15.3  The sick young infant from birth up to 2 months

You have already come across some of the information earlier in your studies. However, as the immediate care of a newborn can make a significant difference to the life chances of that child, it is critical that you feel confident in being able to provide the most effective integrated care possible. You should therefore see this section as an opportunity to really understand your role and task as a Health Extension Practitioner when looking after a newborn baby.

Care of the normal newborn, and the special care needed for preterm and low birth weight babies, is described in the Postnatal Care Module.

The care you give immediately after birth is simple but important. Most babies breathe and cry at birth with no help. Remember that the baby has just come from the mother’s uterus. It was warm and quiet in the uterus and the amniotic fluid and walls of the uterus gently touched the baby. You too should be gentle with the baby, and keep the baby warm. Skin-to-skin contact with the mother keeps the baby at the perfect temperature.

15.2.5  Counsel the mother

15.3.1  Steps of immediate newborn care