What's Included in Newborn Care?

Nov 04, 2022
What's Included in Newborn Care?
Your child’s medical care starts the moment they’re born. While there’s plenty of hospital care, a visit to your pediatrician within days of birth ensures a smooth transition into home life. Here’s what you can expect for your new baby.

The World Health Organization (WHO) outlines four essential needs that every baby requires to thrive. These are easy to provide in modern society, but they’re just the start of your child’s positive health care experience which starts at birth and continues through their lives. 

Newborn care has two stages: the care they receive while in the hospital after delivery, and pediatric care through the first year of their lives as they transition into the infant and toddler stages of development. 

Abdow Friendship Pediatrics in Rockville, Maryland, is here for you in the days following your child’s birth. We’re passionate newborn care providers led by Dr. Victor Abdow, and we look forward to meeting your new baby as well as ensuring their future health needs are met. 

From birth to release

Your child’s first few days are supervised by your obstetrician, supported by the natal care team at your hospital. Just after birth, your child receives a quick health assessment called the Apgar test. Observing your child’s breathing, heart rate, skin color, muscle tone, and reflex response, an attending physician assigns a numerical value. 

Most children score 7 or higher. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t score a perfect 10. This isn’t a comprehensive exam, it’s a routine scan done within the first five minutes of life. A vitamin K shot soon after birth improves blood clotting ability and antibiotic eye drops protect against potential bacterial infections in your child’s early days. 

Three screening tests typically take place in the hospital. A blood test requiring only a few drops of blood scans for certain rare health conditions, while heart testing checks for the presence of critical congenital heart defects. The third screening evaluates the function of your child’s ears and hearing. 

Pediatric follow-up

Your child’s care shifts from obstetrician to pediatrician after your release from the hospital. We recommend visiting our offices within a few days after arriving home. First-time parents typically have plenty of questions, and this is the ideal time to get answers. Even if you’ve had children before, every baby is unique, and your experience may change. 

These early visits establish standards for your child’s development, baselines against which their growth can be measured. This includes checks such as weight, length, and head circumference, as well as a general observation of your child’s movements and reactions. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends schedules for immunizations that protect your child from a wide range of infectious diseases. This includes six shots in the first two months, in addition to a hepatitis B first dose they likely received at the hospital. We keep records of your child’s vaccinations so it’s easy to identify missed immunizations, catch up quickly, and keep them protected. 

Most importantly, newborn care with Abdow Friendship Pediatrics begins the relationship we have with your child, one that will build familiarity while assuring their healthy progress through their early years of life. 

Contact our office by phone or online to book your child’s first visit. We’re your child’s partner in health, so start the process by scheduling an appointment now.