Once your baby is born the baby will be examined by the in-hospital pediatrician and will be examined thoroughly. Weight, height, head circumference, and vitals will be monitored. Usually, the baby starts to breast feed and the mother’s initial milk is called colostrum. It is usually a small amount of milk but dense in calories. Most babies will start to urinate and pass stool. The stool initially is sticky and tarry green black and as the baby feeds more the stool changes in color to a more yellow color and seedy consistency. The number of stools also start to increase as the baby feeds and can vary based on whether the baby is breast or formula feeding. The baby also starts to urinate more frequently from 2-4 wet diapers the initial day or 2 and up to more than 6 wet diapers by day 3-4. Most babies sleep most of the time and wake to feed and get cleaned. Remember breast feeding babies feed on demand but all babies should be fed by the latest every 4 hours and if they are not awake, they need to be woken up to feed. Some babies cluster feed every 1 hour which is usually a stimulation for more breast milk to be produced.
What tests or procedures are performed on the newborn baby while in the Hospital?
All babies are recommended to get the Vitamin K shot at birth. This prevents any vitamin K deficiency related bleeding in the new baby.
Next babies have erythromycin eye ointment placed to prevent against any eye infection that could have passed on to the child during delivery.
All babies get a Newborn screen blood test and a bilirubin check 24 hours after delivery unless there are any risks to the baby from a blood mismatch at which point the blood test for jaundice is done sooner.
Most babies also get the Hepatitis B vaccine that first day.
Most babies born via normal delivery are in the hospital for usually less than 2 days while those who had a C section are in the hospital for 3 days.
Before discharge they all get a hearing test and a congenital heart disease test. If all the tests were normal the baby is discharged home for follow-up with your pediatrician, the next day or within 2 days.
If you would like to get your child circumcised there are some Ob doctors and some urologists who will do it in the hospital before discharge, but you will need to request that after delivery.
What to expect at that first pediatric visit at Pediatric Pod Concierge Pediatrics once discharged from the hospital?
On the first visit usually both parents are present as most mothers are not able to drive by themselves and it gives both parents an opportunity to meet the pediatrician and to ask questions. Parents bring all the hospital documents to the appointment and on arrival are brought straight into the newborn baby room. The baby is weighed without any clothes on as monitoring the baby’s weight for the first few days is very important. Did you know most babies lose weight and then regain weight back to birth weight by the time they are 2 weeks old. It is normal to have some weight loss on the first visit to the doctor but how much weight loss is very important. Weight is the best way to assess whether the baby is feeding appropriately. Both feeding and Elimination is evaluated and lots of education is given to the parents.
Jaundice assessment is also done at this first visit and often the baby needs to go to the lab for a bilirubin test to assess levels and further care.
Mothers are also screened for Depression during this first visit as Post partum Depression is very real and all family members need to be aware.
Usually, the next appointment is when the baby is 2 weeks old but if any concerns arise a sooner appointment for monitoring weight and jaundice is scheduled.
Remember babies need to feed on demand or the latest every 4 hours even at night.