In the hustle and bustle of pregnancy concerns, many soon-to-be mothers may not think about finding a pediatrician for their babies. However, every newborn will need to see a doctor shortly after being discharged from the hospital. Knowing what to expect can set parents’ minds at ease.

Because this is the baby’s first appointment, parents should plan to spend some time filling out paperwork for the medical records. In addition, parents should realize that doctors may occasionally run behind on their schedules, and the appointment may be a bit late. They may want to consider scheduling the appointment early in the morning when the doctor is most likely to have on-time appointments. Parents should consider arriving together to the appointment so that they can both hear the important information that the doctor will have to share.

Examinations for Newborns

First, the nurse will escort the parents and baby into the examining room and will request that the caregiver undresses the baby down to his or her diaper. This will ensure that the weight that is taken is accurate and will allow the doctor to clearly see the baby. However, parents will want to have a blanket along to wrap the baby in during lulls in the appointment. The nurse will take the baby’s height, weight, and head circumference. Most parents find that their babies have lost a slight amount of weight since they were born.

After the nurse has performed the initial assessment, the doctor will come into the room. This is the time that parents can share any concerns or ask any questions that they have. The doctor will also examine the baby, listen to the heart, lungs, and intestines, as well as check the eyes, ears, nose, and skin. In addition, the doctor will check reflexes and will check for signs of jaundice. If jaundice is suspected, the doctor will recommend having a blood test performed. No immunizations are usually required at this visit as long as the initial ones have been given in the hospital.

Parents may feel overwhelmed at this appointment. However, they are encouraged to ask as many questions as they need to in order to best care for their babies. At Matney Pediatrics, Dr. Matney ensures that he takes plenty of time to these appointments to provide expert care with an emphasis on compassion.