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Newborn Care Specialist

Nicolette Marak, MD -  - Pediatric Clinic

Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics

Nicolette Marak, MD

Pediatric Clinic located in Hoover, AL

Expecting a baby is an extraordinary time in your life, and you want the very best for your precious newborn after the delivery. The Team at Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics in Hoover, Alabama, provides exceptional prenatal and newborn care. Call the clinic today to find out more, or book an appointment online.

Newborn Care

What care does a newborn need?

The aim of prenatal care and delivery at Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics is for mother and baby to be fit and well after the birth, and in most cases that’s exactly what happens. However, on some occasions, babies do experience problems during and just after birth that need attention from the medical staff.

Right after the birth, your medical team places the baby on your chest, clears away the amniotic fluid and the creamy coating called the vernix, and stimulates breathing. When you’ve had a chance to hold a baby and say hello, your medical team checks them over to ensure they look healthy and there are no obvious problems. They weigh and measure the baby and check their vital signs.

One key test is the Apgar score, which measures:

  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Color
  • Muscle tone
  • Reflexes

Your newborn is given a score of zero, one, or two in these five areas to assess their overall well-being. Readings are taken twice within the first five minutes of the baby being born, with a score of seven or higher for the first readings being a good sign.

If anything isn’t quite right, the team member will tell you and explain what’s happening. Your baby also has identification bracelets put on their wrist and ankle at this stage.

Does my newborn need any other care after birth?

Your newborn needs a vitamin K injection because babies don’t receive a high enough level of this vitamin from their mothers before they’re born or when breastfeeding. Vitamin K is important for helping the blood to clot, and if a newborn doesn’t have a shot, they are more at risk from bleeding in the brain. One injection protects your baby for several months.

In addition to the vitamin K shot, your newborn needs an application of ointment in their eyes to help prevent infection babies can get that causes blindness.

Your medical team also plays a key role in helping you bond with your baby by encouraging skin-to-skin contact and assisting with the first feed.

What kinds of health problems might newborns have?

For most new mothers, there is a huge sense of relief when their baby is pronounced fit and well. Some mothers, however, have to face the prospect of a baby being taken away because of concerns about their newborn’s health. For example, if you have gestational diabetes, medical staff need to treat the baby after birth because their blood sugar will drop so dramatically after the umbilical cord is cut.

Other potential problems include:

  • Fractured bones after a difficult labor
  • Muscle weakness
  • Persistently blue face, tongue, and lips
  • Persistent coughing or gagging
  • Forceps marks on the face and head
  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Breathing problems

If your newborn has any of these symptoms, Dr. Marak and her team take expert care of them; and if the team needs to take the baby away, they return them to you as soon as possible.

Give your baby the best start in life at Ross Bridge Medical Center Pediatrics. Call the clinic today to find out more, or book an appointment online.