What to do for the baby
Babies can also be blue:
• when they are cold.
• when they have an infection (see page 256).
• when they have heart problems.
Check the baby’s temperature (see page 255)
or touch him to see if he is warm. Place the
newborn skin to skin on the mother and cover with a
blanket or cloth. Put a hat on the baby if you have one.
If the baby is still blue or pale when he is warm, he needs help breathing. If you
have oxygen, give it now. Check the baby’s heartbeat and breathing. If the baby is
having a hard time breathing, see page 241.
If the baby is still blue or pale after you give him oxygen, get medical help.
Help the baby breastfeed
If everything is normal after the birth, the mother should breastfeed her baby right
away. She may need some help getting started.
Chapter 16 is about breastfeeding, and explains what
breastfeeding positions work well.
The first milk to come from the breast is yellowish and
is called colostrum. Some women think that colostrum is
bad for the baby and do not breastfeed in the first day
after the birth. But colostrum is very important!
It protects the baby from infections. Colostrum also has
all the protein that a new baby needs.
Early breastfeeding is good for the mother and baby.
• Breastfeeding makes the womb contract. This helps the
placenta come out, and it helps prevent heavy bleeding.
• Breastfeeding helps the baby to clear fluid from his
nose and mouth and breathe more easily.
• Breastfeeding is a good way for the mother and baby
to begin to know each other.
• Breastfeeding comforts the baby.
• Breastfeeding can help the mother relax and
feel good about her new baby.
• Breast milk is the best food available for a baby.
If the baby does not seem able to breastfeed, see if he has a lot of mucus in his
nose. To help the mucus drain, lay the baby across the mother’s chest with his head
lower than his body. Stroke his back from his waist up to his shoulders.
After draining the mucus, help put the baby to the breast again.
A Book for Midwives (2010)