Providing daily hygiene for the neonate including changing a nappy
Professional standards and best practice clinical guidelines outline the professional responsibilities for those involved in promoting safe, evidence-based and effective care for mothers, babies and their families following birth. Interactions that empower parents to discuss and clarify information on baby hygiene and how to change a baby’s nappy are valued opportunities to build parental confidence. A focus on individualised care enables midwives to identify what is important to mothers and parents. Initial care interactions involving discussions and demonstrations on daily neonatal care can be used to consolidate antenatal discussions and to clarify parents’ concerns on neonatal health and development, common health issues, screening choices, care pathways and what to do if they are worried.
Person-centred approaches to maternal and neonatal care pathways are useful partnership reference points to enable healthcare professionals to assess, plan, implement and evaluate appropriate care with parents and to ensure routines are responsive and sensitive to each baby’s circumstance. Although NICE (2006) advocates both parents should be encouraged to participate in care so as to learn about their baby’s needs and capabilities, this might not always be possible and healthcare professionals should be sensitive to women’s social circumstances.
In facilitating support on daily hygiene and nappy changing it is important to use communication styles and methods that are appropriate and effective in meeting a range of individualised learning preferences and situations. Facilitation strategies may include demonstration, information giving talks, client or group-led question and answer discussions, sign posting to resources such as NHS Choice leaflets, web links, films, peer and support networks. These strategies can be tailor made to strengthen a positive experience of parenting and used to ‘mix and match’ care opportunities to make sure they are timed and relevant to individual parent’s needs, expectations and confidence levels.