PRO­FES­SIONAL HEALTH CHECKS

Pregnancy Life & Style - - NEWBORN CARE -

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.

At birth

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.

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