Your baby’s first checkup begins in the hospital, when we check for any health concerns. These screenings can discover health conditions soon after birth and can help save a baby’s life or prevent serious problems.
Within 24 hours of birth, your baby will have a physical exam that checks his or her appearance and bodily functions. Vital signs, such as baby’s temperature, pulse and breathing rate, will be taken, and any signs of illness or birth defects will be investigated.
Blood Sugar Screening
If your child is at risk for low blood sugar, blood is obtained from a prick to the heel and is monitored for up to 24 hours, in most cases.
Jaundice is when a baby has a high level of bilirubin in the blood. Levels of bilirubin are measured through a non-invasive, painless test.
If your newborn has a high reading, the reading will be confirmed with a blood test.
For most babies, jaundice does not require treatment and will disappear within 1 to 2 weeks.
New York State Newborn Screening
New York State requires that newborns are tested for over 30 congenital conditions, including Krabbe disease, cystic fibrosis, and HIV. The test is performed using just five drops of blood that are obtained from pricking the baby’s heel.
The sample is obtained prior to baby’s discharge, and your test results will be sent to your physician.
A painless and comfortable hearing test is performed to check that your baby is able to hear sound
Congential Heart Disease Screening
Heart conditions can affect the shape of the heart, how the heart works, or both. If left untreated, some forms of congenital heart disease can cause serious problems.
We can detect certain types of heart disease through pulse oximetry, a safe and painless test that wraps a sensor around the hand and foot and measures the oxygen level in the blood.
Newborn Treatments & Vaccines
Your newborn will be given medications and vaccines, some of which are required by law. Those that are not required by law are strongly recommended for your baby’s continued health. To learn more about required medications given after birth to babies click here.
Antibiotic Eye Ointment
Bacteria in the birth canal can cause newborns to develop eye infections that can result in blindness. To prevent eye infections, your baby will receive an antibiotic eye ointment, as required by New York State law.
Vitamin K Injection
When babies are born, they lack sufficient vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.
A vitamin K injection prevents vitamin K deficiency bleeding and is required by New York State law.
Hepatits B Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that damages the liver over time and has no cure. People with lifelong hepatitis B usually do not experience any outward symptoms and may not know that they have the disease.
All newborns should receive the first shot of the hepatitis B vaccine before leaving the hospital. This reduces the risk of getting the disease from mom or family members who do not know that they are affected.
Three to four doses of the vaccine are required:
- The first dose at birth (within 12 hours)
- A second dose at 1 through 3 months
- A third dose at 6 through 18 months of age
We will ask for your consent to administer a birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine is strongly recommended.