Newborns present a unique set of health challenges and concerns. Therefore, you want a medical doctor who is experienced in dealing with these particular issues and can provide the best possible care for your newborn baby. This is particularly true of premature babies or those with health complications.
Qualified medical doctors for newborns
Doctors who specialise in the care of newborn babies are called neonatologists. Neonatologists are the first line of care in a high-risk birth. They work in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU is a special place where sick or premature babies receive around-the-clock care. Paediatricians also care for newborns and can help with some problems that affect newborns, such as jaundice, reflux, and colic. Choosing a newborn doctor in Singapore will ensure that you get the best care of your child. The doctor can help:
- Evaluate and treat your newborn for any health problems that may exist at birth
- Provide immunizations to protect your baby from disease
- Monitor your baby’s growth and development
- Provide guidance on feeding, sleeping, and newborn care
- Answer any questions or concerns you may have about your baby’s health
Symptoms that should prompt you to call your baby’s doctor
Newborns are prone to many health issues, some of which are serious. You should always err on the side of caution and call your baby’s doctor right away if your baby has any of these symptoms:
- A fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- A rash that does not go away after a few days
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
- Excessive irritability or lethargy
- Difficulty feeding or swallowing
- Vomiting or spit-up
More severe reasons to take your baby to the doctor or call your doctor ASAP include:
- Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
- Blueness of the lips or fingertips
- A heart rate that is slow (fewer than 100 beats per minute) or fast (more than 180 beats per minute)
- A fontanelle (the soft spot on the top of the head) that is sunken in
- Excessive sleepiness or difficulty waking up
- Uncontrollable shaking or twitching
- Excessive vomiting or spit-up that is green or brown
- Diarrhoea that contains blood or pus
- A stiff neck
- A bulging in the soft spot on the top of the head
What to Expect with Newborn Doctor Appointment
You will likely have several appointments with your baby’s doctor in the first few months after birth. These appointments are essential for monitoring your baby’s health and development.
At the first appointment, the doctor will:
- Check your baby’s overall health
- Measure their weight, length, and head circumference
- Check their heart rate and breathing
- Listen to their heart and lungs with a stethoscope
- Examine their eyes, ears, nose, throat, and mouth
- Feel their abdomen to check for any signs of hernia or organ problems
- Check their reflexes
- Examine their genitals and anus
The doctor will also ask about your baby’s feeding, sleeping habits, and bowel movements. In addition, they will ask about your health and medical history, as well as your family’s medical history. Be sure to ask the doctor any questions about your baby’s health or development.
You will likely have follow-up appointments every 2-3 weeks for the first few months. After that, appointments will become less frequent, typically once per month until your baby is six months old. At each appointment, the doctor will check your baby’s growth and development and answer any questions you have.
It is vital to choose a doctor that you trust to care for your newborn baby. Be sure to ask any questions about your baby’s health or development. You want to be sure to take your baby to all their appointments so the doctor can catch any problems early. Regular checkups are essential for monitoring your baby’s growth and development.