Becoming a parent and adjusting to life with a newborn can be overwhelming. Knowing what to expect and how to accomplish the basics, like feeding, diapering, and health & safety information, for a newborn will help you be more confident whether you're a first time parent or just need a refresher. Covenant offers helpful resources for the care of your newborn.
At Covenant, we support and encourage rooming in. We attempt to avoid separation by performing caregiving activities such as exams, labs, and testing in your room. We encourage family participation in caring for your baby and yourself. We believe in involving you and your support person(s) in the learning process. Our staff is available to assist you during the times when you need rest. We encourage you to take advantage of the daily scheduled quiet time from 2:00pm-4:00pm.
After your baby’s birth, there are some medicines they need to be given and tests they need to take before leaving the hospital. These medicines and tests are given to your baby to keep him/her healthy. Some tests are done to detect rare problems that need early treatment to prevent severe disabilities or even death.
Your baby will have his/her eyes treated once with erythromycin ointment (an antibiotic). The ointment will protect your baby’s eyes from any infection they come in contact with during delivery. It may cause minor irritation or may blur your baby’s vision for a short time. This procedure to treat your baby’s eyes is required by state law.
Newborn babies are at risk for bleeding during the first few days of life. They lack vitamin K, which helps blood to clot. To decrease the risk of bleeding, one shot of vitamin K is given to newborn babies in the outer thigh of the leg. This will be done shortly after birth when the first bath is given. Within a few days the baby will make its own. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your OB provider or nurse.
Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can be prevented. It is a disease of the liver caused by a viral infection. It often has no symptoms. Most people who get the virus get better in a few months, but some people carry the virus in their blood all their lives (they are called carriers). In the United States, more than 300,000 people get hepatitis B infection every year and there are about 1 million carriers.
If they are not protected by vaccine, babies and young children can get hepatitis B through contact with blood or body fluids of infected people. Those infected in infancy or childhood are more likely to become “carriers” and this may lead to serious liver disease later in life.
You can protect your baby before he or she has contact with the virus. Following your baby’s birth, you will be offered the first hepatitis B shot for your baby. This will be given with your consent before discharge to go home. You will receive additional information about the vaccine at this time. The second shot will be given between 2-4 months of age and the third shot will be given between 6-18 months of age. For information about hepatitis B vaccine for older children, contact your child’s doctor, your local health department, or visit HealthyChildren.org
All hospitals are required by the State of Michigan to test every baby born at their hospital for rare metabolic diseases. This is done by a simple heel poke. The tests can help doctors detect serious illnesses early which can minimize or eliminate serious medical conditions. Visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website to learn more about the Michigan Newborn Screening Program. For a complete list of disorders the screening may detect, visit Newborn Screening - List of Disorders.
Approximately 1 in 100 babies is born with congenital heart disease, making heart defects the most common of all birth defects. Family history, genetic conditions and maternal risk factors can increase the risk. Over 1,700 Michigan babies are born with heart disease each year. Congenital heart disease occurs when a baby’s heart or major blood vessels do not form properly. There are many types of heart defects, ranging from mild to severe. Critical heart defects need urgent treatment to have the best outcome for the baby. Treatment can include medical and/or surgical procedures. To learn more about screening, visit Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
To make sure your baby’s first week is safe and healthy, it is important that your baby is checked for jaundice in the hospital. To learn more about Jaundice, visit HealthyChildren.org
Circumcision is the removal of a double layer of skin that normally covers the glans of the penis. This fold is known as the foreskin and contains nerves, blood vessels, glands and makes up 25-50% of the skin of the penis. After circumcision, the head of the penis has an open wound. Many parents learn more to prepare themselves so they will be able to share in the decisions and responsibilities of the birth process. If your baby is a boy, one decision you will make is whether or not to have your son circumcised. In the first few hours or days of his life, we will ask you if you have made your choice. To learn more about circumcision, contact your OB provider or visit HealthyChildren.org