From the moment your new son or daughter arrives, life can be full of excitement and some anxiety too. New parents have A LOT of questions about how to best care for their newborn baby. Good thing we have a lot of answers!
Your baby’s first pediatric visit at the hospital
If you’re having your baby at the St. Charles Bend or Madras Family Birthing Center, we’ll visit you and your newborn after delivery for a thorough examination.
If you’ve already established care with us, you and your baby will see your personal doctor for the first examination at the hospital. If you haven’t yet chosen your pediatrician, you will meet one of our pediatricians during their daily rounds.
What’s included in my newborn’s first exam?
When your baby is born, your pediatrician will carefully check for signs of problems or complications. A complete physical assessment ensures your baby is healthy and includes:
- The Apgar score – This is one of the first checks of your new baby’s health. Assigned in the first few minutes after birth, it helps identify babies who have difficulty breathing or have a problem that needs further care. We will check your baby at one minute and five minutes after birth for heart and respiratory rates, muscle tone, reflexes, and color.
- Newborn screening test – A special blood test for rare health conditions. While most babies do not have these conditions, finding them early can help your doctor provide effective treatment guidance and options.
- Birthweight as an important indicator of your newborn baby’s health. In the hospital, babies are weighed daily.
- Measurements such as head circumference, abdominal circumference and length.
- Vital signs including temperature, pulse, breathing rate.
All of these examinations help us learn about your baby’s well-being at birth so we can provide the best care possible.
What to expect at your baby’s first office visit (3-5 days old)
Once you’ve settled into new parenthood, we’ll want to see you and your baby in our office within 3 to 5 days of delivery. At this first well-child visit, your doctor will answer any questions or concerns you have as well as perform a complete physical examination that includes:
- Taking measurements and recording your baby’s weight
- Checking to see how the umbilical stump is healing
- Checking your baby’s circumcision, if he had one
- Looking for newborn jaundice
We will also check for early developmental milestones such as rooting and sucking reflexes.
Breastfeeding your baby
If you are breastfeeding your baby, this is the perfect time to discuss any challenges you may be having so we can offer you breastfeeding advice and lactation support.