newborn infant


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infant

 [in´fant]
a human child from birth (see newborn infant) to the end of the first year of life. Emotional and physical needs at this time include love and security, a sense of trust, warmth and comfort, feeding, and sucking pleasure.
Growth and Development. Development is a continuous process, and each child progresses at his own rate. There is a developmental sequence, which means that the changes leading to maturity are specific and orderly. The various types of growth and development and the accompanying changes in appearance and behavior are interrelated; that is, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual developments affect one another in the progress toward maturity.

Development of muscular control proceeds from the head downward (cephalocaudal development). The infant controls the head first and gradually acquires the ability to control the neck, then the arms, and finally the legs and feet. Movements are general and random at first, beginning with use of the larger muscles and progressing to specific smaller muscles, such as those needed to handle small objects. Factors that influence growth and development are hereditary traits, sex, environment, nationality and race, and physical makeup. See also growth.
large-for-gestational-age infant a preterm, term, or postterm infant who is above the 90th percentile for gestational age in head circumference, body weight, or length.
low-birth-weight infant one that weighs less than 2500 grams at birth. This standard is routinely used for infants in developed countries, but infants born in other countries typically weigh less at birth. In India the criterion for normal birth weight is 2150 grams and in Malaysia it is 2000 grams.
newborn infant a human infant from the time of birth through the 28th day of life. At birth, the gestational age as well as birth weight is assessed and the newborn classified accordingly; for example, large for gestational age, preterm (premature), or low birth weight. Called also neonate and newborn.
premature infant (preterm infant) one born before a gestational age of 37 completed weeks (259 days). The duration of gestation is measured from the first day of the last menstrual period and is expressed in completed days or weeks.
postmature infant (postterm infant) one born any time after the beginning of the forty-second week (288 days) of gestation.
small-for-gestational-age infant a preterm, term, or postterm infant who is below the 10th percentile for gestational age in head circumference, body weight, or length.
term infant one born at a gestational age of 37 to 42 completed weeks (259 to 293 completed days).
very-low-birth-weight infant one that weighs less than 1000 grams at birth.
Patient Care. Low-birth-weight and very-low-birth-weight infants require special care and support, preferably in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), until sufficient weight is gained and the infants have matured and are able to thrive without elaborate support systems.

At the time of delivery, whether cesarean or vaginal, a skilled neonatal team should be present to provide immediate care. After resuscitation measures under a radiant warmer are completed and the newborn is stabilized, transfer to the NICU is done without interruption of warming and oxygen therapies.

Among the problems associated with low birth weight are hypothermia, respiratory distress, hyperbilirubinemia, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, susceptibility to infection, and feeding problems.

Very-low-birth-weight newborns and infants are at significant risk for hypothermia because of their small body mass, large surface area, thin skin, minimal subcutaneous tissues, and posture. Thermoregulation is provided through the use of a standard incubator or a radiant warmer. Radiant warmers have the advantage of accessibility for caregivers and improved visibility of the infant. Their chief disadvantage is increased insensible water loss.

Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome is the major cause of death in newborns. Atelectasis can lead to hypoxemia and elevated serum carbon dioxide levels and all the problems related to inadequate gas exchange. Oxygen therapy must be administered with caution because of the danger of retinopathy.

The treatment of hyperbilirubinemia remains a challenge because of lack of consensus on the level of serum bilirubin concentration at which therapy should begin, the uncertain diagnosis of kernicterus, and the currently limited knowledge of the blood--brain barrier. It is believed that these infants are at critical risk for bilirubin-related brain damage at serum concentrations as low as 6 to 9 mg/dl. Phototherapy is the treatment of choice and may be given prophylactically in some institutions to all infants weighing less than 1000 grams.

The management of fluid and electrolyte administration to maintain proper balance is highly complex. Factors taken into consideration are proportion of body, composition of water, renal function, and insensible water loss. Fluid and electrolyte status must be closely monitored. Overhydration is a hazard because it has been implicated in the development of such serious complications as pulmonary edema, patent ductus arteriosus, and necrotizing enterocolitis in these infants.

Low-birth-weight and very-low-birth-weight infants are particularly susceptible to infection because their immunologic system is deficient. Additionally, equipment and care related to long-term respiratory and nutritional support, together with frequent laboratory testing, increase exposure to infectious agents. Infection control measures must be adhered to faithfully. In some NICUs reverse isolation is required for all infants weighing less than 1000 grams.

Since the skin of these infants is highly permeable and easily traumatized, every effort must be made to preserve its integrity. Routine care to preserve the integrity of the skin, caution in the use of topical ointments and antiseptic preparations, and minimal handling also are essential.

At the beginning, nutritional support in the form of total parenteral nutrition may be necessary until enteral feedings are feasible. Oral feedings usually are initiated by the end of the first week of life. Continuous gastric feedings via infusion pump have the advantage of preventing vomiting and aspiration and abdominal distention associated with intermittent feedings of larger amounts. The enteral feedings given in this manner include breast milk (donor or mother) and special formulas.

Discharge planning and follow-up care are begun upon admission to the NICU. Individual family needs should be assessed and available community resources identified. Parental education and support are provided throughout the time the infant is in the NICU. At the time of discharge parents should be confident of their ability to care for the infant, knowledgeable about sources available to them, and able to utilize those resources to the fullest.

newborn infant

See newborn.

Patient discussion about newborn infant

Q. Should I vaccinate my newborn against Hepatitis B? I am 9 months pregnant and am expecting to give birth anytime soon. I understood that my newborn will receive a vaccine against Hepatitis B in the hospital. Why is this so?

A. because this is bullshit! Hey! Wake up! the lymph system of your baby will only be "ready and finished" after three years! so how should your baby manage a toxic vaccination? do you know what they put in the vaccination? they put hepatitis B pathogens/virus with the hope that your baby will be able to build an anti-hepatitis B pathogen and so manage itself in the future hepatitis B! how should your baby do that, when his lymph-system just started to develop itself and will only be ready in three years? please read in the links i send to you:

before you would like to go on with any vaccination, you should check out this very long list of links:

http://www.aegis.ch/neu/links.html

at the bottom you will also find links in english. vaccinations in general are very disputable/dubious and it is probably time that we learn about it.

Q. Is there a bigger risk of autism for the newborn in twin pregnancy?

A. thanks Dominicus!
you're great...

Q. I gave birth a short while ago, and since then I just can't stand my husband. is that normal? It's very strange, because we used to be such a great couple but since the baby came into our lives, I am tired all the time, and basicaaly every thing he does gets me so annoyed. Could it be the hormones? will we get back to how we used to? (This is a great site - I feel I can finally ask questions I was too ashamed to ask my family and friends :)

A. you are tiered. it's normal. if you get more then 2 hours a night sleep you are lucky. when i'm tired i am annoyed. very natural. you can add the hormones- and you get couple of weeks of hell...my wife was unbearable after birth.

More discussions about newborn infant
References in periodicals archive ?
The data concerning hormonal regulation of energy substrate production in the newborn infant born SGA is limited.
The latter cost was associated with a household seeking care for diarrhoea of their newborn infant.
8%) had adequate knowledge about identification of neurologically depressed newborn infants, while 130 (72.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recently released new guidelines to ensure that newborn infants are protected from hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, a major cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer in the United States.
The emergency C-section group had significantly higher rates of asphyxia-related death, newborn infant injury, low Apgar scores, and ventilation use, compared with the planned C-section group.
POPULATION STUDIED * The study population included 2094 newborn infants born to mothers from 12 participating birth centers in the United States and South America, from both university and predominantly clinical centers.
Washington, Jan 29 (ANI): A new study has suggested that exposure to worm infections in the womb may protect a newborn infant from developing eczema.
The brain of the newborn infant consumes much of the energy during rest, and glucose is the most important substrate for the cerebral oxidative metabolism (7).
The NSPCC initiative aims to help new parents handle the challenges and stresses of looking after a newborn infant.
Written by leading international experts, this accessible overview provides need-to-know information on perinatal medicine, the normal newborn infant, preterm infants and neonatal problems encountered in Intensive Care Units, and their management.
The grandmothers surveyed sensed the seriousness of the situation at the same time as they wanted to be happy about the newborn infant.