Giving appropriate and immediate support on the health and nutrition of a newborn is significant in avoiding newborn complications that may result to death. There are many traditional beliefs and practices on newborn care, and it should be examined if it would benefit or harm the baby. On December 2009, Francisco Duque, Secretary of Department of Health, signed Administrative Order 2009-0025. This administrative order mandates the implementation of the Essential Intrapartum Newborn Care (EINC) Protocol and create the Unang Yakap Campaign. This campaign aims to promote ways to take care of newborn children and their mother. Unang Yakap campaign or EINC protocol should be followed in order to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby.
Unang Yakap is a simple and evidence-based interventions that may help in ensuring the survival of all newborns and young infant. This compasses interventions such as ensuring warmth, breastfeeding, love and safety and infection control. This protocol is now practiced in birthing centers and hospitals. Clear instructions that EINC protocol will be performed immediately after the delivery must be given by the mother prior to giving birth.
Within 48 hours of delivery until the first week of baby, series of measures are performed in order to give safe and quality care. First, the newborn baby must be immediately and thoroughly dried. This may prevent low body temperature and stimulate the newborn’s breathing. Baby’s natural reflex to root the mother’s breast may be hindered when the baby is bath too early. Second, skin-to-skin contact between the newborn and mother must be done for at least six hours. This is done to keep the baby warm, prevent complications such as hypothermia, infection and hypoglycemia, and initiate breastfeeding within one hour after birth. Usually, baby’s distress is caused by her separation from the mother. Third, appropriately timed clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord of the baby must be clamped for 1-3 minutes, or when the pulsation stops. The appropriate timing of cutting is important in preventing the newborn’s brain from bursting a blood vessel and bleeding. Also, it may help increase the blood volume and birth iron stores of the baby. Proper cord care must also be observed to prevent entry of infection through the umbilicus. Lastly, early breastfeeding is implemented to the newborn. During early breastfeeding, a mother produces a substance called colostrum which helps in boosting the immunity of the baby against diseases. Also, breast milk ensures that the newborn receives all the nutrients needed by his/her body. These four essential steps should be followed and implemented to ensure the health of the baby.
Furthermore, a newborn baby must also be given with vitamin K injection to prevent bleeding, antibiotic eye drops to prevent gonococcal infection of the yes and complete physical assessment to identify medical conditions and abnormalities. It is also important that they should be given with birth dose of BCG and Hepatitis B Vaccination to prevent TB and Hepa B infection. After the care routine, rooming-in of both the mother and the newborn must be done immediately.
A newborn baby should also undergo newborn screening (NBS) within 24 hours from birth. NBS is a practice of testing babies to determine if they have congenital metabolic disorder that may affect their mental ability, hinder their development, and worst may cause death. It helps health professionals identify and treat these conditions to prevent consequences that may harm the growth of the baby. Metabolic conditions that can be determined in newborn screening are the following: Congenital Hypothyroidism, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Galactosemia, Phenylketonuria, Maple Syrup Urine Disease and Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deﬁciency.
Mothers are also offered with expanded newborn screening which includes full complement of 28 disorders unlike the basic package with only 6 disorders. Expanded NBS includes screening of the following conditions: hemoglobinopathies, disorders of amino acid and organic acid metabolism, disorders of fatty acid oxidation, disorders of carbohydrate metabolism, disorders of biotin metabolism and cystic ﬁbrosis. Moreover, it is important that all newborns in the country should undergo to universal hearing screening on their first day of life in accordance with the international clinical practice guidelines and provision in Republic Act 9709 (Universal Hearing Screening Act).
Prioritizing the health of a newborn baby is vital for their growth and development. It is important that a mother should include the EINC protocols or the Unang Yakap Campaign in their birth plans since it would benefit both the mother and her baby. Also, newborn babies should undergo newborn screening and hear screening in order to treat and prevent complications that may arise in the future. A baby must receive the essential newborn care health services including immunization in the health facility. Proper care and support should be given with newborns to ensure their survival.###FVV