Medical Care

A doctor plays a key role in the health of you and you baby.  And by the time you hold your new baby in your arms for the first time, chances are you have already chosen the right doctor. You and your baby would be required to visit the doctor more often during the first year than at any other time!

The reasons of visit could vary from discussing some specifics, such as when he or she will see your newborn for the first time, to handling emergencies apart from seeking his / her advice.

Post-Birth Care
The first examination of your baby would take place in the nursery or at your side, depending on the rules of the hospital or birth center where your baby is delivered. A few things which would be taken note of at this point would be:

  • Weight, length, and head circumference will be measured.
  • Temperature will be taken, and his or her breathing and heart rate will be measured.
  • The doctor or nurse will monitor the color of his or her skin and his or her activity.
  • Special eye drops will be given to ward off infection.
  • A shot of vitamin K will be given to prevent the possibility of bleeding.

Next Meeting with Doctor
The hospital or birth center where you deliver will notify your child’s doctor of your baby’s birth. If you have had any medical problems during pregnancy, if any medical problems for your baby are suspected, or if you are having a c-section, a pediatrician or your baby’s doctor will be alerted about the impending birth in order to be standing by to take care of the baby.

First Official Visit to the Doctor

Although this differs from one doctor to another, it generally comprises of a few common things such as:

  • The measurement of your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference to assess how he or she has been doing since birth.
  • An observation of your newborn’s vision, hearing, and reflexes
  • A total physical examination to check for any abnormalities of the body or organ function
  • Questions about how you are doing with the new baby and how your baby is eating and sleeping
  • Advice on what you can expect in the coming month

What Immunizations Will Be Administered?
A baby receives some natural immunity against many infectious diseases from his or her mother. A mother’s infection-preventing antibodies are passed to her baby through the umbilical cord before the baby is born. This immunity is only temporary, but your baby will develop his or her own immunity against many infectious diseases. Breast-fed babies receive antibodies and enzymes in breast milk that help protect them from some infections and even some allergic conditions. Hence, immunization becomes compulsory for all babies. The dates for immunization of your baby would be told to you by the hospital or your doctor.

When should I call the doctor?
Apart from seeing the doctor during specific purposes such as immunization or checkups of your baby, there might be other reasons when you need to call him. Some of them are:

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Eye problems: If you suspect a serious infection, such as conjunctivitis (pinkeye), call your child’s doctor immediately. If your baby has an infection, the doctor will need to examine him or her and may prescribe special antibiotic drops
  • Fever in a newborn should be reported to your child’s doctor right away
  • Extreme floppiness or jitters in a baby could be a sign of underlying problems
  • A runny nose can make it difficult for a baby to breathe, especially when he or she is feeding. Be sure to call your child’s doctor – even a common cold can be dangerous for a newborn

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