Medical City Healthcare - October 25, 2018

Caring for your baby begins before he, she or they are even born. You obsess about eating right, exercising enough but not too much, taking the right prenatal vitamins and getting enough sleep. But one thing you may not have thought about is getting a flu shot to protect your unborn or newborn baby from possible complications of the influenza virus.

Maybe you've heard that pregnant women shouldn't get a flu shot? Our experts are here to give you the straight scoop on vaccines during pregnancy, plus 6 tips to help you care for your newborn baby.

Pregnant women should get a flu shot.

Flu can be dangerous in pregnancy. Pregnant women who get the flu can become very sick.

The flu vaccine is not only completely safe during pregnancy, it is more highly recommended for pregnant women than for women who are not pregnant.

According to the CDC, pregnant women should choose the flu shot (with inactivated virus) and avoid FluMist®, the nasal spray version. The whole family can get flu shots at CareNow Urgent Care locations throughout North Texas.

How to care for your baby's umbilical cord.

Your newborn's umbilical cord should fall off in about 7 to 10 days. Until then:

  • Keep it clean and dry, even during bath time
  • Fold diaper down/tuck it inside so it doesn't snag or pull on the cord
  • Contact your pediatrician if the cord looks red or swollen

How to burp your baby.

Burping your baby can help relieve gas pains caused by crying or feeding. There are several ways to do it, including with baby on your shoulder and with baby in your lap.

How to swaddle your baby.

Swaddling can make a baby feel safe, warm and secure. It's not so hard when you've done it a few times, but it can be tricky at first. Grab a square blanket and follow along with our expert (and adorable baby).

If you prefer to use a sleep sack, here's the how-to:

How to put your baby to sleep safely.

Sleeping recommendations for infants have changed through the years. Here's the latest information to help protect your baby from sudden infant death syndrome, possible suffocation and other accidental sleep-related deaths.

  • Place baby on his/her back on a firm sleep surface
  • Keep crib completely empty; no soft bedding, crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, etc.
  • Place crib in your room for at least 6 months

How to use a bulb syringe.

Babies have tiny throats and nasal passages, which can easily become congested with mucus if they have a cold, the flu or RSV. Using a bulb syringe can help clear the passages, but it's often scary for new parents to try it. Here, our expert shows how simple (and not so scary) it is.

How to take care of yourself in the fourth trimester (so you can care for your baby).

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the 12 weeks following your delivery is called the "fourth trimester" and you should plan for it with as much diligence as you did for the other three. They suggest that postpartum care should be an ongoing process, with regularly scheduled doctor visits addressing new moms' physical, social and psychological well-being. After all, caring for your new baby requires you to first care for yourself.

Learn more about the fourth trimester of pregnancy.

We don't just deliver babies. We deliver dreams. Find the perfect doctor for you or your baby or call our free, 24/7 Ask a Nurse hotline. You can also find expert pediatric urgent care, available after hours and on weekends, at four Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care Centers and more than 40 CareNow Urgent Care clinics across DFW.

Revised 1/13/2020