The goal of routine baby checks and evaluation after delivery is to ensure that the baby not only regularizes with the new environment but to check for optimum functionality of the body parts and system. These checks and evaluations are important in order to immediately determine whether a baby needs support or not.
Following the delivery of the baby and the Apgar test and evaluation, the following are also parts of the early routine checks for your newborn within the few days after delivery:
Checking for marks,that may have been caused by the forceps during delivery. This will typically disappear within a few days.
Hepatitis B vaccination
Eye, nose and mouth checks as well as hearing checks and prophylactic eye ointment administration to avoid eye infections. This antibiotic is recommended to be used on the baby’s eye, within the first hour of delivery.
Eye checks for a white colored pupil with no presence of a red reflex.
Administration of vitamin to avoid bleeding due to a deficiency.
Regular care of the umbilical cord in order to prevent an infection.
Tests for the presence of too much bilirubin in the blood. A situation that causes jaundice in babies, evidenced by the yellowing of skin and eyes.
Screening for metabolic, genetic, neurologic and blood disorders so that an immediate intervention plan can commence.
Sugar level check or glucose screening. Low blood sugar in baby is known to cause brain injury.
A neurological test to check for motor functions and reactions.
Spinal cord and hips examination. This is done to ascertain that there are no hip and joint anomalies that could have caused a dislocation. The doctor may bend the baby’s knees or move the thighs outwards to check for unusual sounds.
Blood tests for hemoglobin disease i.e. sickle cell anemia
Confirmation of the baby’s ability to defecate and urinate and what it could look like. Stools with pale colors or bile are often an indication of a liver disease.
The purpose of this test is to seek out certain rare diseases, like Phenylketonuria, hereditary neurologic disorders, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, adrenal hyperplasia and sickle cell anemia.
Blood tests for the following rare diseases:
- Phenylketonuria, an irreversible neurologic disorders and mental disability
- Cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease of the respiratory system
- Congenital hypothyroidism, the absence of thyroxine which is critical for the development of the central nervous system.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a severe condition that affects the adrenal gland.
As a guide, a typical routine check for your baby may follow thus:
- Immediately after birth – a complete and exhaustive physical examination
- 5 – 8 days – Blood tests
- 10 – 14 days- Complete review of what was done immediately after birth
- Hearing test within the first month of delivery
- 6 -8 weeks – Another complete physical examination
- 8, 12, 16 weeks – Various immunizations
- 1 year medical review