ABCs of Newborns- N is for Nail Clipping

ABCs of Newborns- N is for Nail Clipping

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You might be surprised if your baby was born with what seems like claws instead of nails… yikes!! But let’s face it, if you didn’t cut your nails for 9 months, your nails would probably look like that as well. And now comes a flood of questions.

 

“When should I start trimming my baby’s nails?”


“How often should I trim them?”

 

“What should I use to trim them?”

 

“How do I trim them safely without accidentally cutting my baby’s fingertips?”

 

“Ugh, if I do accidentally snag some skin, how on earth do I stop the bleeding?”

 

“How do I prevent my baby from scratching themselves?”

 

Babies’ nails grow at a much faster rate than adult nails, and although they are softer and smaller than adult nails — they’re super sharp!! It’s usually a good rule of thumb (hah, no pun intended) to trim your baby’s fingernails several times a week (starting right after birth if necessary), and their toenails once a week.  Otherwise, your baby is at risk for scratching themselves or you when they’re flailing around during a diaper changing session.

 

It’s best to trim your baby’s nails when he or she is asleep or has just gotten out of the bath, as the water will soften up the nails and make them easier to cut.  I know we’re all guilty of doing it to our own nails sometimes, but never bite or tear off your baby’s nails! This can damage the delicate skin underneath and put them at risk for infection.  You should always trim your baby’s nails with a baby-sized nail clipper or baby nail scissors, as these are specially designed for tiny baby fingers and toes.

 

In order to trim your baby’s nails without cutting the skin, it’s recommended to press gently on the finger or toe pad in order to have access to the nail itself.  Make sure you’re trimming your baby’s nails in a well-lit environment, and aim to cut their fingernails along the curve of their tiny finger and their toenails straight across. You can also opt to use a small emery board to smooth out any rough patches.

 

Don’t be super hard on yourself if you accidentally do nick some skin. It happens to the best of us. If this does happen, run the cut under cool water and apply light pressure to it using a sterile gauze pad, and the bleeding should stop shortly thereafter.  However, do not put a bandage on your baby’s cut, as they may put it in their mouth and choke.

 

Moral of the story is that every parent makes mistakes. It’s okay if you accidentally trim your baby’s fingertip along with the nail, just be sure to keep the tiny wound clean to prevent infection.  If you’re still worried about your baby scratching themselves even after you’ve trimmed their nails, it might be time to invest in some of those cute little baby onesies with built in footies and mittens 🙂

Sam Steel

BIRTH DOULA, POSTPARTUM DOULA, PLACENTA SPECIALIST + BEACH LOVER

Miami Beach, FL

Hello!

 

We are doulas living in Miami with a love for cafecito, pregnancy and newborns. We are the experts and the moms who have been there sharing our best tips and tricks with a side of inspiration. Our goal? Help you kick ass at this parenting gig.

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Babies Don't Come with a Manual.

SOUTH FLORIDA'S PREMIER DOULA AGENCY AND THE NATION'S TOP BIRTH & BABY COACHES

Mainstay Doulas & Co. offers birth doulas, postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulation, gentle sleep training, childbirth education, newborn care classes, prenatal breastfeeding classes, and lactation supportall at your finger tips.

 

Specialties

Postpartum Support | Newborn Nanny l Prenatal Consulting | Virtual Doula l Twins | Triplets | Overnight Postpartum Care | Daytime Baby Help | Birth Doula | Postpartum Doula |Baby Nurse l First Time Mom | “Natural” Vaginal Unmedicated Birth | Cesarean Birth | Hospital Birth | Home Birth | Epidural Birth | Induction | Breastfeeding | Bottle Feeding | Babywearing | Scheduled Parenting | Attachment Parenting | Placenta Encapsulation | Sleep Training | Adoption | Infertility | Surrogacy | Childbirth Education l Breastfeeding Class l Daddy Class l Newborn Care Class l Virtual Doula Support
ABCs of Newborns- M is for Meconium

ABCs of Newborns- M is for Meconium

Welcome

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Wondering what goes on a birth plan?

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So you may have heard the word meconium, but what exactly is it? And why do babies produce it? And … why do a lot of terms having to do with newborns have to sound so scientific and confusing?!

Meconium is essentially a baby’s first bowel movement.  It is a sticky, tar-like substance comprised of all the materials the baby ingested in utero such as intestinal epithelial cells, amniotic fluid, lanugo (the fine, soft hair that covers a newborn’s body), mucus, bile, and water.  Thankfully, meconium isn’t smelly at all, and you won’t really have to worry about gross smelly stools until your baby starts eating solid foods.

Meconium is usually a dark yellow, brown, or green, and should be completely out of your baby’s system by a few days post-birth.  After this, your baby’s stool should be a light yellow color, as this is the color of digested breastmilk or formula.

The Latin term meconium derives from the Greek word μηκώνιον, pronounced mēkōnion, which refers to its tar-like substance and color.

Occasionally, the baby’s meconium is passed from the bowel while he or she is still in the womb.  Meconium can be expelled into the amniotic fluid prior to birth. If the amniotic fluid is stained with meconium, the medical staff may take extra precautions immedaitely following delivery to ensure that your baby does not inhale the meconuim.

Inhaling of the meconium-stained amniotic fluid is referred to as Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS), and may partially or completely block the baby’s airways via a meconium plug.  MAS may also affect the baby’s breathing by way of irritation of the lung tissue, infection, and the inactivation of surfactant by the meconium.

But don’t worry, even if your baby passed meconium in utero, MAS is extremely rare.  Of the up to 25% of babies born with meconium in their amniotic fluid, only 11% of them will have MAS. Signs of MAS are usually recognized during delivery or shortly after birth, and consist of discolored amniotic fluid, discoloration of the baby’s skin due to being stained by meconium, trouble breathing or rapid breathing, low heart rate, low APGAR score, and extreme limpness.  

If you notice what looks like meconium in your amniotic fluid when your water breaks, contact your midwife or OBGYN immediately.  This usually is not a problem whatsoever, but you can never be too careful when it comes to your labor and delivery of your newborn!  And trust us, although meconium can be disgusting, you’ll probably miss it once your baby’s poop becomes smelly.

Oh, and just a little hint … put lots of petroleum jelly on your baby’s bum in the few days following birth!  Since meconium is super sticky, the jelly will make it a lot easier to wipe off and less likely to get stuck to your baby’s bum or your hands. EW!

Sam Steel

BIRTH DOULA, POSTPARTUM DOULA, PLACENTA SPECIALIST + BEACH LOVER

Miami Beach, FL

Hello!

 

We are doulas living in Miami with a love for cafecito, pregnancy and newborns. We are the experts and the moms who have been there sharing our best tips and tricks with a side of inspiration. Our goal? Help you kick ass at this parenting gig.

More About Us →

MORE CATEGORIES

5 Must Have Apps for Pregnancy and Parenting 

 

Rock the baby game with our 5 favorite apps for mastering and tracking #allthethings and feel like you have mastered parenting level: expert.

Ready to Create Your Ideal Experience?

Whether you are looking for a birth doula, postpartum doula, overnight care, prenatal classes, placenta encapsulation,  breastfeeding support, or someone to answer your every question about this whole pregnancy and parenting experience we are here to serve you.

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Our Support for All Birth and Parenting Choices

Babies Don't Come with a Manual.

SOUTH FLORIDA'S PREMIER DOULA AGENCY AND THE NATION'S TOP BIRTH & BABY COACHES

Mainstay Doulas & Co. offers birth doulas, postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulation, gentle sleep training, childbirth education, newborn care classes, prenatal breastfeeding classes, and lactation supportall at your finger tips.

 

Specialties

Postpartum Support | Newborn Nanny l Prenatal Consulting | Virtual Doula l Twins | Triplets | Overnight Postpartum Care | Daytime Baby Help | Birth Doula | Postpartum Doula |Baby Nurse l First Time Mom | “Natural” Vaginal Unmedicated Birth | Cesarean Birth | Hospital Birth | Home Birth | Epidural Birth | Induction | Breastfeeding | Bottle Feeding | Babywearing | Scheduled Parenting | Attachment Parenting | Placenta Encapsulation | Sleep Training | Adoption | Infertility | Surrogacy | Childbirth Education l Breastfeeding Class l Daddy Class l Newborn Care Class l Virtual Doula Support
ABC’s of Newborns- L is for Language

ABC’s of Newborns- L is for Language

Welcome

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Wondering what goes on a birth plan?

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Use our FREE birth planning template to build a birth plan that will help you achieve the birth you want! 

Even though your newborn can’t say actual words yet, it’s still important to communicate with them using “baby talk”, as this can help with interpersonal development, reading and writing later in life.  

A good way to practice this back and forth conversation is to imitate your baby’s gurgling, cooing, smiling, and facial expressions.  Basically, your conversations with your baby will sound a lot like:

Baby: Gagaga

You: Gagaga

Baby: Gagagaboo

You: Gagagaboo!

….and so on.

Believe it or not, babies have a general understanding of what you’re saying even though their little minds can’t understand actual words yet, as they are very good at absorbing and understanding emotions and tone of voice.  Because of this, try to smile and laugh a lot when “talking” with your baby, and avoid upset tones that may upset the baby.

Babies’ vocal skills also benefit from listening to music and listening to other people talk, so it’s also beneficial to have a skin-to-skin movie night with your little one or a dance party in your kitchen!

How do I know exactly what my baby is trying to tell me with body gestures and babbles?

Good question! If your baby is hungry, he or she may exhibit specific body language and vocal cues such as a short, low-pitched cry that rises and falls, acting restless, sucking on his or her fist, or smacking his or her lips (you know, kind of like we do when we eat something super delicious!)

If your baby’s tummy is full after a feeding session, he or she will likely turn away from the bottle or breast, close his or her mouth, and show increased interest in his or her surroundings.

If your baby is sleepy, they may pull at their ears, yawn (ugh, we all know tiny baby yawns are the cutest thing ever!!), close their fists, flutter their eyelids, arch their backs, and flail their arms and legs around.  They may also have a worried expression on their face, but this doesn’t mean anything is wrong! Your baby is just ready for a nap.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell your baby is uncomfortable or in pain sometimes, as they can’t verbally tell you what hurts just yet.  However, if a baby is ill or uncomfortable, they will likely cry inconsolably, appear listless or limp, or not seem interested in playing or feeding.  Other telltale signs that something may be wrong include vomiting, constipation, fever, or rash.

Keep on talking to, smiling, laughing, playing peek-a-boo and listening to music with your baby! Baby talk conversations with your newborn can increase social development and linguistic skills and may even decrease time before your baby’s first real smile!! (an actual smile, not the reflex smile they often have when passing gas or sleeping.)

Sam Steel

BIRTH DOULA, POSTPARTUM DOULA, PLACENTA SPECIALIST + BEACH LOVER

Miami Beach, FL

Hello!

 

We are doulas living in Miami with a love for cafecito, pregnancy and newborns. We are the experts and the moms who have been there sharing our best tips and tricks with a side of inspiration. Our goal? Help you kick ass at this parenting gig.

More About Us →

MORE CATEGORIES

5 Must Have Apps for Pregnancy and Parenting 

 

Rock the baby game with our 5 favorite apps for mastering and tracking #allthethings and feel like you have mastered parenting level: expert.

Ready to Create Your Ideal Experience?

Whether you are looking for a birth doula, postpartum doula, overnight care, prenatal classes, placenta encapsulation,  breastfeeding support, or someone to answer your every question about this whole pregnancy and parenting experience we are here to serve you.

%

Our Support for All Birth and Parenting Choices

Babies Don't Come with a Manual.

SOUTH FLORIDA'S PREMIER DOULA AGENCY AND THE NATION'S TOP BIRTH & BABY COACHES

Mainstay Doulas & Co. offers birth doulas, postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulation, gentle sleep training, childbirth education, newborn care classes, prenatal breastfeeding classes, and lactation supportall at your finger tips.

 

Specialties

Postpartum Support | Newborn Nanny l Prenatal Consulting | Virtual Doula l Twins | Triplets | Overnight Postpartum Care | Daytime Baby Help | Birth Doula | Postpartum Doula |Baby Nurse l First Time Mom | “Natural” Vaginal Unmedicated Birth | Cesarean Birth | Hospital Birth | Home Birth | Epidural Birth | Induction | Breastfeeding | Bottle Feeding | Babywearing | Scheduled Parenting | Attachment Parenting | Placenta Encapsulation | Sleep Training | Adoption | Infertility | Surrogacy | Childbirth Education l Breastfeeding Class l Daddy Class l Newborn Care Class l Virtual Doula Support
ABC’s of Newborns- K is for Vitamin K…

ABC’s of Newborns- K is for Vitamin K…

Welcome

TO THE MAINSTAY BLOG

Wondering what goes on a birth plan?

Birth Planning Tool Kit

Use our FREE birth planning template to build a birth plan that will help you achieve the birth you want! 

In the same way the decision where and how to have birth is 100% your decision, so is nearly every decision regarding your infant once he or she is born.  One of the first decisions you will have to make nearly right after your infant is born is whether or not to go ahead with the standard newborn treatment regimen: Vitamin K injection, Erythromycin eye ointment, and a Hepatitis B vaccine. There will be lots of hard parenting decisions in the future. We make these decisions easy for you by breaking down each of these newborn procedures. 

Vitamin K

Babies are born with Vitamin K deficiency (the vitamin has trouble crossing the placenta and there is very low levels in breastmilk!) which can be potentially dangerous if the baby needs surgery or has blood loss or trauma following birth, as Vitamin K is used by the body to form blood clots and stop bleeding.  When excess bleeding occurs as a result of low Vitamin K levels, it is often referred to as “Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding”, or VKDB.

So, how do I know if my baby needs supplemental Vitamin K? Can’t I just wait until later and see if he or she needs the Vitamin K shot?

Unfortunately, waiting can sometimes be the difference between life and death.  A baby can sometimes look perfectly fine and there can be bleeding in the intestines or brain where you can’t really notice from the outside.  Due to this risk, most doctors recommend a quick Vitamin K shot in the baby’s thigh right after birth to boost Vitamin K levels and blood clotting abilities.

Currently, there are no known adverse effects from the vitamin K injection besides a little injection site irritation. 

Eye Ointment

In the late 1800s, about 10% of babies born in hospitals developed ophthalmia neonatorum, or neonatal conjunctivitis, in the first four months of life.  This is caused by a nasty infection on the layer of thin tissue that covers the inner part of the eyelid and the white of the eye, and led to permanent blindness in roughly 3% of cases.  

It was then discovered that the most common cause of this type of pink eye is chlamydia and gonorrhea.

I’m sure most of the people reading this blog have had pink eye before, and know that it’s no fun at all. While pink eye caused by common bacteria, like staph and strep, it will not cause permanent damage, hospitals generally recommend infants receive a quick dose of erythromycin eye ointment shortly after birth because it can be helpful in preventing pink eye in these cases too.

Risks of this antibiotic ointment includes eye irritation which can potentially interfere with bonding or cause chemical pink eye.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

The last thing doctors and prominent healthcare agencies recommend all babies receive before leaving the hospital is their first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine.  It is recommended that this vaccine be administered within the first 24 hours after birth to help fight off this potentially fatal disease. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver, and can cause acute and chronic disease. It is spread via bodily fluids, blood, saliva, semen, and can be transmitted when these bodikly fluids come into contact with broken skin around the mouth, genitals or rectum.

You’re probably wondering how a newborn could even contract hepatitis B. It is not only contracted through just sex and needle sharing. While pregnant persons are tested for hepatitis B during their prenatal care, there is always the possibility of false negatives. Most people do not even know they have hepatitis B because symptoms don’t appear until much later. Also, the hepatitis B vaccine is meant to protect them during their preschool years and beyond when they have a greater chance of coming into contact with hepatitis B. 

Parents can choose to decline the immunization altogether or to delay it.

The AAP recommends that all medically stable newborns weighing 4lbs and 6oz or more receive the vaccine within the first 24 hours to maximize the effectiveness in preventing newborn infection.  

As with all decisions regarding your pregnancy, labor, and birthing journey, every decision has benefits and risks.  It is up to you to weigh these benefits and risks and make the decision that is best for you mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Everyone’s situation is different, so just remember that your opinion and perspective on every aspect of pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and your baby is valid and respected.  Always feel free to reach out to your doctor, midwife, or doula for more information regarding this standard newborn regimen so you can make an informed choice that is best for you and baby.

 

Sam Steel

BIRTH DOULA, POSTPARTUM DOULA, PLACENTA SPECIALIST + BEACH LOVER

Miami Beach, FL

Hello!

 

We are doulas living in Miami with a love for cafecito, pregnancy and newborns. We are the experts and the moms who have been there sharing our best tips and tricks with a side of inspiration. Our goal? Help you kick ass at this parenting gig.

More About Us →

MORE CATEGORIES

5 Must Have Apps for Pregnancy and Parenting 

 

Rock the baby game with our 5 favorite apps for mastering and tracking #allthethings and feel like you have mastered parenting level: expert.

Ready to Create Your Ideal Experience?

Whether you are looking for a birth doula, postpartum doula, overnight care, prenatal classes, placenta encapsulation,  breastfeeding support, or someone to answer your every question about this whole pregnancy and parenting experience we are here to serve you.

%

Our Support for All Birth and Parenting Choices

Babies Don't Come with a Manual.

SOUTH FLORIDA'S PREMIER DOULA AGENCY AND THE NATION'S TOP BIRTH & BABY COACHES

Mainstay Doulas & Co. offers birth doulas, postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulation, gentle sleep training, childbirth education, newborn care classes, prenatal breastfeeding classes, and lactation supportall at your finger tips.

 

Specialties

Postpartum Support | Newborn Nanny l Prenatal Consulting | Virtual Doula l Twins | Triplets | Overnight Postpartum Care | Daytime Baby Help | Birth Doula | Postpartum Doula |Baby Nurse l First Time Mom | “Natural” Vaginal Unmedicated Birth | Cesarean Birth | Hospital Birth | Home Birth | Epidural Birth | Induction | Breastfeeding | Bottle Feeding | Babywearing | Scheduled Parenting | Attachment Parenting | Placenta Encapsulation | Sleep Training | Adoption | Infertility | Surrogacy | Childbirth Education l Breastfeeding Class l Daddy Class l Newborn Care Class l Virtual Doula Support
ABC’s of Newborns- J is for Jaundice

ABC’s of Newborns- J is for Jaundice

Welcome

TO THE MAINSTAY BLOG

Wondering what goes on a birth plan?

Birth Planning Tool Kit

Use our FREE birth planning template to build a birth plan that will help you achieve the birth you want! 

The last thing new parents want to be worrying about is their baby’s health, but infant jaundice happens.

What is jaundice in newborns? 

The condition is generally characterized by a yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the baby’s eyes. You may notice this while you’re snuggling your newborn in the days following birth, but this usually isn’t reason enough to throw on the sweatpants and head to the ER.

Infant jaundice is most common in preterm babies (generally defined as babies born before 38 weeks gestation) and some breastfed babies. The condition is caused by an excess of bilirubin, also referred to as hyperbilirubinemia, in the baby’s bloodstream, which is a yellow
pigment in red blood cells.

The good news is, most babies born between 35 weeks and full term
do not need any treatment for jaundice, because it will clear up on its own!

Why does jaundice occur?

Naturally, newborns produce more bilirubin than adults because they are breaking down and producing more red blood cells in their first few days of life (and bilirubin is a completely normal yellowish pigment produced by the
breaking down of “used” red blood cells.)

The usual form of infant jaundice is called physiologic jaundice, which typically appears in the first few days of life.

If the jaundice occurs directly after birth or in the weeks following birth, it *may* indicate a an underlying disease or condition that needs to be reported to your pediatrician ASAP.

What babies are at higher risk for jaundice?

There are several risk factors that may predispose your baby to physiologic or severe jaundice, such as premature birth, significant bruising during birth, ethnicity, blood type, and breastfeeding.

There are a few severe complications that can arise from untreated severe jaundice (NOT the common form of infant jaundice!) If your baby exhibits a combination of listlessness, difficulty waking, high-pitched crying, poor sucking or feeding, backward arching of the neck and body, or high fever,
take him or her to the emergency room immediately.

How exactly is it treated??

Honestly, the majority of infant jaundice cases do not need treatment and will clear up on their own in a few weeks. If the jaundice does not clear up on its own, and you take your newborn back to the hospital for further
evaluation, there are a few treatments available.

The primary treatment is phototherapy, where your baby will be placed under a special blanket or lamp that emits a blue-green light. This light has the
unique ability to restructure your baby’s bilirubin molecules so that they can be excreted through human waste. If that treatment works, CONGRATS! You now have a jaundice-free, happy,
healthy baby.

In conclusion, infant jaundice is EXTREMELY common (it affects nearly 50% of newborns!!) so you shouldn’t be too worried if your baby looks a little bit yellowish in the days following birth. Most hospitals will check your baby for jaundice before you are discharged, but if not, you can never be too careful with your precious, fragile newborn. If you even suspect a case of jaundice, you can always call your provider for further advice and instruction.

Sam Steel

BIRTH DOULA, POSTPARTUM DOULA, PLACENTA SPECIALIST + BEACH LOVER

Miami Beach, FL

Hello!

 

We are doulas living in Miami with a love for cafecito, pregnancy and newborns. We are the experts and the moms who have been there sharing our best tips and tricks with a side of inspiration. Our goal? Help you kick ass at this parenting gig.

More About Us →

MORE CATEGORIES

5 Must Have Apps for Pregnancy and Parenting 

 

Rock the baby game with our 5 favorite apps for mastering and tracking #allthethings and feel like you have mastered parenting level: expert.

Ready to Create Your Ideal Experience?

Whether you are looking for a birth doula, postpartum doula, overnight care, prenatal classes, placenta encapsulation,  breastfeeding support, or someone to answer your every question about this whole pregnancy and parenting experience we are here to serve you.

%

Our Support for All Birth and Parenting Choices

Babies Don't Come with a Manual.

SOUTH FLORIDA'S PREMIER DOULA AGENCY AND THE NATION'S TOP BIRTH & BABY COACHES

Mainstay Doulas & Co. offers birth doulas, postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulation, gentle sleep training, childbirth education, newborn care classes, prenatal breastfeeding classes, and lactation supportall at your finger tips.

 

Specialties

Postpartum Support | Newborn Nanny l Prenatal Consulting | Virtual Doula l Twins | Triplets | Overnight Postpartum Care | Daytime Baby Help | Birth Doula | Postpartum Doula |Baby Nurse l First Time Mom | “Natural” Vaginal Unmedicated Birth | Cesarean Birth | Hospital Birth | Home Birth | Epidural Birth | Induction | Breastfeeding | Bottle Feeding | Babywearing | Scheduled Parenting | Attachment Parenting | Placenta Encapsulation | Sleep Training | Adoption | Infertility | Surrogacy | Childbirth Education l Breastfeeding Class l Daddy Class l Newborn Care Class l Virtual Doula Support

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