What are the 4 Basic Needs or Rights of a Newborn Baby?

Four Basic Needs or Rights of Newborn Baby At Birth:

There are four basic needs of all newborn baby at the time of birth and for the first few weeks of life. These are:

  1. To be warm,
  2. To breathe normally,
  3. To be protected (prevent infection),
  4. To be feed.

All the above basic rights of a newborn baby have explained in the below:

Newborn baby
Fig: Newborn baby

A. Newborn’s 1st right; To be warm:

Keeping a newborn baby in warm after delivery by:

  1. Provide a warm room and draught free room for delivery at 25-28°c.
  2. Immediately dry baby with clean, warm & dry cloth after birth.
  3. Put the baby on the mother’s abdomen between the mother’s breasts.
  4. Cover the mother and baby with a warm and dry cloth & encourage breast feeding as soon as possible after birth. If separation of mother and baby is necessary for any medical care, do the following:
  • Wrap the baby in a clean dry warm cloth and place under a radiant warmer.
  • If warmer is not available, ensure warmth by wrapping the baby in a clean dry warm cloth and cover with a blanket.
  • Ensure baby’s head, hands and feet are covered.
  • Delay the first bath to beyond first 24hour period.
  • Skin to skin contact can restart as soon as mother and baby do not need any further medical care.

B. Newborn’s 2nd right; To breathe normally:

  1. Breath normally is one of the baby’s immediate and basic needs. A baby can die or suffer from hypoxic injury very quickly if breathing does not start soon after birth.
  2. A baby is born and assess baby’s breathing. When the umbilical cord is cut, the baby needs to obtain oxygenation through the lungs.
  3. Ifa baby is breathing normally, the air entry on both sides of the chest should be equal and the respiratory rate would be 40-60 per minute.
  4. If a baby is not breathing normally and present any problem in initiating breathing after birth. The baby needs immediate help to support their respiration by oxygen therapy.

C. Newborn’s 3rd right; To be protected:

The baby is protected from infection at birth by:

Immediate umbilical cord care –

  • Clamp and cut cord with a sterile instrument.
  • Tie the cord between 2 to 3cms from the base and cut the cord.
  • Observe for oozing blood. If blood oozes, place a second tie (stump) between the skin and first tie.
  • Leave stump uncovered and dry.
  • Apply antiseptic solution on the umbilical area.

Care of the eyes –

  • The eyes should be cleaned with sterile normal saline swabs, using one swab for each eye. Clean from medial to lateral side.
  • Do not apply any medication to eyes.

D. Newborn’s 4th right; To be feed:

Baby should be breastfeed within I hour after birth. Initiating breastfeeding after normal birth are-

  • Tell the mother to help the baby to her breast within the first hour.
  • Cheek position and attachment are correct at the first feed.
  • Offer to help the mother at any time.
  • The baby’s first feed of colostrum’s is very important because it helps to protect against infections.
  • The baby can feed from mother whether she is lying down or sitting. Baby & mother must be comfortable.
  • Do not give artificial teats or pre-lacteal feeds to the newborn.

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