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What to Expect When Baby Arrives! A Pediatricians Guide to Hospital Care, Routine Well Visits, & When to Call

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Congratulations, you’re having a baby! If you’re anything like me, and a lot of first time moms out there, you want to be prepared. When it comes to the miracle of birth, there’s a lot to prepare for. So, what can you expect when the baby arrives?

Routine Newborn Hospital Care

The events after labor will be a blur, which is why it’s so important to choose an OB/GYN and hospital that you trust. During and after delivery, the care of your newborn will be in the hands of the doctors and nurses. Here’s a brief timeline of what’s happening with your baby as you’re recovering from delivery:

  • Immediately after delivery - your baby is given a Vitamin K injection to prevent serious bleeding. Erythromycin ointment is placed on your baby’s eyes as a preventative measure against bacterial infection.  
  • After 24 hours & on the day of discharge – your baby is screened for jaundice
  • Your newborn will also receive:
    • A NYS Newborn screening test  - screens for 50 different diseases
    • Hearing screening
    • Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD)
  • After 24 hours - first Hepatitis B vaccine given

Once the hospital has completed all of your screenings, you and your baby will be ready to leave the hospital in just a few days. For a vaginal delivery, the standard hospital stay is 2 days, and for delivery by caesarean section (c-section), the standard hospital stay is 3 days unless other complications arise.

After you’re discharged from the hospital, you and your newborn will have routine well visits with your Pediatrician.

Routine Well Child Visits

Your baby will be seen by the Pediatrician at each one of these age milestones.

  • 2-3 days after discharge from hospital - initial newborn visit
  • 2 weeks  – results of NYS Newborn screening available
  • 1 month
  • 2 months  – your baby will receive the Pentacel, Hepatitis B, Prevnar, and Rotateq vaccines.
    • Pentacel is for: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis and invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b
    • Prevnar is to: prevent invasive pneumococcal disease
    • RotaTeq is for: prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis
  • 4 months – Pentacel, Prevnar, Rotateq vaccines
  • 6 months – Pentacel, Prevnar, Rotateq, and Flu vaccines, if your newborn is 6 months of age during flu season
  • 9 months – Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 12 months – your baby will be screening for anemia and lead levels. They will also receive the MMR, Varivax, and Hepatitis A vaccines.
    • MMR is for: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
    • Varivax is for: prevention of varicella
  • 15 months – Prevnar, ActHib
    • ActHib is for: the prevention of invasive disease caused by H influenzae type b
  • 18 months – your baby will be screened for autism and vaccinated for DtaP and Hepatitis A
    • DtaP is for: prevention against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
  • 24 months – your baby will be screened again for autism, anemia, and lead levels
  • 30 months (2 ½  years)
  • 36 months (3 years)
  • 48 months (4 years) – Kinrix, MMR, Varivax
    • Kinrix is part of the DtaP series and IPV series, for: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and poliomyelitis

Of course as a new parent, there’s the possibility that your newborn will have to see a doctor before one of their scheduled routine wellness visits.

When should I call my Pediatrician?

If your newborn has any of the following symptoms below, call your pediatrician.

  • Rectal temperature > 100.4 in baby less than 2 months old
  • Blue color (Cyanosis) of lips or face or difficulty breathing
  • Poor feeding, excessive spitting up or vomiting, concern for diarrhea and/or dehydration, blood in stool, difficulty arousing your baby
  • Projectile or bright green (bilious) vomiting

When Can I Call my Pediatrician?

  • The main office number, 845-703-6999, can be used to contact the doctor AT ANY TIME – on evenings, weekends, or holidays – as well as during regular office hours

 

Remember, you should think of your physicians as part of your caring for baby team! We want to give you all the support you need throughout your pregnancy, birth, and as your baby grows. We offer Caring for Baby Classes at multiple office locations to help prepare parents for their newborns arrival! Check out our event calendar on the website, we hope to see you at a class soon!

 

Tiffanie Santos, MD, is a Pediatrician and earned her Medical Degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Barbados and completed her Residency in Pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Her clinical interests include anticipatory guidance for parents and she is providing care to children of all ages in Newburgh.