Ideally, your first visit to the paediatrician should be before the your baby arrives. If you’re planning your first visit, here’s what you need to know, and what to make sure you ask.
- The first trip should help you familiarize and feel comfortable with the person who is going to help you with your baby. Do look at facilities offered, ask about tackling emergencies, and about hospital attachments, in case the need arises.
- Discuss breast feeding and any qualms you may have.
- Ask for advice on what all you need to have ready before the birth of your baby. The list is extensive and should include diapers, clothes, soap, shampoo, moisturizing cream, nappy rash cream, and more. Ask about any emergency medication you might need to keep handy at home.
- Discuss routine tests that the doctor would advise. Most hospitals and birthing centers have their own policy, but it is wise to include a hearing assessment, blood group, thyroid function (TSH) and G6PD assay for all babies.
- Discuss the pros and cons of metabolic screening at birth.
- Clear all myths surrounding mothers diets post birth of the baby, preferably in the presence of family elders who harbor the myths.
- Discuss how much baby clothing you’re going to need, the room temperature to be maintained, how often and how long to feed, the position to make the baby sleep in, and the use of mosquito repellents and/or other sprays etc in the babies room.
- In order to ensure a smooth interaction, it is better to write down all the questions you wish to discuss with your doctor; it saves time, and makes for a more meaningful dialogue.
- Ask the doctor about his preferred mode of communication, calls or messages, and ask about his or her preferred times for calls in cases of non-emergencies.
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