February 7, 2010
One of the things that I like to do is the newborn bath. I'm not able to do it often because frequently I have another patient (or two or three), but it's something that I enjoy. I'm not talking about bathing the baby in the warmer with a basin and wash rags while it cries. I like to actually put the baby in a bath, or give a Leboyer bath. The nursery nurses about have a fit, thinking that it's "gross" to put the infant in a baby bathtub, and they worry about the cord. The kid came out of a fluid environment and it won't hurt the cord one bit by being in the water. After the bath, we apply triple dye to dry it up and keep it clean, so no harm done. And the babies love it. They aren't cold and I like to think that they feel a bit better by being back in water for awhile, kind of a way to ease into the world. I usually get the dads involved. I show them that all they need to do is support their child's head so it's above water and they will just float and kick around. Moms seem to enjoy resting a bit and watching their partner ever so gently give the baby it's first bath. Afterwards, the baby is still warm from the bath, and can be placed under the warmer for a bit while I give the baby meds (vit K, triple dye, ilotycin) and get mom to the bathroom and cleaned up herself. By the time mom is ready, the baby is nice and warm and can go with them to post-partum, bypassing time in the nursery completely. No separation from the parents for the bath, no screaming chilled baby, and the dad can take an active role in caring for the baby.