Neonatal resuscitation is an emergency procedure to help your baby breathe by itself. It ranges between gentile stimulation and clearing the airway by suctioning to chest compression and drug administration.
Luckily, 90% of babies don’t need resuscitation to adjust to the environment. And only 0.06% require epinephrine administration.
As soon as you give birth the midwife will stimulate and clear the airway of your baby to help your baby start breathing (crying). Then your midwife will assess your baby with an APGAR score. It is a tool to assess how well your baby tolerates the labor and adust with the new environment.
If your baby doesn’t start to breathe itself or if its heart rate is less than 100, your midwife will start positive pressure ventilation.
What is a Positive Pressure Ventilation and How to Do It?
Positive pressure ventilation forces air to go to your baby lung. Health professionals usually use a face mask and bag to do positive pressure ventilation. The size of the face mask should be appropriate for the baby. It should cover the bridge of the nose, chin, and face. Then 40 – 60 puff will be given per minute. The process can be accompanied by chest compression if indicated.
If your midwife does proper facemask ventilation you will see chest movement, baby turn to pink, start to move its hand and feet, and eventually your baby will start to cry.
Sometimes all the above measures might not enough. Especially, if your baby’s heart rate is less than 60, the doctor might administer drugs like epinephrine.
What to Do After Successful Neonatal Resuscitation?
If your baby starts to breathe by itself after neonatal resuscitation, the next step is to continue essential newborn care.
- make sure to warm your baby by putting a cap on your baby head
- postpone the bath,
- skin contact between you and your baby,
- starting breastfeeding as early as possible