When the baby is born, a pediatrician visits him in the hospital every day to carry out the first check-ups and medical examinations . But when we go home with the baby, in a few days – usually five or seven days – we will have to make the baby’s first visit to the pediatrician.
The first visits to the pediatrician when the baby is born are usually quite stressful . We have left the hospital environment that provided us with some security and we are adapting to our home and our baby, when we have to go out on the first date.
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The mother is still recovering from childbirth and if we add to this fatigue, it is probably not the best time but it is very important to go and not let it go.
If the parents get nervous, the baby will perceive their stress and in a situation that is also quite uncomfortable for him (undressed, cold, with a stranger “manipulating” him…) he will most likely cry and have a bad time, transmitting their anxiety back to us.
What happens at the baby’s first visit to the pediatrician?
In the first check-up of the newborn outside the hospital , the doctor will open the medical history with data on the pregnancy, delivery and family history.
Regarding the physical examination, an assessment of the general condition of the baby will be made: weight, height and head circumference will be measured, and eyes, ears, skin color, shape of the skull and fontanelles, abdomen, muscle tone will be explored. , genitalia, reflexes, etc. A small cardiopulmonary exam is also usually done , which consists of listening to the baby’s chest to check that the heart beats normally and that breathing is correct
After the physical examination and dressing the baby, it is time to ask the parents the questions that concern them about feeding, sleeping, or to clarify any concerns they may have.
A quiet visit to the pediatrician
What can we do to mitigate this stress of visiting the doctor , the nerves of a necessary situation? Because it is important that we carry out the pertinent controls on the baby in the first months of life, we cannot lightly skip these medical check-ups.
- Prepare the medical examination in time , it is not always possible with the waiting lists in the health system, but as far as possible, try to plan the visit to the pediatrician well in advance.
- In the same way, plan the means of getting to the health center , because you may not be able to drive or take public transport.
- If possible, try to choose the best time for this examination , to try not to coincide with the hours of sleep or breastfeeding of the baby (although, make no mistake, this is quite complicated in the first months; later, the baby may already acquire a certain routine). Do not stop breastfeeding if the baby calls for it in the consultation.
- The physical examination of the newborn is very important and requires that the baby be naked. Choose clothing that can be easily unbuttoned . That taking off and putting on the small clothes does not become an ordeal, that it be something quick and that it does not make us or the baby nervous. If removing clothes is easy, we reduce the risk of the baby being restless, crying, and the examination itself will be easier and faster.
- If the consultation coincides with vaccination day , remember that the breast can calm the baby .
- Do you trust your pediatrician? It may be that a good part of the blame for stress at the time of visiting the doctor is that he does not inspire confidence, you have disagreements regarding the way of treating the baby or regarding his way of dealing with the relationship with the family, to solve your doubts… In short, if you are not comfortable with the pediatrician you have chosen, try to change him or her as there are usually alternatives in health centers or hospitals.
The first visit to the pediatrician will be more stressful for the baby than for us, so we must take it calmly and patiently, doing everything possible so that the little one is well.