PROFESSIONAL HEALTH CHECKS
As soon as your baby is born, medical staff will carry out tests to ensure she is healthy. Before you’re discharged from hospital, she’ll be checked by a paediatric doctor. At home, you’ll find plenty of support at your local early childhood centre, too. Here’s a rundown of the medical checks your baby will have in the first few months.
A midwife will carry out a physical examination of your baby.
The first few days
While you are recovering in hospital, midwives will visit regularly to make sure your body is healing from the birth, you’re adjusting to motherhood and you’re able to breastfeed. Bub will also be given a heel-prick test, which checks her blood and indicates if she’s prone to health issues, including the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU). You will also be offered a newborn hearing screening test, which allows early identification of hearing loss in babies. If you’ve had an early discharge, a midwife may visit you at home. Hospital staff will also put you in touch with your local early childhood health centre.
From one week onwards
You can attend your local early childhood centre regularly at one to four weeks, six to eight weeks, six months and 12 months. Here, your baby will be weighed, and you can raise any concerns. These services, known as women and children’s health services or child health clinics, are provided free of charge by your state or territory’s health department and are staffed by midwives, lactation consultants and nurses who conduct regular checks at key stages up to five years of age.
At six to eight weeks
Both you and bub will have a routine review by your GP (or obstetrician and paediatrician), during which time you can raise any concerns. Your doctor will check your baby to make sure no congenital problems, such as heart murmurs, have been missed and you’ll be assessed for postnatal depression.