How will my baby be cared for after delivery?
Eye Drops and Vitamin K
Within two hours after birth, your baby will receive eye drops (to prevent infection) and a vitamin K shot (to aid in blood clotting).
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Hepatitis B is a severe illness caused by a virus. Most cases of Hepatitis B occur in teenagers and adults but newborns can be infected also, usually at the time of birth. The AAP recommends that children receive immunizations for Hepatitis B when they are being routinely immunized for other illnesses. The first Hepatitis B vaccine can be given to your baby before you leave the hospital unless you request that he/she does not receive it. After your baby receives this immunization in the hospital, he/she will need to complete the hepatitis B series from his/her doctor during the first year of life.
During the first 24 hours after birth, your baby’s doctor will perform a physical exam on your baby. A good time to select your baby’s doctor is in your last trimester of pregnancy or earlier.
A simple hearing screen called the AABR will be performed on your infant prior to discharge. Your nurse will discuss the procedure and results with you during your stay. A copy of those results will be given to you to take to your baby’s doctor. An additional copy is also given to you for your records. Do not hesitate to ask your nurse if you have any questions.
Heart Problem Check
Your nurse will use a special light called a pulse oximeter to check your baby’s oxygen levels on his hand and foot. Comparing these two readings will help us to screen for certain heart problems.
This test is required by the state. It is performed using a blood sample obtained by a heel prick to your newborn’s foot. It can tell if your baby has a metabolic disorder within days after birth. If treated soon enough, problems can usually be prevented. Results are sent to your baby’s doctor and then discussed with you. This test must be done prior to discharge and again at two weeks when you take your baby for the first check-up. Upon discharge, your nurse will give you a special envelope to take to the doctor at that time. Please keep this envelope in a place where you will remember to take it with you.
Healthy newborns, especially if they are premature, can develop jaundice. Jaundice occurs when a newborn has an elevated level of bilirubin (a by-product of the breakdown of red blood cells) in the body. Most newborns with mild jaundice do not need treatment.
This test is performed using a blood sample obtained by a heel prick to your newborn’s foot.
Your Newborn’s Care
In some circumstances, your baby’s doctor may recommend other testing or treatments. Your baby’s care will always be communicated to you. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse if you have questions regarding your baby’s care.