The baby’s arrival to the community
To assess and celebrate
• How was the visit to the Health Service?
• Do you have any doubt about the pre-natal check?
• How became the delivery plan you made?
• Is there any message, prayer or biblical quotation that celebrates the gift of life and the acts that we performed with our next, the pregnant women and their families? One suggestion is:
Sweet is to feel
(song from the film Brother Sun, Sister Moon)
Sweet is to feel in my heart that love
humbly is being born.
Sweet is to know that I am not alone.
I am part of an immense life,
that generous shines around me
Immense gift of your endless love.
The Heaven you have given us and the bright stars
Our brother, Sun, our sister, Moon
Our mother earth with fruit, fields, flowers
The fire and the wind, the air, the pure water.
Source of life of your creature,
Immense gift of Your endless love.
The baby in the first week of life
1. Are the mothers of your community willing to breastfeed?
2. How do the families of your community get prepared for the baby’s arrival to their home?
The mother and the baby go home! May their arrival be celebrated in the family and in the community.
Oh God, all the community thank You for the gift of life.
May this child be the symbol of the presence of the Lord our God.
May this child grow breastfed
in the knowledge and in the love to God and to the next.
May his/her parents give him/her the example of faith
and teach him/her the Word of God.
May the peace, the good, the love and the tenderness
dwell in his/her heart.
The parents have the responsibility to accept with love the task of taking care and raising their child. And they should do this according to their values, habits and faith.
One of the first demonstrations of faith is to introduce their child to their religious community. In the catholic families, Baptism is the sign of a person’s admittance to the community of God’s children.
Does the baby have the Birth Certificate?
Leader, ask the family if they have already registered the child’s birth and obtained the Birth Certificate, which is the first document of the child as a citizen. If they still have not done so encourage the father of the family to register the baby soon.
But for the child to become a citizen he/she also needs that her/his family, the community where he/she lives and the whole society to ensure her/his rights.
It is written in the 4th Article of the Brazilian Statute of the Child and Adolescent:
It is the duty of the family, the community, society and the public power in
general to ensure, with absolute priority the enforcement of the rights to life,
to health, to food, to education, to sport, leisure, to professionalisation, to
culture, to dignity, to respect, to freedom, to family and community intimacy.
Leader, now that the mother and the baby have arrived home, the family may need very much your help. Your presence is very important, for it is at the home visit that you detect whether the mother and the baby are well. And you do this by talking to her, giving support and identifying situations in which you can be of help.
In the first seven days of the baby’s life, it is recommended that you visit the family more times, mainly if the couple has no close relatives. This period is the most sensitive because diseases may appear very fast and those may be very serious. Besides that, the mother is still recovering from the labour.
When the baby is the first child the parents might feel insecure, for they are beginning to learn what it is like to be a father and a mother. The couple that has already other children also needs to be given support.
Leader, your support to encourage the mother to breastfeed is precious!
Does anybody help home so that the mother can take care of the baby?
The mother is more sensitive and needs to be available for the baby at all times. Her mood and her feelings swing; she is either calm or nervous; she feels either happy or she feels sad. She might become worried because she feels she is not able to take care of the baby or restless because of the other children she already has.
She needs the help and understanding of the partner and of the other people so she does not get tired and can take care of the baby. If the people help her with the housekeeping and taking care of the other children, she gets less tired. Talking to someone about what she is feeling also makes her feel calmer and safer. Single mothers/ or women without partner need even more the support from other people.
Leader, in these first days, watch for the relationship between the mother and the baby. You can do that by observing how the mother takes care of the baby, how she changes the diapers, how she bathes and feeds the baby.
The mothers who take care of the baby willingly and happily, cuddling and smiling to the child show that the relation is beginning to work all right.
In the first days after the birth some mothers may become sad and unwilling to take care of the baby for a while.
It is important to gently and tenderly encourage the mother to care of the baby. Talk also to her partner and to the family and stimulate them to observe the relationship between the mother and the child. When the mother’s sadness does not diminish or worsens it is necessary to take her to the Health Service for the doctor to check her condition and prescribe her a proper treatment.
The father of the baby may also become more sensitive, anxious and feel abandoned. The reason is that all attention now is given to the baby and to the mother. And he may fear that he does not know how to help to take care of the baby.
Leader, talk to the father and show that he is important, encouraging him to help with the baby’s care. It is good to encourage the mother and the father to talk to each other about their doubts and concerns.
The support from the leader, from friends and the community strengthens the solidarity and helps the parents to create a safe, loving and healthy environment for the baby.
“No foul word should ever cross your lips; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners.” Eph 4:29