Parental Education and Anticipatory Guidance before Discharge

Key Points

• Parental education before discharge should include infant feeding, safety at home, tobacco exposure, and recognizing neonatal illness.

• Breastfeeding support should be provided throughout hospitalization and continuing after discharge.

• All infants should be secured in a rear-facing car seat, with accessibility of the car seat verified before hospital discharge.

• Parents should be encouraged to place their children in the supine position while sleeping to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.

Caring for an infant can seem like an overwhelming task for new parents. Complete and accurate parental education can help alleviate parental stress. Often, parents are particularly concerned with feeding and elimination habits, how to tell if their baby is sick or needs medical attention, and how to ensure safety for their baby. It is difficult to anticipate all upcoming questions, but thorough anticipatory guidance before hospital discharge can help alleviate some of the natural anxiety of caring for an infant.

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