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The First Newborn Visit

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Monday morning heading to the office and I know the office will be busy with many new babies born at the end of last week. This is one of my favorite times when young parents bring that precious your-baby in after being home for a few days. Now the questions begin, not usually as many when you are in the hospital and the your-baby has nurses helping as caregivers.

The most common response after I ask, “how things are going as a family”, is “we are tired, but elated”, and “I don’t know babies could make that much noise”. IT is amazing that even while sleeping babies do make a lot of little squeaks, burps, snorts and toots!

The biggest thing to review at this visit is how the your-baby is feeding, stooling and wetting and making sure that they are not too jaundiced. Physiologic jaundice of the newborn is normal, but occasionally a better develops high levels of bilirubin and may need to have it treated with phototherapy.

Lastly, sleep position. Tired parents will do almost anything to get their newborn to sleep. The only condition is that they must sleep on their backs. The “back to sleep” program has drastically reduced the incidence of SIDS, so all infants should be put down to sleep on their backs. Babies do need tummy time while they are awake, but it is tempting to let them sleep that way if they seem more comfortable. The answer when I am asked this is NEVER, until your your-baby is old enough to roll over on their tummy by their self.

The best part of the visit is that I get 15 minutes of holding a newborn!

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat tomorrow.

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