I am REALLY excited about the opportunity to draw back the curtains so to speak so that families will have a better grasp on some of the many things we assess during check ups. We will start with the newborn visit and in the coming weeks and months work our way through the pre college visits.
I have been known to joke with parents that not much changes in the baby’s first few weeks – they eat, sleep, and poop. Sounds pretty simple- but the reality is much more challenging! For a newborn and his/her parents, a lot of things have to happen during the first week. At the time of delivery – a newborn has massive transitions to go through; from breathing on their own, to being held and the feeling of clothes on the skin, to keeping warm and a series of changes in their heart and circulatory system. One of these major developments is learning to feed; how feeding is progressing is one of the biggest focuses of the first visit to the pediatricians office. Most of the questions the new parents have involve feeding issues, and from my perspective it is the primary thing I focus on at the first visit. So many of our families are breastfeeding their newborn, which of course is great, but it can sometimes come with a series of challenges. The babies need to learn to latch and swallow efficiently. Every mother’s body is different of course – and the timing of milk production can be variable. “How often should a baby be feeding?” “How long should they be on the breast?” “How much formula should they be drinking?” “What about dirty and wet diapers?” We are here to help you with all of those questions. Babies do not come with an instruction manual (one of my other jokes that some have you have heard) and the newborn visit is focused on making sure the early transition is going reasonably well – and if not, we can help support and make adjustments to ensure your newborns are healthy and safe.
I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts. My hope is that these posts will give you a small insight into some of the things we do at “routine check ups”. Check back in a few days and I will review some other parts of the newborn visit before moving on the 2 week exam.
Have a great day – Dr Aronson