When you become a parent for the first time you don’t exactly have the perfect how-to manual in your hands. You can read all the literature available in the world on births of babies as well as being a good parent and still be faced with learning many things as you go. The following contains important information you need to know regarding a few issues before and after the baby is born.
Most women pray for a smooth vaginal delivery without any complications at all. Although this is often the case, a cesarean section may be performed if it makes the delivery of your child safer for both of you. The most common reasons C-sections are performed are:
- To protect a baby whose heart begins to show a sign of distress.
- When a maternal hemorrhage occurs if the placenta is too close to the cervical opening.
- When the baby’s circulation is starting to be cut off due to an umbilical cord prolapse out of the vagina.
If you’re wondering how to give your baby a bath when your baby’s stubby little umbilical cord is still attached, the answer is simple; the cord will fall off after one or two weeks and in the meantime, you should only give your baby sponge baths.
You can also use cotton swabs dampened with alcohol to help dry the umbilical cord but it’s best to consult with your doctor for the appropriate treatment. Once the cord falls off, it is recommended to give your baby a bath in a small bathtub you can find at virtually any baby store. Fisher-Price manufactures a few of these bathtubs and you can get them for under $30. If you can’t have access to a baby bathtub, a sink or bathtub will do just fine but you have to use extra care regarding the baby slipping from your hands and arms.
It’s also important to know that sudden infant death syndrome is the number one cause of death in babies and it strikes approximately 2,500 children in the U.S. every year. It usually occurs between 2 to 4 months of age, and the risk factors include; premature birth, mothers who are younger than 20 years old, tobacco smoke, sleeping on the stomach, and drug or alcohol use during the pregnancy. Although scientists have been unable to determine the exact cause of SIDS, there is a higher risk of death for babies who sleep on their stomachs. Regardless, investigate this fully so you can minimize the risks for your baby.