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If you are an expectant parent, you may be worried about everything that parenting entails. Labor and delivery, midnight feedings, cloth diapers versus disposable diapers, when to start solids, and the list goes on and on. Many new parents also worry about the health care that their baby will receive both in the hospital and later at the pediatrician’s office. Here is some information on baby health care that will set your mind at ease.

At The Hospital

Infant health care is especially important for your little one. At the hospital, several things will be done. First, the delivering obstetrician or midwife will check the baby’s Apgar score. This test deals with the baby’s color, breathing, and over all responsiveness. The higher the score the healthier the baby is. After this, your baby will be given a Hepatitis B shot, a vitamin K shot, and silver nitrate drops to the eyes. You, as a parent, have the right to decline any of these treatments, but you will most likely need to sign a waiver or some type of official form. If you are looking for a low intervention baby health care in these first few hours of your child’s life, you may want to look into a home birth.

Before you leave the hospital, your baby will be assessed several times. His or her temperature must be maintained, and another key aspect of baby health care in these first few hours is checking for jaundice. In addition, if you have a boy and plan to circumcise him, you will have that option in most hospitals. If you do choose to have your son circumcised, make sure that you talk to the pediatrician at the hospital for additional baby health care information for circumcised boys.

At The Pediatrician’s Office

Baby health care is different at the pediatrician’s office than at the hospital. At the hospital, doctors will be looking to make sure that your baby was born without any issues. At the pediatrician’s office, baby health care focuses more on maintaining the health of your child.

Baby health care at the pediatrician’s office focuses on things like vaccines, sick visits, and well baby checkups. At well baby check-ups, babies will be given vaccines if you choose, checked for signs of problems, and checked for general wellness. The pediatrician will check to make sure that your child is reaching all of the important milestones and will be your go to person to ask any questions regarding your baby’s health care.

Maintaining your child’s health is important, so make sure that once you leave the hospital you have a pediatrician to continue your baby health care with!

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