Your Newborn’s First Visit
Your newborn’s first visit to their doctor or nurse practitioner is so exciting. It’s like a rite of passage. If you are a first-time parent, it will feel like a rite of passage for you as well – one of the many “firsts” since your new baby was born (congratulations!). The first in-office visit is typically scheduled three to five days after you arrive home with the baby.
Once you get your newborn into his or her rear-facing car seat and make your way safely to Family Wellness Center, our staff will be excited to meet the newest addition to your family.
Meeting Baby at your first newborn visit
If possible, we recommend bringing a second adult or older child with you during the visit so you have assistance with your baby’s needs while answering the doctor or nurse practitioner’s questions, asking questions of your own, and listening to the important information you will get during your visit. Try to limit the amount of people who come with you, however, because too many bodies in the exam room can be distracting and there is important ground to cover during this first newborn visit.
Your newborn’s first checkup is a wellness visit that gives us a chance to:
You may already have an established relationship with the doctor or nurse practitioner. Otherwise, this may be the first time you’ve met your baby’s healthcare team. We will be seeing each other often over the next several years.
The first visit gives you a chance to see each other face-to-face and begin getting comfortable with one another. We will also ask how you and the rest of the household are doing now that your newborn has finally arrived.
Gently examine your baby
For starters, our provider team will weigh and measure the baby (length and head circumference). We’ll chart these for you so you can see where your baby’s statistics fall when compared to national averages.
Your baby’s current weight reflects healthy eating habits – or may indicate baby isn’t getting enough to eat. In almost all cases, the baby’s weight will be less than its birth weight at this first appointment. That’s okay – as long as we see those figures start to go up over the next several wellness visits. We’ll also do a quick physical check to go over his/her anatomy. We check the umbilical cord, look for any signs of a hernia, extend the arms and legs to check range of motion and ensure baby’s heartbeat sounds regular and healthy. The doctor or nurse practitioner will also look at baby’s eyes, ears, mouth and throat.
We’ll also check in about baby’s toilet habits (you’ll never think more about poop in your life than after you have a baby). Regular peeing and pooping is a sign that baby is getting enough to drink and eat. We’ll ask you about what’s happened in the diaper department thus far, and what to look for in the weeks ahead.
Review breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding schedules
If you’re struggling to breastfeed, this is a great time to tell us (if you are not already working with a lactation nurse) to get some of the crucial tips that will get you and baby on the right track for a sustainable breastfeeding relationship. We will also provide you with resources for breastfeeding support information such as lactation nurses, a support group like the La Leche League that you can use to assist you and/or support you as you continue breastfeeding. Many women enjoy the camaraderie and new friendships formed through the La Leche League and other non-profit organizations like it.
If you are bottle feeding, we’ll make sure things are going well and that the baby is getting established with a healthy feeding schedule.
Review the plan for vaccinations
Vaccinations have been a hot topic of conversation in the parenting world – and in certain medical circles. Our providers stand by the vaccination schedule set by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your newborn’s visit will provide you with a chance to learn more about what vaccinations should be administered and why, as well as the medical research to back it up.
Enjoy a personalized Q & A session
Finally, by the time we’re all finished, you may have some more questions that have bubbled to the surface during the visit. We’re happy to answer these, and we’ll let you know about some of the important milestones to aware of before your next visit.
Your newborn’s first office visit is an important milestone and we want you and your newborn to get the most out of this visit. Please call the team at Family Wellness Center to schedule your baby’s first visit and/or to ask questions about your new life as a parent with a baby. This is the beginning of a whole, new and exciting journey that we look forward to sharing with you.
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