Whether you’re a first-time parent or a veteran, you probably have a lot of questions about your newborn’s first visit to your family doctor. Since this will be the first of many visits to monitor and ensure that your baby is healthy, it’s wise to get familiar with the procedure before you begin. The guide below discusses what to expect during the first appointment.
A Guide to Your Newborn’s First Doctor Visit
Checking Your Baby’s Weight
Measuring your newborn’s physical growth is an important way to understand how well they’re developing. It’s common for newborns to lose a small amount of weight just after birth before they start regaining it within two weeks. Your family doctor will use a growth chart to determine how your baby’s height and weight compare to the average growth.
Newborns aren’t strong enough to receive most of their vaccinations in their first two months, but they can still begin their schedule of necessary shots with the Hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver, which can leave lifelong scarring, damaging the body’s ability to filter out harmful substances.
Fortunately, research has revealed no known serious effects for newborns from the Hepatitis B vaccine. Although minor symptoms may appear, these typically go away within 48 to 72 hours. In exchange, your baby will have a lifetime of protection against this illness. If your newborn didn’t receive this shot at the hospital, it should be administered as soon as possible by a family doctor.
Monitoring General Health
Your doctor will also perform a basic physical examination for your newborn. These include checking the skin for birthmarks, gently examining the soft spots on your baby’s head, checking the palate for proper formation, and listening to the heart and lungs for proper rhythms and unusual noises.
A final essential test is for hip dysplasia, a condition in which a hip socket is too shallow, creating a risk of hip location or disrupted walking in later months. Doctors check for this by stretching your baby’s legs, an uncomfortable but important step. Although your baby may cry during this test, it’s necessary to address any problems and take steps to correct them early on.
To guarantee exceptional care for your baby’s first pediatric exam, turn to the compassionate professionals at HDR Healthcare Network in the Bronx, NY. The family doctors at this practice are pleased to offer a wide range of services, including pediatric care, senior care, internal medicine, and more. Visit them online to find out more about their services or call (929) 256-5005 to schedule an appointment.