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RaMa Mama Doula Share: Suctioning - What Happens & Is It Safe?

Babies show they are healthy by taking deep breaths and crying at birth. When there is no cry, doctors get concerned that the airway passage is clogged. Suctioning is a practice that has been used historically to clear a baby's passageway. In the more recent years, doctors have advised against suctioning due to the sensitivities that a newborn baby has. Even the World Health Organization has said that unless the baby is unable to clear the amniotic fluid and breathe on their own after birth, it is not advised to suction. Babies are very small and sensitive, and it is most important to be gentle and take care of their needs by meeting them where they are.

In cesarean births, there is no pressure from the birthing canal, therefore there is no pressure to help clear the fluids from the lungs of excess fluids. The five initial steps in caring for a newborn are to keep warm, stimulate energy, open the airway, and clear secretions. Suctioning happens when there is a blockage in the nasal or oral areas of the body.

There are a few concerns with newborns and suctioning. To begin with, the neonatal's airwa