The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
Read more »
Heel prick During this test, done within the first 48 hours of birth, three or four drops of blood from the baby’s heel are put on a filter paper. The paper is then sent to the state health department, where it is screened for rare conditions such as phenylketonuria.
Circumcision If you plan to have your son circumcised at the hospital, be sure to consult with your pediatrician and obstetrician about the procedure beforehand. “There are a number of different techniques to remove the foreskin and different approaches to pain management,” explains Stark.
First physical Your pediatrician will make arrangements to give the baby his first physical. Wells suggests that one of the parents be present to ask questions.
Bilirubin test Jaundice — a yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes — develops when bilirubin, produced naturally by the body, builds up faster than a newborn’s liver can break it down. Mild to moderate jaundice occurs in about 50 percent of term babies and 90 percent of preterm babies. In most cases, it will simply disappear. Your doctor may, however, perform a blood test — while you’re still in the hospital — to determine how elevated your baby’s bilirubin levels are, since there is a very slight risk of hearing impairment or brain damage if levels are extremely high.