What happens when the baby is born?
Parents may select a pediatrician for their baby before the delivery and register that information with the hospital. If you are unable to do this, you will be asked to pick a doctor for the baby when you go to the hospital to deliver the baby. If you do not choose a pediatrician, the hospital will assign one.
Assuming labor and delivery goes smoothly, the hospital will notify us when you have had your baby and Dr. Asta will come to see the baby. If there are medical concerns like prematurity or a Cesarean delivery is needed, a pediatrician who works at the hospital will be present at your baby’s delivery. Dr. Asta will examine the baby every day while you are in the hospital and perform a complete physical exam. She will also answer questions and provide discharge instructions.
When should the baby first come to the office?
Babies should be seen in our office soon after coming home from the hospital. Dr. Asta will advise you about the best timing before you leave the hospital. Early office checks allow us to monitor feeding, weight gain, and jaundice. You may also accumulate a lot of questions in just a short time at home, and this visit offers the perfect forum to ask them. Jot your questions down so you’ll be sure to remember them!
What about circumcision?
For families with questions about this procedure, Dr. Asta will review the current medical information and explain how the procedure is done, along with its risks and benefits.
How do you feel about breast feeding?
We believe that breast feeding offers your baby the best start in life. Dr. Asta and Marianne Orton, our pediatric nurse practitioner and lactation educator, will work with you and your baby. Mothers going back to work or school often have questions about pumping and storing breast milk. We can help. Marianne Orton, RN, PNP, our nurse practitioner is also a lactation educator. She works with moms and babies in the office to establish and support breast feeding. Phone advice and breast feeding appointments are available.
We realize that breast feeding is not optimal for all new mothers at all times, and we recognize that some families wish to have the flexibility of supplementing or bottle feeding. If you have questions about formula, please ask us.
How often should the baby have well baby check-ups?
The first two years of life are so chock-full of developmental milestones that we see babies frequently. You can expect well baby check-ups at one month, two months, four months, six months, and then at 9, 12, 15, and 18 months. There is a check up at 2 and 2 ½ years, and starting with the third birthday, check-ups are annual.
When can I call if I have a question?
Phone advice is available 24 hours a day. Call our office during regular hours to speak with us. After hours, call (925) 296-9001 to speak with the night nurse.
Who sees the baby after hours?
Our office is part of the Children’s After Hours Clinic. Parents can schedule sick appointments weeknights from 6 pm to 9 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 9 pm and 9am to 3pm on holidays.
Can you recommend good online and print information?
- www.healthychildren.org from the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Your Child’s Health, by Barton Schmitt
- Taking Care of Your Child, by Pantell, Fries, and Vickery.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child’s Nutrition, edited by Dietz.
- Sleeping Through the Night, by Jodi Mindell.
- What to Expect the First Year, by Eisenberg, Murkoff, and Hathaway.
What should I have in the medicine chest?
Stocking the newborn medicine chest is easy — all you really need is a digital thermometer. Rectal temperatures are preferred in infants, but in a pinch you can take an axillary (underarm) temperature. Ear thermometers are best for children over one year old. We do not recommend old-fashioned glass thermometers because if they break, the mercury is hazardous.
Another essential piece of equipment is the bulb syringe. The hospital will provide the one that was used to clear your baby’s mouth and nose at delivery. Hang onto it. When used with or without salt-water nose drops, the bulb syringe is good for suctioning mucus from your baby’s nose during colds. Vaporizers or humidifiers may also help when baby’s nose is congested. Cool mist machines are preferred because they pose less of a risk for burns.
A trip down the children’s medication aisle is enough to give any parent an ulcer, but for now remember one thing: Never give any medicine to your newborn without first checking with the pediatrician. Always measure medicines with droppers or spoons that are calibrated; you’ll need a one-teaspoon medicine dropper.
If you want to plan ahead, reasonable things to purchase include infant acetaminophen, salt-water drops for nasal congestion, and an oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte. Check the expiration date on anything before you buy it, because chances are you won’t need any of these for the first months.
Enter the Poison Control number in your phone now: (800) 222-1222.