Your baby’s first checkups

first-fathers-dayBefore your baby leaves the hospital, she gets her first checkup to make sure she is healthy. Here are some of the tests and treatments she receives.

• Apgar score – At 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth, a doctor or nurse checks you baby for five things: Heart rate; Breathing; Muscle tone; Reflexes; and Skin Color.  Each gets a score of 0 to 2. The total score is called an Apgar score. If your baby has a score of 7 or more, she is in good shape! If she has a score less than 7, she probably is fine but she made need some special care.
• Vitamin K shot. Vitamin K can help your baby’s blood clot and protect her from bleeding problems. She gets this shot right after birth.
• Eye drops or ointment to help protect the eyes from infection.
• Complete physical. A health care provider checks your baby out from head to toe. He listens to her heart and lungs, feels her tummy, checks her eyes, nose, mouth, head, arms and legs. He gives her a hepatitis B shot. This is a vaccine to protect your baby from hepatitis B, a virus that can cause problems in your baby’s liver.
• Blood test – Every state and U.S. territory routinely screens newborns for certain genetic, metabolic, hormonal and functional disorders.
• Hearing test – A small microphone is put in your baby’s ear and plays soft sounds. Early identification of hearing loss in the newborn allows the baby to be fitted with hearing aids before 6 months of age, helping prevent serious speech and language problems in the future.

During her first year, your baby will see her health care provider regularly for well baby visits.  This is the medical care you get for her when she’s not sick. Her checkups let the health care provider make sure she is growing and developing correctly. In the first year, your baby should get a checkup at 2 weeks, months 1, 2, 4, 6 and 9, and at 1 year.

Take your baby for these checkups even if she’s doing great and isn’t sick.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply