Your baby will be seen within a couple days of being discharged from the hospital. At the first visit, we’ll get to know you and your child by going over the pregnancy and birth history. We’ll weigh your baby, measure them, and take their temperature. If you’re nursing, we’ll make sure it’s going well. Next, we’ll give your baby a thorough examination. Naturally, we’ll be happy to discuss any questions. After this, we’ll ask you to come back within a few days or a week. At this appointment, we’ll address any concerns and continue to check that your baby is gaining weight.
While babies are still in the uterus, maternal vitamin K does not cross the placenta to reach the baby. When they are born, babies have immature liver function and breast milk does not contain enough vitamin K. That means that all newborns have low levels of vitamin K, so they all need supplementation from another source. Vitamin K deficiency can result in bleeding in the intestines and brain during the newborn period that can be fatal. If the infant survives the bleeding episode, it can cause permanent brain damage leading to severe developmental disabilities. Newborns that do not get a vitamin K shot at birth are 81 times more likely to develop severe bleeding that can occur at birth through 6 months of age. Injectable vitamin K has been the standard of care for the prevention of vitamin K deficiency bleeding since 1961, when it was first recommended by the AAP and The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Since that time, providers have been able to safely and effectively eliminate the risk of bleeding and death.
Erythromycin eye ointment protects newborns from ophthalmia neonatorum, a gonorrhea infection of the eyes that can result in blindness. A simple application of eye ointment can protect the newborn from transmission during birth and saves a child from unnecessary consequences that lead to blindness. Application of the ointment is recommended within 1 hour of birth to allow for effective bonding between a newborn and his/her mother.
We are proud to say that our policies and practices adhere to the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). As a Department, we retain the right to opt out of providing care for infants whose parents uniformly and unequivocally refuse Vitamin K and Erythromycin eye ointment. To be clear, it saddens us to turn any child away. However, we have found that we cannot provide high-level care without using the tools that allow us to prevent disease.
Your baby will be seen again when they turn 1 month old. After this, visits will be scheduled two months apart, at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Next, your baby will be seen every three months, when they’re 9, 12, 15, and 18 months old. At each visit we will measure your baby’s head size, check their length and weight, and give them a comprehensive physical exam. Your infant might be having common issues like colic, reflux, or trouble sleeping or feeding. There is a lot to get used to that first year, so we’ll always listen to your concerns and offer tips for addressing them. Your doctor will do regular screenings for age appropriate development. We are also available to assist you (mom) if you are having any postpartum depression. Lastly, if your baby is due for a vaccine, one of our pediatric nurses will administer it. At your infant’s 1-year visit, he or she will have blood drawn to check lead levels and screen for possible anemia. Don’t worry; we’ll always remind you of when to come in next. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Beginning at age 2, your toddler will be seen annually. Like every visit, your child will be given a physical exam, weighed, and measured. We know that you want to ensure that your kiddo is meeting their developmental milestones, and we do too. Please let us know about any concerns. Does your child have temper tantrums or trouble sleeping? Or perhaps they’re a picky eater who won’t touch anything except cheddar goldfish? While Google searches may be an automatic go-to, we also welcome you to tap the wisdom of your trusted pediatrician and care team. In addition to covering these issues, we will be doing lab tests (at age 2) to screen your child for lead and anemia again. At age 3, we will start checking their blood pressure annually. Beginning at age 4, your child will have a yearly vision screen. At around age 5, one of our pediatric nurses will administer any vaccines that are due. Have a great year!
Your child will be seen annually during his or her early school years. Every visit will include the basics: weight, height, blood pressure, and vision screening, along with a comprehensive physical examination. As your child gets older, it’s likely that you will have new questions about their growth and development. We also like checking in with parents about how school, nutrition, sleep, and social/behavioral aspects are going. As always, please let us know what’s on your mind. Our nurses will administer the appropriate vaccines, typically around ages 10 or 11. At around age 11, we will do a blood test to check cholesterol levels and screen for anemia. As children transition into adolescence, we’ll give you an idea of what you can expect. If any serious health problems come up, we’ll be glad to connect you with one of our in-house pediatric specialists. We’ve got you covered!
Your adolescent will continue to be seen annually throughout middle and high school. In addition to checking their height, weight, blood pressure, and vision, we will also address challenges that can come up around puberty. For instance, we will ask your son or daughter to fill out a questionnaire to screen for depression, and other relevant teen issues. When your teen is around 13 or 14, we will offer to do part of the visit with you (parents) in the room and part of the discussion or exam with you outside. Teenagehood can be a confusing time full of many changes, so we like to give young people the option to speak privately with their long-time pediatrician if they need to. Along those lines, we’ve found that older teens may choose to have the discussion and exam alone with their pediatrician. At every visit we will talk to your teen about health, safety, and risk behaviors, in order to help them make beneficial life choices. As always, you are a crucial part of your child’s care team, so we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your adolescent’s growth, puberty, or stress levels. If vaccines are due, we will administer them after getting your permission. See you in another year!
By the time your teen is 18 years old, he or she may choose to switch to an internal medicine provider at CareMount Medical. However, we are happy to continue seeing them until around 21 years old, at the discretion of your pediatrician. Your young adult will typically be seen without a parent, although you’re welcome to accompany them if they would prefer. Teens older than 18 years old will need to fill out a form to allow the doctor to share medical information with their parent(s). We will conduct the usual measurements, do a vision screen, and administer any needed vaccines or lab tests. When the time comes, we will be happy to help your teen transition to an internal medicine provider, and/or OB/GYN (for females). By this point, we have gotten to know families quite well, so we’re always sad to say goodbye to our young adult patients when they “move on”. But sometimes, we’re lucky enough to treat their children, down the line. Just remember, we’re here when you need us. Welcome to Adult Care!