A human being, who grows as an embryo in his/her mother’s womb, comes to this world to take his/her place after completing an estimated period of growth in the uterus. Like any other living thing, the child is received by this world; lives for a period of time and leaves. Generation after another, human beings come and go!
A human being, when he comes to this world, declares his arrival with a cry of distress, as if anticipating the troubles he would face later in his life. Despite his screaming, which is a noisy prelude to his coming, it is welcomed with a high wave of cheers of joy.
So, who is this human being that fills our void, influences the course of our lives and affects our feelings? I would say he is the newborn or infant who, even though gives troubles sometimes, makes us happy. When we are exhausted, even his presence makes us forget our problems, because he radiates happiness!
In fact, every parent knows the magic of that moment, the time when you meet your child face-to-face for the first time, when you hold your baby in your arms and realise how this precious moment has or could change your world forever. Interestingly, no one understands what it’s like to be a parent prior to becoming a parent.
Life with a newborn can be magical and also exhausting and terrifying, but definitely exciting with the incidents that happen day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month, it can be hard to keep up! For instance, we do realise that every parent has to make a lot of sacrifices. I remember my mother always gave up everything for me and my brothers. I understood a mother’s sacrifice because I have felt it and watched it intensely.
Besides the difficulties in taking care of her child, a mother has a lot more responsibilities. It is important for a mother to be aware of how to handle or treat her baby during his/her different stages of growth, precisely during the first year of its life. For instance, a newborn has to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, which means the mother needs to nurse her baby 8-12 times in 24 hours.
Also, an important aspect of newborn baby care in the first month is caring for the umbilical cord stump. The mother should not bathe her baby during the initial 2-3 weeks as the baby should be given only sponge bath with lukewarm water. And bathing a newborn is a delicate task too. The mother should start bathing the baby 2 to 3 times a week after the cord stump dries and falls off.
A mother one would be surprised to find how quickly she adapts herself to a new eating and sleeping habits and lifestyle changes. Through all sleep deprivation, sick-stained clothing, remember that she will succeed. The life handling your newborn may not be free of troubles, but it’s worth it. To mothers, congratulations on your new little one!
Dr Yousuf Ali al Mulla, MD, Ministry of Health, is a medical innovator and educator. For any queries regarding the content of the column he can be contacted at: email@example.com