL

MANIFESTATIONS and to refer the baby immediately to the health care provider:
 Not gaining weight
 Excessive crying or not crying
 Convulsions, twitching
 Stiff neck, body, and limbs
 Pus discharge/swelling of the cord or the area around it
 Eye discharge/boils on body
 Feverish or cold baby
 Rapid respiration, groaning, and chest retraction
 Not accepting any feeding
 Irritable, lethargic
 Pale, jaundiced
 Blue nails, lips, or body
 Vomiting and abdominal distension
 Not passing urine and stool




 Basic newborn immunization in the Philippines is composed of the following

 BCG (bacillus calmette guerrin) vaccine
 OPV (oral polio vaccine)
 Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV)
 Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT) vaccine
 Measles vaccine
 Tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccine
 BCG should be given as soon as possible after birth to protect the newborn from
possible infection from household members who may be carriers or have latent
infections of tuberculosis.

 Generally, Hepatitis B vaccine is administered immediately after birth as well to

protect the infant from Hepatitis B infection from health care providers who are
possibly carriers of the virus.



 BCG At birth or any 1 - Intradermal

time after birth

 DPT 6 weeks 3 4 weeks Intramuscular
 OPV 6 weeks 3 4 weeks Oral
 Hepatitis B 6 weeks 3 4 weeks Intramuscular
 Measles 9 months 1 - Subcutaneous