Although we hope to meet your needs regardless of your baby’s age, we recognize that the vast majority of our families visit us with newborns (notice our name?) A doctor will see your baby with every appointment, although it may not be your usual physician. However, we will communicate with your primary physician after every visit in order to provide support and continuity to all of you; this is our role as a community partner.
All babies are a fresh beginning, and whether it’s your first or your fourth, newborns can be a real mystery sometimes. That’s why we are devoting a page just to them. Newborns are our specialty!
The newborn period is typically the first 28-30 days. Newborns also fall into a variety of categories, depending on how far along you were in pregnancy when you delivered.
- Preterm-Babies born before 34 weeks gestation
- Late Preterm-Babies born 34 to 37 weeks gestation
- Early Term-Babies born 38 to 39 weeks gestation
- Term-Babies born at 40 weeks gestation (your due date)
- Late Term/Post Term-Babies born at 41-42weeks gestation
It’s important to remember that due date is just an estimated guess, and that we not only consider gestational age and due date, we really look at and evaluate how the baby “presents”. This is everything from their skin and hair appearance, creases in their hands and feet, how well they focus, changes in state (calm to fussy, and back to calm again) and more. All of these little details give us clues about maturity, and they are often more important in many ways, than the due date.
The first month means a lot of changes for all of you. Many new parents want to know why their baby isn’t following the typical patterns found in a book or on a website. This probably won’t be the last time you ask that question! We have gathered a list of the top five questions asked at the first office appointment. There is more generalized information on our Resources page as well, just scroll down until you see “Babies”.
We encourage you to take your questions to your primary caregiver; write them down or list them in your smartphone. This is exactly what well checks are for, and the answers will be specific to your baby and family, rather than generalized. Nothing you read can take the place of personalized care.