Baby first aid

Becoming a parent also means becoming a nurse and carer. Personally, I found that quite scary and tried to address my anxieties the best I could. I think I have some common sense and I am a caring person but I have no medical training and the advice I might have picked up from my own childhood experiences was likely outdated. So here is what I did.

I attended antenatal classes. The classes were helpful in giving me an insight in baby’s daily needs: feeding, sleeping, crying, changing, bathing, bonding. It helped me get familiar with some of baby’s paraphernalia (and there’s lots of it!).

I bought and read a paediatric first aid manual cover to cover.

This was one of the best ways of updating my knowledge.

Paediatric First Aid Made Easy by First Aid for Life

I asked questions.

I spoke with my elder sister and sister-in-law. Both have slightly older children and so their experiences of parenting were recent. I also spoke to my antenatal group to try and figure out if anything was wrong. There aren’t many people you can talk to about green poo.

I had a competent and helpful Health Visitor.

Violet would do home visits or I would see her at baby clinics. She answered my questions or directed me to my GP when she thought it necessary.

I knew what health services I could use.

When the community midwife made her first visit after birth she told us to go to A&E if we had concerns for our baby. Whether this was because he had just come out of phototherapy or because it is standard advice I don’t know but I took the view that I wouldn’t be bothering doctors if I brought in my newborn because I was concerned. I didn’t intend to lengthen the queues at A&E but I was ready to go. Fortunately, it never came to that.

I knew I could call my GP’s surgery and knew where my nearest walk-in centre was. I also knew I could call 111 although I believe that a sick child needs to be SEEN by a doctor. All the same, 111 can direct you to the nearest out-of-hours GP or A&E.

And if I had concerns over my own health, I had my GP’s and Maternity ward’s numbers on my fridge.

Health app

Now there is a great app designed by the Lullaby Trust called The Baby Check app. It is user-friendly and runs you through a number of questions to test for different symptoms and signs of illness.

For example, it teaches you how best to take your baby’s temperature. It recommends using an electronic thermometer under the armpit for babies’ under 4 weeks old and an ear thermometer after that and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

It was a bit of a shock when we first came home from the hospital and realised we were in sole charge of a tiny baby but I found taking these simple steps before birth reassuring. I hope you will too.

 

 

Thank you

This is a post to thank all the organisations and websites who helped me gather information to write Preparing to give birth for the first time.

All the references and links I mention in the book can be found here.

Thank you…

Mumsnet

Netmums

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Pelvic Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy

GOV.UK

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Birthrights

Which?

NHS Choices

Stripey Stork

Cochrane Library

TAMBA

Wiley online library

Babycentre UK

UK Fed is best

Twins UK

Bliss

Care Quality Commission

Royal College of Midwives

Patient

Group B Strep Support

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Mind

PANDAS Foundation

Maternal OCD

Bipolar UK

The Miscarriage Association

Tommy’s

Action on Pre-eclampsia

Refuge

Women’s Aid

Broken Rainbow UK

SANDS

Child bereavement UK

NPEU

Samaritans UK

Rethink Mental Illness

PLOS

The Little Heartbeats

www.doula.org.uk

IMUK

www.privatepregnancy.co.uk

Birthmark Support Group

Lullaby Trust

Parent-infant sleep lab at Durham University

Cry-sis

The Breastfeeding Network

La Leche League

NCT

Go real

Bum deal

www.zerotothree.org

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

MASIC Foundation

Bladder and Bowel UK

Birth Trauma Association

Birth Tear Support

4th Degree Tear Support Group Facebook group

Living with Obstetric Fistula Facebook group

NCBI

Unfold your wings Emma Jane Sasuru

PND and me Rosey Adams

Reaching Out Positive Motivation Hope Mark Williams

PND Daddy Tony

Dads in Mind