Parenting Lesson 9 - Things immediately after birth (Part I)

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. How to select a doctor for your newborn?

  2. How often should my child see the doctor?

  3. How to take care of newborn baby's head and neck?

  4. What to do if your newborn's eye ducts are blocked?

  5. Jaundice in newborn babies


How to select a doctor for your newborn?

A good place to start is asking neighbors, friends and colleagues for recommendations of pediatrician. When researching options, six important questions to ask include:

• Is the practice location convenient to my home?

• What are the practice’s hours – and are they convenient to my family’s schedule?

• Does the practice accept my insurance?

• Is the medical staff board-certified and pediatric focused?

• What do I do if my child gets sick after hours?

• Under what conditions do I call the office, as opposed to bringing my child in?


How often should my child see the doctor?

All children need to have regular well child check-ups. Good health care helps create a good foundation for growth and development. Regardless of age, well child check-ups are important for all infants, children and adolescents. Don't take good health for granted. Sometimes a child who appears healthy has a hidden medical problem. Well child care is important so problems can be found early. Your child's health care provider will let you know how often your child should come for well child checkups.


How to take care of newborn baby's head and neck?

Be careful with the head of your newborn, especially around the fontanelles. Often support the head and neck of your infant. To pick up the baby, slip one hand under the head and neck of the baby and the other hand under the feet. To cover your back, bend your knees. Once you have a strong grip, scoop up your baby and bring your baby close to your chest while you straighten your legs again. Make sure the head of your baby rests against your chest. To help their spine, slide your hand up the baby's bottom. Using the cradle hold lets you look at your baby. You should smile and speak to your kids.


What to do if your newborn's eye ducts are blocked?

Your doctor may choose to hold off for a few days if your baby is older than 6 months, to see if the symptoms will pass. In the meantime, ask your pediatrician if it would help ease the discomfort of your child if you can give them over-the-counter pain relievers for infants; to reduce swelling and stuffiness from a cold, use saline drops or spray; and if your baby is prescribed antibiotics, even if they are getting better, finish all the medicine. Otherwise the infection can quickly come back.


Jaundice in newborn babies

Generally mild jaundice will resolve on its own as the liver of a baby begins to mature. Frequent feedings (8-12 times/day) help babies pass through their bodies with bilirubin. Other treatments may be necessary for more severe jaundice. A common and highly effective treatment method that uses light to break down bilirubin in the body of your baby is phototherapy. An exchange transfusion in which your baby receives small amounts of blood from a donor may be necessary during phototherapy. This substitutes the damaged blood of the baby for healthy red blood cells. This also increases the red blood cell count of the baby and lowers the levels of bilirubin.


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