Prickly Pear Pediatrics

The Newborn Visit

If you’re a brand new, first-time Mom or Dad, you may be wondering what all will be going on at your newborn baby’s first check up with their doctor. There are so many parts about being a new parent that can be scary or unknown, but I don’t want uncertainty about how, when, or what their first check-up will be like to be one of those worries. Here is how we do newborn visits at Prickly Pear Pediatrics:

  1. The baby is here!

Congratulations!! Chances are, if your baby is going to be a patient at Prickly Pear Pediatrics, you have already met/spoken with Dr. Webb before delivery and have had an opportunity to ask questions. Once your baby has arrived, you just text Dr. Webb to let her know (so she can celebrate!). Then, on the day your baby is being discharged, you text Dr. Webb to let her know so that she can schedule your baby’s newborn check-up. If you are comfortable with it, Dr. Webb offers to see newborns in the family’s home, so she will schedule your baby for an at home check-up. If you would prefer to be seen in the office instead, she is happy to schedule an in-office check-up.

  1. The Appointment Day.

We usually like to examine newborn babies within a few (1-3) days of leaving the hospital. Dr. Webb will pack her newborn check-up bag, text you when she is leaving, and drive to your house for baby’s first appointment. Here is what to expect during Dr. Webb’s time at your house:

  • Relax and chat. Dr. Webb will sit down with you (wherever you are comfortable) and talk to you about how your pregnancy, delivery, and first few days with your baby at home have been. She will also ask some questions about your family history, household members, and pets. If you have it, the paperwork that you were given when you left the hospital often has important information that Dr. Webb will want to look over.
  • Lots of Questions. Dr. Webb will have several questions about how the baby is feeding, wet and dirty diapers, sleeping, breathing, etc. She will also know how you (the parents) are feeling. Then she would love to hear all of your questions about the baby so far. Don’t hold back – she is happy to help as much as she can!
  • The Exam. Dr. Webb will do a full physical exam of your baby. This may be on a couch, on a bed, in your arms – wherever you are comfortable. She will look at the baby’s head shape and soft spots, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, back, tummy, legs, private parts, feet, and skin. She will listen to their heart, lungs, and tummy. She will feel their movement and tone and check reflexes. She will also weigh your baby on her portable infant scale and measure your baby’s head size and length.
  • Feeding. If possible and if everyone is comfortable, Dr. Webb will ask to observe part of a feeding – breast or bottle, to assess the baby’s latch, suck, and breathing. If a Mom is breastfeeding, Dr. Webb will help to assess the baby’s latch and positioning at the breast. We will also talk about milk supply, appropriate volumes for newborns to eat, how often to feed, and anything else that you want to know.
  • Jaundice Check. Newborn babies sometimes have a yellow/orange coloring to their skin known as jaundice. This is a very common finding in newborns and is usually just part of the newborn process. Dr. Webb will assess your baby’s skin color. If your baby appears to have a higher degree of jaundice, Dr. Webb may recommend a blood test to check the exact level, which she can perform at your home with a heel prick. She will then get the blood sample to the lab and call you with the results as soon as they are available, usually within 2-3 hours.
  • The Plan. Dr. Webb will make sure that you feel comfortable with your plan for feeding you baby, providing a safe sleeping environment, what to look out for, and how to contact Dr. Webb if you need her. Often, she will schedule your baby’s next check-up (also in your home if you would like) before she leaves. Dr. Webb is typically in your home for about 1 hour total during the newborn visit.
  1. Ongoing Support.

One of the great things about being part of a pediatric direct primary care practice is that if any questions or concerns regarding your baby come up, you can reach out to Dr. Webb directly by text, call, or email and she will get back to you quickly so that she can answer your questions or come up with a plan for your concern.

My goal as the Pediatrician during the newborn period is two-fold: 1) to provide personalized, detailed, evidence based medical care for you baby and 2) to build a relationship with the family so that we have mutual trust, compassion, and respect. I believe that both of these aspects are important to you and your baby’s health and wellbeing. I consider it an honor to be able to take care of new baby and their family. It is also one of the most rewarding and fun parts of my job!

~~Dr. Webb

Resources: 

Information about a variety topics relating to the newborn period: HealthyChildren.org

Lots of evidence based advice about breastfeeding and beyond: KellyMom

One Response