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Your baby’s first checkup

Your baby’s first checkup

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Almost immediately after your new baby is born, she has her very first checkup—right in the delivery room. The rest may be done elsewhere. It’s important to know what the checkup will comprise.

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Here’s what will be going on:

Apgar test. One and five minutes after birth, your new baby will be given an Apgar score from 1 to 10 that reflects her appearance, pulse, grimmace, activity, and respiration.

Sponge bath. Cleans off the thick, creamy substance known as vernix that protected your baby’s skin in the womb.

Weigh-in. Your newborn baby will be weighed and measured for length and for head and chest circumference.

Nose suctioning. Clears your baby’s airways so that she can breathe easily.

Eye care. Antibiotic eye ointment may be put in your baby’s eyes to prevent infection.

Vitamin K shot. An injection will be given in the thigh to enhance clotting of blood.

Blood test. The baby’s heel will be pricked to take blood to test for PKU (phenylketonuria), which is a metabolic disorder, and other conditions as needed.

Footprints. Before leaving the delivery room your new baby will have her footprints recorded.

Her first ID. Both you and your newborn baby will get matching wristbands so there are no problems with identification.

Your baby’s first 24 hours.

Once your baby is born you’ll see a lot less of your obstetrician and a lot more of your baby’s doctor. (You need to select a physician for your baby during your pregnancy). The hospital will contact this person when the baby arrives. Within your baby’s first 24 hours your baby’s physician will check the following, all routine procedures:

Vitals. Your baby’s reflexes, breathing, heart sounds.

Weight. Don’t be surprised that your baby’s weight usually drops after birth.

Umbilical stump. The doctor also checks the umbilical stump where a clamp will be left on for about 24 hours.

Other conditions. Such as possible dislocation of the hips (hip dysplasia).

Your hospital care.

In addition to caring for your baby, hospital staff will monitor your:

Blood pressure and temperature. To see that they return to normal and that you don’t have an infection.

Episiotomy. To see that it is healing properly. The staff will help you use the sitz bath or other fixture the hospital uses to enable you to soak your episiotomy.

Urination. To assure that you can empty your bladder unassisted (some moms need the help of a catheter at first). The staff also will encourage you to get up and walk to the bathroom as soon as possible.

Uterus. Which needs to return to a firm state soon after delivery.

Vaginal bleeding. Which will continue - possibly for days, but should be decreasing.

While you will be overjoyed with your baby, there are certain compulsory measures that you should take. Keep these points in mind and ensure health and happiness for your baby.

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