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GETTING READY FOR YOUR BABY

Below you can find everything you need to know to be prepared for your new little one.

 

BREASTFEEDING

We strongly encourage mothers to breastfeed their newborns. Breastfeeding provides many added benefits besides giving your baby calories to grow. Breastfeeding also provides added vitamins, immune support, better brain development, infant-mother bonding, and decreases the risk of many different diseases in the future. However, we know that breastfeeding is a difficult task and may not be practical for every family. Whether it be for a few months, a few weeks, a few days, or even just a few feeds, any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial. If you are unable to breastfeed, do not be discouraged. Formula is a safe and effective way to feed your child, and we are here to help regardless of how you choose to feed. If you do decide to breastfeed, we have resources available to help. We are happy to see your child more frequently for weight checks to assure you that they are growing normally. 

There may be certain reasons that breastfeeding is discouraged. These are rare but do happen. The most common reasons are certain medication use, certain types of infections, or the use of illicit drugs. If you are concerned that your breastmilk may not be safe for your baby, please consult one of our providers, one of the lactation specialists listed below, or your obstetrician. 

To help promote breastfeeding in our community, Baptist Health Medical Center employs 2 certified lactation specialists that are available by appointment.

Savana Spinks, BSN, RN, IBCLC

(870)687-1159

Savana.Spinks@baptist-health.org

Leslie Collie, BSN, RN, IBCLC

(870)403-6777

Leslie.Collie@baptist-health.org

CARSEAT SAFETY

All newborns need to be placed in a rear facing car seat every time they are in the vehicle. Not only is this the safest place for your newborn to ride, but it is required by law in all 50 states. Often, parents want to use a car seat that a previous child has used or obtain one from a friend or relative. This can be an effective way to save money and minimize waste. However, please be aware that infant car seats come with an expiration date. This date is typically six years after the date of manufacture but individual brands may vary. This information can be found on the sticker on the side of the car seat. It is important that you do not use a car seat that is past its expiration date, as this can put your child at increased risk of injury or death in the event of an accident. For more information on car seats, click here.  For an instructional video on how to properly install an infant car seat, click here. 

CIRCUMCISION

Circumcision is offered for healthy male infants who have received their Vitamin K shot at birth. Circumcision can offer some benefits but also comes with some risk during the procedure. These risks are very rare, and our providers have performed this procedure thousands of times using a variety of techniques. Some risks include bleeding, infection, reaction to lidocaine, or need for repeat procedure due to poor healing. Ultimately, the decision to have your son circumcised is a personal one, and it may be best to give this some thought before delivery. If you have more questions about circumcision, your pediatrician can answer these questions after delivery and prior to the procedure.

FEVER

Understanding fever before your newborn arrives is important for their care. Fever is defined as any temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. This is a medical emergency during the first month of life, and your child should be taken to the closest emergency room. After the first month, your baby's immune system begins to get stronger and you can schedule an appointment at our office.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Feeling down or sad can be very common in women after delivery. Sleep deprivation can make these feelings even worse. Surround yourself with people who are able and willing to help you with your child after their arrival. Stay in touch your doctor after delivery, and seek treatment if necessary.

SAFE SLEEP

Safe sleep has been one of the most effective tools to protect infants against sudden infant death syndrome. Infants should be swaddled snugly and placed on their back to sleep. They should be placed on a flat, firm surface with four hard walls every time they sleep, including naps. Fluffy blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, pillows, or any other objects should be avoided as they are a suffocation risk. Do not allow your infant to sleep in the bed with you. We understand it is natural to want to keep your infant close to cuddle and protect them. However, this places them at unnecessary risk of death. Pack-n-plays, bassinets, and cribs make the safest and most effective place for your child to sleep. For more information, please talk to your child's provider or click here. 

SMOKING

Smoking is dangerous to you and your child's health. Smoking while pregnant can also cause problems with your child's health before they are born. Please talk to your doctor about safe options to help you stop smoking. If you are not smoking but live in the same household as someone who does, or someone who will care for your child smokes, now is the time to stop. After delivery, there will be a lot of changes to your daily routine and added stresses in your life. This can make any attempts to stop smoking even more difficult. Stopping now, before your child is born, may be easier. Smoking, even secondhand smoke, can increase the rates of ear infections, respiratory infections, and rates of hospitalizations. Please be aware that even if you do not smoke inside, passive smoke clings to clothes and can still affect your child. For more information on smoking cessation, click here.