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Why Newborn Care Is So Important

When you were pregnant, you had to take folic acid, eat a healthy diet, and go to the doctor regularly to be sure your developing baby was hitting their milestones. Now that your precious baby is born, learning how to take care of your darling also requires help and regular visits to your health care professional.

Caring and experienced nurse practitioners Maria Cole, APRN, FNP-C, and Kelly Wenger, APRN, FNP-C, want you and your baby to thrive during pregnancy, after delivery, and beyond. That’s why they offer newborn care at Maria Cole Family Practice in Odessa, Texas.  

The importance of the first few days

If this is your first baby, you may feel a little overwhelmed at the new responsibility you now have. You’re still recovering from the birth, and yet you must regularly feed, clean, diaper, and comfort your baby. Your nurse at the hospital probably showed you how to help the baby latch onto your breast if you’ve chosen to breastfeed, but it’s not always easy to do.

We’re here for you if you have any questions about how to:

If your newborn boy was circumcised, we can give you advice about how to help him heal. You may want to arrange for your partner,  family member, or friend to help you during the first few days after you bring your baby home. 

Regular visits keep your newborn healthy

After your baby was born, the health care team weighed them, measured them, and gave them their first dose of the vaccine that prevents hepatitis B. They should get that vaccine within 12 hours after birth.

According to recommendations laid out by the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), you should bring your newborn in for their first well-baby visit at Maria Cole Family Practice by the time they’re 3-5 days old. Well-baby visits are an important way to be sure that your baby is healthy and to catch any potential problems at an early stage. During your well-baby visit, you can expect us to:

Feel free to bring in a list of questions or concerns. 

You should also bring your newborn to the office or call us for advice if you suspect they may be sick. We can help you learn how to clear their nasal passages if they have a runny nose and determine when they’re simply spitting up (which is normal) vs. when they’re vomiting (which is not).

If your baby is well, you don’t have to come back for your next well-baby exam until they’re a month old. Check out the schedule of well-baby and well-child visits recommended by the AAP here. You can also determine when your baby needs their next vaccine by consulting this online schedule from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Back-sleeping keeps your baby safe

The AAP recommends that you place your baby on their back while sleeping to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which claims about 1,400 babies in the United States per year. Sleeping on their back prevents them from rolling over into a soft mattress and suffocating. Ways to minimize the risk of SIDS and other forms of suffocation include:

Also, ensure that nobody smokes around your baby. Second-hand smoke is dangerous for everyone, but especially for newborns.

Do you have a newborn, or are you currently pregnant? Contact today for newborn care  advice or to schedule your first well-baby visit. Call us at 432-200-9087 or use our online message form. 

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