Newborn Care: Baby’s First Check-Up

Our Mission and Newborns

Our mission at Thrive Pediatrics is to inspire children and those caring for them to thrive.  This begins at that very first newborn check-up in clinic.  In general there are three main aspects that we cover during those first few visits.  They are feeding/weight, jaundice and the general transition to having a newborn in the home.  We recognize there are unique circumstances that sometimes apply and may alter the priorities of the visit. These include but are certainly not limited to, NICU graduates, multiple gestation pregnancy (twins, triplets) or other diagnoses for infant or parent that may be pertinent to their newborn care.

Feeding/Weight

All newborns lose weight.  They all accumulate a degree of water weight simply from being submerged in amniotic fluid for multiple weeks of gestation.  In addition, maternal milk usually takes a few days after birth to really “come-in.”  Therefore, newborns also lose weight because they are only feeding on colostrum which does not provide them a lot of calories due to its lack of volume.  This is a necessary process because it stimulates maternal hormones to produce the milk which will ultimately get that newbie to gain some weight.  Generally, we don’t want them to lose more than 10% of their birth weight.  If this happens they are at risk of jaundice and dehydration.  We may recommend supplementation if they are losing weight at too fast a rate or 10% or more down in weight loss.

Jaundice

Jaundice is when the skin turns yellow due to accumulation of a molecule called bilirubin.  Almost all infants get a bit of jaundice.  We watch this closely and if needed draw labs in the office to check their bilirubin level.  Breast feeding or formula feeding reduce the risk of jaundice significantly.  At times the bilirubin level approaches a number that requires treatment.  Treatment exists of phototherapy.  If available, we deliver special lights to the home.  These lights emit a UV ray that breaks down the bilirubin accumulating in the skin.  These lights are safe and do not lead to any skin side effects.  Rarely, newborns have to be readmitted to the hospital for phototherapy and IV fluids to treat the jaundice.

Transition

Having a newborn is not an easy transition especially if its your first.  The mother has just gone through one of the most painful if not the most painful experiences of life only to go home and be expected to wake often to feed.  Fortunately, partners can be very supportive and helpful.  Also, newborns tend to sleep 20 out of 24 hours which helps you to catch up on some rest.  Of course, you do have to wake them usually every 3 hours to feed otherwise they may lose to much weight too fast.

We have excellent resources in the community that help with lactation concerns.  We encourage you to use these resources even if you are an experienced breast feeder.

Postpartum symptoms need to be on everyone’s radar.  Mommy blues are common postpartum and usually lead to random tears and emotions no better explained than fluctuating hormones.  However, if symptoms persist beyond a couple weeks or if one cannot catch up on sleep even when their baby is sound asleep or if there are symptoms of sadness, guilt, lack of motivation or thoughts of hurting oneself, then we encourage you to talk to your OB provider about postpartum depression.

We Are Here For You

Ultimately, this is such a special time for you and we are here to support.  We are available for you to come and have your newborn assessed if you have concerns at any time during the week and on weekends, our physicians are available to answer your questions or concerns that arise.  Our portal allows you to send us questions as well and our ThrivePeds app can be used for messaging and Telehealth services.  We desire that you feel supported by our team and Thrive Pediatrics.